It is not often that cookies have something to say.
In fact, let’s be real: cookies are quite low on the food chain. (Pun intended? You decide). They’re round, they’re square, they’re delicious. But they don’t speak.
Well, yes and no. There is one cookie, in particular, that has made its way to the hearts of many around the world, and that cookie is Oreo.
“I think there are a lot of cookies that don’t have much personality at all,” Jill Baskin, head of advertising for Oreo, said in an interview for Fast Company. “You couldn’t even look deep inside them and see what they stand for.”
And while many may struggle with the thought of a simple black-and-white cookie having feelings, let alone a mission in this world, Oreo is an example of the power of brand personality.
“In 2013, all of a sudden, Oreo was the standard bearer for ‘real-time marketing’,” writes Danielle Sacks in the same article. “With a few deft social media moves —including a game-changing Super Bowl tweet [see below] —the cookie became the crumbly, creamy embodiment of the conversational, in-touch brand.”
Now, why is a brand personality so important?
Put simply, a personality makes it easier for consumers to identify with a certain brand. And while no one expects a bite-sized dessert to actually come to life and hold a conversation, brands with a personality tend to possess certain human-like characteristics that consumers – the target audience – can identify with.
Brands with a personality have a design, a tone of voice and a presence. They have certain traits, as they can be anything from funny, quirky and exciting, to honest and inspirational. They stand for something bigger than a product itself; they have a mission – whether it is to entertain, educate or inspire.
Above all, brands with a personality aspire to build relationships with the consumer, and in so doing, their number-one priority is to be consistent.
Building a coherent whole
The key to consistency lies in establishing and implementing a convincing content strategy that brings everything about a brand’s personality – appearance, tone of voice, and expertise, among others – into one coherent whole, and spreads it across multiple communication channels. A content strategy is to be executed on an ongoing basis, thus always keeping a brand fresh in its consumers’ minds.
“Developing a content strategy that exceeds the expectations of your audience is vital for you to stand out among the best in your industry,” writes Te-Erika Patterson. In fact, brand followers and consumers are often looking for more than just a mere product or service, she says. Therefore, “why not offer content that educates, informs and helps your audience develop holistically, creating a one-stop digital media empire they can’t turn away from?”
The key to a strong content strategy, and as a result to building up a coherent brand personality, lies in the ability of the brand to always be there for its customers – whether in words, videos or images, on their own site or on social media.
Think back to Oreo: a cookie with its own black-and-white look, a unique voice and a memorable personality. And not just that. It’s a cookie that knows what to say at the right place, at the right time. After all, it took the brand one viral tweet to show its customers that it intends to be there for them, even when they least expect it.
Even when they have to dunk in the dark.