In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark and Eric discuss how powerful personal branding can be. They explain why brands should not be afraid of putting real faces out in the world to represent them, and why they should not hide behind their logos.
Mark and Eric start with explaining the concept of Pareidolia and how it applies to business and branding, and not just psychology. Enjoy!
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Mark: Welcome to another episode of Here’s Why with Mark and Eric.
Eric: So Mark, I have a question for you. Why is there incredible power related to content and someone’s personable brand?
Mark: Well as human beings we’re drawn to other human beings, it’s just a fact of the way we’re made up. In fact, look at this picture of this building. What do you see? You see a face. You can’t help but see a face. Scientists call this pareidolia. It’s the tendency of us to see human faces even when they aren’t there.
We’re drawn to people before we’re drawn to faceless things like a brand, logo, or corporate name. Another example of that is Google Authorship. Even though that’s gone now, during the time it was in the search results, it was very powerful because you’d see a face like this one and you are drawn to it. You want to connect with that content because you think there’s a real person behind that.
Eric: So how can brands use personal brand power to their advantage?
Mark: Well, again, it’s important to realize that it’s a human factor. That we’re drawn to people and we trust people long before we’ll trust a faceless brand. And that’s something, once you understand that, as a brand you should be taking advantage of. Now, I need to acknowledge that there’s a fear factor here: brands are afraid of doing this.
Back when I used to give regular talks at conferences about Google Authorship, the number one question in the Q&A every time was, “We’re afraid of putting real people out there because we don’t know what they might say, or they might represent us the wrong way, or what if they leave eventually? In fact, I heard this so often that I wrote a major piece for Moz, we’ve got linked below, about why you need to overcome that fear. But, I think it goes back to the days, what I call the Mad Men days in the 60s, when brands only had a few outlets for messaging to the public and brands could typically control that message.
You can’t do that anymore, people talk to people. And instead of being afraid of that or trying to control that, I think we need to break out of that fear and find ways to do it. Find ways to say we’re going to promote real people, who people will identify with our brand. I think the advantage of doing that outweighs the perceived risk. Just as a final word, I think you and I are good examples of that. We’ve done that here for Perficient Digital.
Eric built the whole business on his personal brand initially by going out and speaking at conferences, producing content, guest posting, doing interviews and then brought me in because I do the same thing. People get to know us, they trust us, they identify with us, and eventually the association comes around that these are people I want to do business with so I want to do business with that brand.
Eric: Those are great tips Mark, thanks for that. As Mark mentioned, we’re going to show below the various links we have referred to during this video and thanks for watching this episode of Here’s Why.