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Let Your Brand’s Personality Shine…So It Can Help You Stand Out

One red tomator standing out from a large group of green tomatoes.

A corporation is its own legal entity, it is lawfully a person with its own rights, and it should be respected as such…and your brand represents that entity. Just as with an angsty teenager, it is important to find your brand’s unique personality and help define that image. What does your brand act like? What does it enjoy? What is its mission and vision? What does it stand for? Clarifying this image early on in the marketing process will ease the creation of your campaigns and everything you do in marketing in the future—and it will ensure consistency, which is critical.

This process will help you create a real “person” whom you can reference when creating marketing materials. It is different from your target market, which is who you are trying to attract. This questioning process should be more along the lines of “would our brand do x?” For instance, would your brand be seen in this or that certain store? Would it accept a coupon, or is that out of its comfort zone?

When you’re tasked with helping your brand find itself, these steps can help:

Step 1. Review your existing advertising materials. This includes the actual product or service you are providing, its pricing strategy, slogan, and stated mission/vision statements. These are the materials have already been created that your image should incorporate.

Step 2. Brainstorm and Clarify. Give your brand an actual image! This is not to be confused with a logo; find a picture of someone who embodies the person you are creating and articulate a biography for them. List out their personality traits, interests, passions, mission in life. (Remember that you are creating a dynamic personality, not set of descriptions. What is applicable today might change in five years, and you want your brand to be able to evolve as the markets shift.) Try to address the Big Five Attributes:

  • Openness to Experience: Are they inventive/curious or consistent/cautious? Do they have an appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, travel, intellect, novelty, and variety? Or comfort, patterns, predictability, and routines?
  • Conscientiousness: Are they efficient/organized or easy-going/careless? Do they show self-discipline, over-achieve, and plan ahead? Or do they go with the flow and act spontaneously?
  • Extraversion: Are they outgoing/energetic or solitary/reserved? Where does your brand gain energy from? Do they seek stimulation from others? Or do they render it on their own?
  • Agreeableness: Are they friendly/compassionate vs. cold/unkind? Are they empathetic, understanding, cooperative, patient, and emotionally intelligent? Or independent, lacking emotion, and antagonistic?
  • Neuroticism: Are they sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident? How emotionally stable are they? Are they easy to anger, worry, depress, excite? Are they impulsive?

To manage this task, you could break up a team and ask everyone to create their vision of the brand and then blend them to get the right mix of traits that is agreed upon. Another approach is to go through a trial and error process of asking various questions like, “Would X make them happy or sad?”, “How would they perceive Y?”, “Would Z grab their attention?”

Step 3. Get the Customer’s Perspective. It is important that your brand image attracts your desired target market; after all, that is its purpose! Hold focus groups to find out what your customers think of the brand image you have created. Is it someone they would get along with? You can ask questions to describe the actual person to help your customers express how they see the brand. For example: What car would it drive? What would it do on the weekend? Who are its friends? Once interview you can elicit if the customer’s view of the brand in line with yours. This can be an opportunity to revise your brand personality materials so that it speaks to your desired target market.

Utilizing this brand persona will add value to your brand image, streamline your marketing efforts, and ensure your target market is at the heart of your every decision.

Look for the next  installment in this series on Friday, Marketing 101: Back to Basics.

For more in-depth marketing advice, talk to the experts at ArcherPoint.

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