If you haven’t seen a Duluth Trading Company commercial, you’ve been missing out. Check out their channel on YouTube, we’ll wait.
For a company selling heavy-duty work clothes and gear, they have a unique voice. A rugged yet playful sense of humor fills their advertising, even when talking about serious products meant to get the job done. What can you learn from Duluth Trading Company? No, the answer isn’t adding cartoon men dancing in their underwear. You need to find your own personality and voice, and make that part of your brand. Don’t limit yourself by the product or service you sell. If someone can find a dozen stores that sell the same thing and they’re all alike, they’ll pick the one that’s most convenient. If there’s one that stands out and they can relate to it, they’ll go there. You can sell something silly and have a serious attitude, or sell something serious using humor.
Where to Start
The key is to be yourself, not a version of someone else. You don’t have to come up with something completely unique and original to stand out. What you want to say has probably already been said by someone else, but you can make it unique by saying it your own way. Start by writing down what you want to say, then come up with 4 or 5 different ways to say it. This will give your creative muscles a workout and you’ll have a variety of choices in front of you to help narrow down what is or isn’t your brand’s voice.
Tell Your Story
Using your own experiences will give you a unique point of view. You can’t help but be original when telling stories about what you’ve gone through in your personal or professional life. What if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of experience? That’s your story! Tell people about the challenges you’ve faced and the ones you’re still dealing with as a new business. It’s hard to relate to a global corporation, it’s easy to relate to a person starting something new.
Write the Way You Speak
Do you usually say, “That is the way the customer will alleviate discomfort.”? Or is it more like, “That’s how you’ll feel less pain.” Use contractions for more natural-flowing language (like isn’t, we’re, I’ve, etc.), and avoid unnecessarily-long words. Instead of saying “the customer,” “the client,” or “the user,” say “you” as if you’re talking directly to the potential customer. If you’re not writing a contract, you can get personal and drop the legalese. The goal is for your audience to understand what you’re saying, not to confuse or outsmart them.
“Be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
– Judy Garland