The People Behind Your Brand

Personality. Some companies have it, others don’t, but it’s just not the sort of thing you can fake.

Smart businesses develop a personality early on. They find a balance between how their organizations operate and how the people who work there act, then use their personalities to brand themselves.

It’s easy to decide how you want your brand to be viewed. It’s much harder to project your vision and have your personality stick with your audience.

Email marketing is the perfect medium for building and displaying your business personality. It allows you to show readers that your company is transparent and made up of real people.

By giving subscribers a behind-the-scenes look at who makes up your company, you can build trust and encourage spending at the same time. Here’s a look at four groups of people that can impact a company’s personality.

The Employees

Employees are the lifeblood of a successful business. They keep things running smoothly and are constantly thinking of new, innovative ways to do things.

If you let them, your employees individual personalities can really shine through in their work.

Take this email from Ann Taylor for example:

Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor ads don’t normally feature staff members, but for this email, they selected real-life workers to be their brand advocates.

These are the people who live and breathe Ann every day. They know their product, because they create it, sell it and wear it, so who better to feature in a campaign? Plus, it shows that Ann Taylor appreciates their staff, which is always compelling to prospective customers.

How You Can Do It

You don’t have to sell clothing in order to try this tactic with your campaign. In fact, you can sell just about anything. As long as your employees or coworkers are passionate about their work, they will make the perfect examples for your emails.

  • Do a quick, informal office survey and publish the results in your next newsletter.
  • Feature one employee per month in your newsletter. Let them write a small paragraph about what your brand means to them, or what their favorite product is.

The Experts

Some industries require higher education or formal training. Others become experts based on years and years of experience. If your business has any of these individuals in the ranks, show them off!

MAC Cosmetics regularly features their experts faves in their newsletters:


Including this testimonial gives readers a sense of exclusivity because they are hearing from a senior artist who they would never be able to talk with at their local MAC store.

It also suggests that they use multiple products that they may not have considered purchasing before reading this message.

How You Can Do It

  • Have your expert employees write how-to guides for certain products, then also suggest complimentary items in the emails.
  • Ask your subscribers if they’re in expert on a certain subject that you want to cover in an upcoming email. This way you can feature their expertise, and they’ll get exposure too.

The Partners

On the whole, consumers feel comforted by professional opinions. It’s not uncommon for businesses to team up to gain exposure and reach new audiences.

Newport News recently featured Marie Claire Fashion Director, Nina Garcia, in their campaign:

Newport News

Now you might not be on a first name basis with celebs like Nina Garcia, but there’s no doubt that you have relationships with knowledgeable people in your industry. Use your email newsletter to highlight their accomplishments and give some advice to your readers.

How You Can Do It

  • Find a business that you feel lines up with your own goals and objectives, then approach them about cross-promotional email deals.
  • Conduct an interview with your partner, then share the results in your email. Better yet? Record a video of the interview and include it in your message.

The Customers

Last, but most importantly not least, are customers. Customers are everything to your business.

They define you because they only buy the things that they want. By knowing what they want, you can mold your brand.

Magazine retailer Spiegel acknowledges their customers in their email campaign:

Spiegel Loves Teachers

By including photos of these women in their Spiegel outfits, the brand is showing prospects that their customers are real people. They want women who read this email to think, “if they can wear that outfit, I can too.”

How You Can Do It

  • Occasionally include surveys in your emails to find out what products your customers would like to hear more about, then publish the results in your newsletter.
  • On your Facebook Fan Page, ask for customer photo submissions of people using your products, then include featured photos in your newsletters.

Who Makes Up Your Business?

Letting subscribers know who you find to be interesting and influential gives them an idea of who you are as a company.

We would love to hear who you rely on to make your business successful. Share your responses below!


  1. Sean Breslin

    1/11/2011 10:55 am

    This was my favorite piece for a long while. The idea promoting the work force who are so important to the success of the company is a great idea!

  2. Holly Berberich

    1/11/2011 1:21 pm

    Very timely article – I was just talking with my colleagues about how to put more of a “face” on our company. I’d love to see some B2B examples.

  3. zarka

    1/11/2011 7:50 pm

    This idea is excellent if only I can work out how to implement it to my AWeber email.

  4. Liat

    1/11/2011 11:40 pm

    What a great article! Each of those emails is SO appealing! I can see why they are so successful.

    I am a company of just one, but many people have told me that I’m making that fact work for me really well. I’ve got a funny photo of me on every header of my website, and I photograph myself a lot for holiday or thank-you blog posts.

    I think you guys should do a spotlight on, and show people how to do it when there’s only one employee!

  5. Charles Kaluwasha

    1/12/2011 6:27 am

    This is a very practical example that I need to implement in my small biz.

    Customers can make you shine or shrink! So taking care of your customers will prosper the business.

    Thank you for the article!

  6. tmathiazhakan

    1/12/2011 9:01 am

    It is true the article itself explains everything to every one. Nice thing come to light. which will help others who are in need. Thank you for your kind info now.

  7. Rebecca Swayze

    1/12/2011 12:03 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, guys!

    Holly – I agree that it’s really important to put a face on your company.

    Liat – Great idea! Seeing a company as human and real is so appealing to potential customers, no matter if you’re a company of 1 or 100.

  8. Vishnu Kumar

    1/13/2011 3:12 am

    A consolidated way of putting all the stake holders of the organization in one article….and all of these fours are integral part of the brand…

    informative article…

  9. kız oyunu

    1/28/2011 6:09 pm

    Interesting points that you have raised there. I do believe that social marketing is not really what is is made up to be. I believe a lot of IMers think that it is good and have gotten away from what we would say is conventional.

  10. Maria Pavel

    1/29/2011 7:57 pm

    Always, behind a successful person is a hard-working team that helped the person get where he wanted. Great article by the way, I like the way it’s written. Thanks a lot for sharing this great article!