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Establishing a strong personality for your business and identifying a tone of voice for your marketing is something we are big advocates of here at SiGNAL.

When we say personality, we mean personification of your brand. If your brand or business was a person, how do they speak, behave, and communicate?

Not only will having a consistent tone of voice help your customers to understand who you are, and where you sit in the marketplace, but it will also ultimately make your life easier - no need to second guess every decision when it comes to marketing. If you know who you are and how things should be said, it can become much easier and less time consuming.

In a recent survey, over half of customers polled revealed that they tend to buy from a brand with a big personality.

The study found that 57.5% of customers buy from brands with strong personalities, whilst 51.2% of people have purchased from a brand because of the way they spoke online.

However, something that is challenging to embrace, is personality. Finding the fine line between casual and professional can be really tricky, it’s a difficult one to balance.

Whether you are B2B or B2C, your business should have some personality, otherwise, how will customers define you? Or attempt to get to know you? It’s crucial in establishing a customer relationship. However, personality needs to be considered.

Like people, brands aren’t going to be liked by all people all the time, it’s near on impossible. But it’s important your target audience identifies with you and your personality, so that’s something to consider.

Humour is a great thing to be able to introduce into your brand personality and marketing communications, however, depending on the situation or your audience, there will be a limit as to what is expected, acceptable and interesting. Channel 4 are renowned for their inclusivity in marketing, they champion diversity with a humour that very few others have achieved, so they’re no stranger to walking the fine line of funny and offensive but, it’s safe to say, they got it very, very wrong this week.

Picked up by a passer-by twitter user, their recent bus advert for Naked Attraction has hit the press, for all the wrong reasons.

The show itself certainly divides audiences, but the advert’s position and usage really let the channel down. For those of you who haven't’ seen it...


Whilst the concept of this was definitely well-intended, given the divisive nature of the television show, the execution and position of the advert created a new problem, which resulted in severe backlash on social media and formal complaints to the ASA.

Following these complaints and the public outcry, TFL have removed the campaign, given it could put passengers, including children, at the risk of sexual assault and embarrassment.

Making innocent travellers the butt of Channel 4’s joke seems to cross the line, let alone the more sinister implications and potential impact.

Whilst this particular case is a warning against going too far with your marketing and advertising, a look at our Colin the Caterpillar blog will show you how much we enjoy humour in marketing, and some companies that manage this particularly well include:

  • Innocent Smoothies
  • Specsavers
  • Dave (the TV channel)
  • Mailchimp
  • WeTransfer

Check out their websites or social media feeds to see how they navigate personality without offence and please share any great examples you’ve seen with us...!