Brands Have Personalities

When developing a branding strategy, envision first the personality you want your brand to convey. Is it funny or serious? Is it tough or tender? Sexy or sweet? These are a just a few of the brand characteristics that go into a brand image. And if you think that all this is hogwash, here me out for a second and consider these questions: Does a Mcdonald's Big Mac taste better than any other burger? Is Pizza Hut really better than a Pepe's Pizza? Is RE/MAX superior to the realtors down the street? No to all three!

These products are leaders because they're leading brands. The actual product or service is of secondary importance to many. Instead, consumers want to do business with a product they identify with and most importantly a product they can trust-and that gets back to the brand image.

What do you want your company's brand image to be? If you find this question a little troubling to answer, try comparing your brand to a famous person. Do you want it to be Lucille Ball? Audrey Hepburn? Missy Elliott? Venus Williams?

Do you want it to be more like Lance Armstrong? Silvester Stallone? Tom Hanks? 50 Cent? Choosing a celebrity can help you zero in on your brand's characteristics. For example, if you seek a brand personality that's big, strong and rugged, it's probably like Silvester Stallone. If it's cute, wacky and charismatic, it's probably Lucille Ball.

Once you've chosen a complimentary personality, try to analyze those characteristics that made you associate your company's image with that person. Once identified, these same characteristics will create the basis for your brand image.

Branding is Moo-mentous

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a rancher would use a hot iron to mark his cattle with a unique brand. This brand, which depicted an image unique to his ranch, distinguished his cattle from another ranch's cattle.
Branding, in today's fast-paced, modern marketing world, operates much the same way. Today, branding is used to distinguish a product or service from a competitor's by establishing certain images in the prospect's mind. And in today's super-competitive market, it's a key marketing tool. Without it, your marketing effort as a whole rests not on a solid foundation, but rather on the shifting sands of a weak brand.

For most companies, brand elements are among the first things a prospect sees. Whether the prospect visits a website, browses a brochure or stops by a company's trade show booth, the prospect walks away with impressions of the company's brand.

My advice to growing companies is to pay direct attention to your branding programs from the outset. Remember that one objective of your marketing plan is to strengthen the link of trust between you and your prospect. Branding is one of most effective ways to do this.

A list of Twitter Definitions & Twitter Slang

@reply: The @reply means a Twitter update (a tweet) that is directed to another user in reply to their update. An @reply will be saved in the user's "Replies" tab. Replies are sent either by clicking the 'reply' icon next to an update or typing @ username message (e.g., @user I think that blog is awesome too).

ab/abt: Short for "about." This chat abbreviation is is frequently seen on Twitter.

adventuritter: Slang term used to describe a Twitterer who is adventurous.

attwaction: Slang term used to describe an attraction between two users.

attwicted: Slang term used to describe someone who is addicted to Twitter.

B: A shorthand version of "be" often used on Twitter.

b4: This is a shortened version of "before."

b/c: Short for "because." This chat abbreviation is is frequently used on Twitter.

Bberrytweet: Slang term that refers to using a Blackberry device to send a tweet on Twitter.

beetweet: Slang term used to describe a "hot tweet." Usually this is a popular, trending topic on Twitter and many users will retweet a beetweet.

BFN: Short for "bye for now."

bgd: A shortened form of "background" often used on Twitter.

BR: An acronym used on Twitter that stands for "best regards."

Bird-of-mouth: Slang term that refers to the use of Twitter to circulate news and information.

Celebrity syndrome: This Twitter phrase refers to a situation in which a non-celebrity mistakenly believes he or she is a celebrity. Users with celebrity syndrome will not follow a significant number of Twitter users.

chk: A shorthand version of "check" often used on Twitter.

cld: A shortened version of "could" often used on Twitter.

clk: A shortened version of "click" often used on Twitter.

co-twitterer: Slang term used to describe a second person who tweets on a single Twitter account.

crank tweet: Similar to a "crank phone call," it is a misleading tweet.

cre8: Often seen on Twitter, it means "create."

cuttweet: Sometimes simply known as "CT," this slang term refers to a retweet that is a shortened version of the original.

da: Often used on Twitter, this is a shortened version of "the."

daily twitamin: A slang term that refers to a tweet that contains useful knowledge that is easy to take in and remember. It is a "daily vitamin" for Twitterers.

deets: A shortened version of "details" often found on Twitter.

detweet: Slang term used to describe a tweet you made, then deleted.

direct message (DM): Short for direct message, it is the function of the Twitter service that enables you to send a private message (direct message) to a person you are following.

drive thru tweet: Refers to a tweet sent by an individual while he or she is at a restaurant drive-thru.

drive-by-tweet: This is a fast tweet posted by an individual while he or she is in between tasks.

drunktwittering: The act of posting on Twitter while intoxicated.

Dweet: Slang term used to describe a tweet that has been sent by a user who is drunk.

eavestweeting: The act of eavesdropping on other Twitter conversations.

egotwistical: Slang term used to describe a user who talks about himself on Twitter. It is a combination of the words "egotistical and Twitter."

EM / eml: Shorthand versions of "e-mail" routinely used on Twitter.

EMA: An acronym for "e-mail address" used on Twitter.

emergaTweet: Also known as emergetweet it refers to a tweet sent out during an emergency when 911 is unavailable.

F2F: An acronym used on Twitter that means "face to face."

FAV: The FAV action on Twitter lets you mark a person's last message as a favorite message to be displayed in your Favorites Tab. To use FAV, type FAV username.

