Entrepreneurs. We need them. They start businesses that change our lives and make them easier by inventing time-saving apps, killer products, and innovative service ideas. But sometimes, fearing a loss of momentum, entrepreneurs excitedly rush into the creation of a company name and tagline, and then quickly slap both on a generic website template using their favorite color palette. And, voila! They’re in business, right?
Unfortunately, they usually overlook some of the most critical steps in creating a brand. A strong brand has a clearly defined set of personality traits and a unique identity. These traits communicate the very essence of what your brand represents. Your brand personality forms a perception of who or what your brand is and sets an expectation of what a person interacting with it will experience.
Controlling Your Brand Personality
It’s important to note that failure to define a brand personality doesn’t mean you don’t have one. Inconsistent, haphazard visuals and messaging speak loudly about your brand in unflattering ways. And, this negative perception becomes part of your brand personality. So, it’s wise to take control of the messages your brand is communicating and not leave it to chance. While determining your brand personality is only one of many elements of brand building, it is crucial.
Personal Connections with Your Target Audience
Brand personality is what makes it possible for your audiences to form a personal connection with you. We all have values, goals,
and principles we hold dear. These traits are what draw other people to us. People like us or dislike us because of what we believe, what we stand for, and how we carry ourselves. Businesses are no different. Thinking of your brand in terms of human personality traits is the first step in determining your brand personality.
So, now we’re thinking of our brand as a person. Great! What kind of a person is it? Is it masculine or feminine or somewhere in between? Is it youthful and edgy? Is it conservative and mature? Is your brand funny or serious? What is that one thing your brand wants to be known for?
Knowing Your Audience
You’ll want to ask all of the same questions about the audience you’re trying to attract. Who are the people your brand sees as their target audience, and what is that one thing most important to them? On which social media platforms do they spend the most time, and how do they prefer to be marketed to, if at all? Finding the answers to these questions is marketing gold.
Once you have the answers to questions like these, you can begin to make smart decisions about your brand’s voice and tone; deciding on words or phrases it would and would not use. The same goes for your visuals; your logo, website, ads, and marketing materials. What is considered to be too racy for one brand may be considered too lame for another.
Doing your homework is necessary. Don’t have time? Hire a professional marketing agency to do the heavy lifting or you. Done well, consumers will come to you. They will eagerly get on wait lists. They will follow you and subscribe to your pages. They will “like” and share your messages on their social media networks. They will buy into and want to be a part of the culture you create. Why? Because you created it with them in mind.
Down the road, you can use the information you are collecting now as data points for future matrixes to boost tomorrow’s campaigns. The internal data you collect will allow you to make immediate adjustments to messaging based on the brand personality you’ve established. When and if campaign feedback is undesirable, take solace in the fact that changes are easy and can be almost immediately rectified.
Communicating Brand Identity
Now, you know and understand your brand’s personality. This is where the visuals come more into play. Take Apple for example. Their messaging has loads of beautiful commercials laced with minimal wording that essentially leaves you with the feeling or perception that Apple loves the environment as much as it loves people. It also makes you feel that using their products is easy, fun, advanced and wildly popular. And by extension, using an Apple product makes you cool, easy and fun as well.
That’s their brand personality. They reinforce that personality under an umbrella of concise taglines and briefly worded content in bright and welcoming storefronts. When you go to the Apple store, you’ll see well-trained men and women in the same uniforms, smiling and eager to help you solve your problems. Their brand identity intimates: No matter what your issue is, we have solutions to help you, and we’re happy to do it.
Brand personality and brand identity can be tricky roads to navigate on your own even if you have an in-house marketing professional. Let the marketing and branding stars at Boldthink Creative help you move your brand in the right direction. You may need help deciding the details of your brand personality and identity, but Boldthink can help nail down exactly what your company needs; big or small, regardless of the industry. Contact us today to help let your audience know who you are and how you can help fulfill their mission.