Who’s Your Brand’s Celebrity Doppelgänger?

Photo Credit: GQ

So, for today’s extremely difficult intellectual homework, who is your (or your brand’s) celebrity doppelgänger?

Yes, it sounds trivial, but stay with me — it’s actually incredibly telling. We’ve talked about this a bit before, but the best brands don’t sound like brands. They sound like people… because people love to buy from, learn from, and work with people. (That’s why all the fast-food chains have sassy Twitter feeds.)

In our branding process, we use several fun exercises to help you delve a little deeper into your brand’s personality and tone of voice — i.e. helping it become more of a person and less of a boring robot — but the celeb doppelgänger challenge is one of the most FUN. It’s pretty simple and it helps you determine how you should be showing up online, what that should look like, and the kind of “role” you want to play in serving your audience.

If your brand was a celebrity (or a fictional character), who would it be?

Is your brand classic and elegant — like Duchess Kate, Audrey Hepburn — or classic and elegant with a modern twist, like Duchess (or is she a former duchess now) Meghan?

Incredibly talented, but also funny, relatable and down-to-earth, like Adele, John Krasinksi, or Jennifer Lawrence?

Bold, confident, and capable of stealing shows that haven’t even started yet, a la Lizzo or Jonathan Van Ness?

An assertive but likable type-a overachiever, a la Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Emma Watson/Hermoine Granger or Leslie Knope? (BTW, I’ve been binge-watching Parks & Recreation and HIGHLY recommend that as a life choice right now.)

Artful, introspective, and a bit dreamy, like Saoirse Ronan or her male counterpart, Timothée Chalamet?

A powerhouse of otherworldly we’re-not-worthy talent and glam like Beyoncé? (Once, one of our clients told us we were the Beyoncé of web design and we will never pass up an opportunity to bring that up.) Empire-builder boss chic, like Jessica Alba or, dare we say it, Goop herself?

You’ve got SO many options here and that isn’t even going deep into the FICTIONAL characters list! (All the ambitious Amys from the new Little Women — “I want to be great or nothing!”— please stand up.)

While you’re brainstorming, we’ll go first:

We’ve gone back and forth, but we thiiiiiink we want our TONIC celeb doppelgänger to be Chris Hemsworth. He’s smart, funny, sexy, and definitely cool, but also totally doesn’t take himself too seriously…

(You’re welcome.) Plus, he would totally tell you how great you look in your new website and (when it’s time to dump your old one because he isn’t treating you right). And as a superhero, he clearly shares our penchant to save the world — from boring template website syndrome, in our case. Also, Thor’s hammer would also make a really great cocktail muddler.

Seriously, can’t you almost HEAR him saying, “Excuse me, but your old website’s already jealous?” in that accent? (Mmmhmm. We can. *fans self*)

When it comes to my personal brand if TONIC weren’t in the picture, I’d want to come across like Emma Stone — sarcastic, confident, smart, and assertive, but also kind of a huge dork.

(Her “SERIOUSLY?! IT’S LIKE YOU’RE PHOTOSHOPPED!” moment with Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love = straight out of the Jen Olmstead “incapable of playing it cool” playbook.)

Jeff’s personal brand is so obvious. You probably already figured it out.

Yep. J.Lo. Especially when he hits the dance floor. His hair toss is truly something to behold.

(Jeff’s actually more of the artsy, introspective type (with taste), a la Karamo “Let’s slip on a great bomber jacket and talk about our feelings” Brown from Queer Eye. He just channels JLo when his jam comes on or the tequila hits… whichever comes first).

When you go through exercises like this, even if they seem silly, your brand becomes a little bit more REAL to you, which in turn makes branding decisions much easier.

Example: What would Duchess Meghan’s brand look like as a website? Like a crisp white button-down, I bet… classic and clean, with tan and black tailored accents — trench coat inspired! — and a mix of editorial serif fonts and sans to make it all feel more modern. How would her brand translate to copy? Smart, thoughtful, strategic, but still warm + personal. Not “Hey girl!” cute, but “Hello, friend.” kind. How would her brand make her customers feel? Like they were in the hands of a total pro who actually cared about their individual needs despite being a total pro…. high-end (the $$$ tailored shirt), but laid back (the ripped jeans + the “I’m just like you!” Rothy’s).

See what I mean? Sometimes it’s hard to define OURSELVES online because we’re so multi-faceted that we’re incapable of seeing ourselves as a BRAND — a slightly less dimensional version of ourselves that can be more easily translated online. It’s a challenge to figure out what parts of yourself you should show online and how that fits with your brand. (Trust us, we’re WAY less cool than TONIC!) Heck, it’s kind of weird having a “brand,” much less being one.

But celebrities are gifted at portraying themselves as “brands” facing outward, and we can learn a lot from the way they build and support those brands online and otherwise.

So, give it some thought and then email us or comment below if you tried this exercise and let us know your celeb doppelgänger (or if you have a better idea for ours than Chris Hemsworth!)

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