Fail Whale: On the Twitter site, the Fail Whale is an image of a whale held up by birds and nets. This image shows that Twitter has been overloaded or that a failure occurred within the service. For more information, check out Twitter Status »

Follower / following: On Twitter, blogs, and other social media sites, a follower is someone who subscribes to receives your updates. On the Twitter Web site "following" someone means you will see their messages in your own personal timeline. Twitter lets you see all the people you follow and also who is following you.

FollowFriday (FF, or #followfriday): On Twitter, FollowFriday is a recommendation. It is used to call attention to a user's favorite followers and favorite people on Twitter. When you tweet a FF message, you are recommending that your followers also check out the people you mention in your post. When you send a FollowFriday message, you include #followfriday in your update so it can can be searched for using that hash tag.

Hash tag: A hash tag or hashtag is a way of organizing your updates for Twitter search engines. Users prefix a message with a community-driven hash tag to enable others to discover relevant posts. One commonly used hash tag on Twitter is #followfriday where users network by providing the names of their favorite people to follow on Twitter.

HT: Short for "heard through". Used to indicate that the write heard something from someone else.

ICYMI: Short for "in case you missed it", the abbreviation may appear in a tweet that is a repost from the same person, just incase their followers missed it the first time it was tweeted.

microblog: A type of blog that lets users publish short text updates. Bloggers can usually use a number of service for the updates including instant messaging, e-mail, or Twitter. The posts are called micro posts, while the act of using these services to update your blog is called microblogging.

mistweet: Slang term used to describe a tweet that you later regret having sent.

NTS: Short for note to self. This chat abbreviation is frequently used on Twitter.

OH: Short for overheard. This chat abbreviation is used on Twitter, often in place of RT (retweet) when the user does not want to provide the username of the follower they are quoting.

PRT: Short for please retweet. This is a notation added to the end of a Tweet. PRT shows the user is asking others to retweet their post.

Retweet: Abbreviated as RT, retweet is used on Twitter to show you are tweeting something that was posted by another user. The format is RT @username where username is the Twitter name of the person you are retweeting.

social networking site: Abbreviated as SNS, a social networking site is the phrase used to describe any website that enables users to create public profiles within that Web site and form relationships with other users of the same website. Social networking sites can be used to describe community-based websites, online discussions forums, chat rooms and other social spaces online.

TMB: Short for Tweet me back.

Twaffic: Slang term used to mean "Twitter traffic."

Twalking: Slang term used to describe someone who is walking while they tweet, using a mobile device.

Twebay: Slang term used to describe selling (or promoting) an eBay item on Twitter.

Tweeple: Meaning Twitter people. It is used to refer to or describe Twitter users.

Tweet: Describes a Twitter update. A tweet is basically whatever you type into the Web box to answer that question, using 140 characters or less. People tweet personal messages, random thoughts, post links, or anything else that fits in the character requirements.

tweetaholic: The term used to describe someone who has a problematic addiction to Twitter.

tweeter: Refers to a person who send tweets on the Twitter service (same as Twitterer).

tweeterboxes: Slang term used to refer to Twitter users who "tweet excessively."

tweetroduce: Slang term used to describe the situation in which a user introduces one follower to another.

tweetsult: Slang for an insult sent using Twitter.

twegal advice: Slang term for legal advice that is sent on twitter using 140 characters or less.

twettiquette: Short for Twitter etiquette. It is a slang term used to describe acceptable Twitter behavior.

tweetorial: Slang term used to describe tutoring or lecturing on or about Twitter. Some industry speakers use the term to describe a live event where a lecture on a Twitter topic is given (e.g., a seminar or event that teaches people how to use Twitter), while others use the term to describe giving a lecture on Twitter. Here the host speaker will use a special designated hash tag so others can follow the lecture on Twitter.

Twewbie: Short for Twitter newbie. It is a slang term used to describe someone who is new to Twitter.

twis: Slang term used to describe a 'dis' on a fellow Twitter user.

Twishing: Twishing is a combination of the words "Twitter and phishing". It is the act of sending a message to a Twitter user in an attempt to obtain his or her name and password. The message may instruct the recipient to visit a Web site where he or she is asked to log in. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user's information. See "Beware of Twishing" in the Did You Know...? section of Webopedia for more information on Twishing.

Twitosphere: An expression used to describe the "World of Twitter."

twittcrastination: Slang term that refers to using Twitter as a form of procrastination.

twitterati: Slang term that refers to 'A-list' Twitter users.

Twitter-ific: Short for Twitter and terrific. It is a slang term used to describe something terrific you find on Twitter.

twitterage: Slang term describing feelings of rage experienced as a result of a Twitter post.

Twitterapps: Short for Twitter applications. It is the phrase used to describe any application that integrates with the twitter service. May also be called Twitter tools or Twitter add-ons.

twitterpated: Slang term describing the feeling one experiences when messages on Twitter become overwhelming.

twitterphoria: Slang term describing the feelings of elation one experiences when they add someone as a friend and the person adds them in return.

Twitterer: Refers to a person who send tweets on the Twitter service.

Twitterfly: A social butterfly on Twitter. A Twitterfly uses the @ sign in many messages, showing they have a lot of Twitter friends to talk with or mention in their updates.

Twittworking: Short for Twitter networking. It is a slang term used to describe Twitterers who use Twitter to network.

woz: Slang for "was," this term is frequently found on Twitter.

wtv: A shorthand form of "whatever" often found on Twitter.

ykyat: An acronym standing for "you know you’re addicted to..." that is frequently used on Twitter.

yoyo: An acronym that stands for "you’re on your own" that is often used on Twitter.

ztwitt: A slang term that means "to tweet extremely fast."