Everyone has a brand personality, and it’s important to know yours so you can communicate with your audience effectively.
Here are 5 steps to define – and document – your brand’s personality:
What is Your Brand Personality?
Your brand personality is the way in which your business is perceived by consumers. It plays a major role in how you communicate with your audience and how successful your marketing campaigns will be.
A strong brand personality will help you stand out from the competition and attract customers. It is important to think about who your target audience is and create a personality that resonates with them. This could include developing an iconic logo and tagline, choosing a tone of voice, or creating a mascot to represent your brand.
All of these factors can help create an engaging and memorable brand personality that will help you build relationships with your customers.
What are the Characteristics of Your Brand Personality?
When crafting your brand personality it is important to consider the characteristics that you want to be associated with. Your brand personality should reflect the values, vision and mission of your organization, as well as the characteristics of your target audience. It should reflect what makes your brand unique and memorable, from the language you use to the visuals you choose.
This means that the same language, values, and tone are used across all channels and platforms, creating a cohesive experience for customers. Your brand personality should be tailored to create a connection with your desired audience, helping to create loyalty and trust in your brand.
To get started, ask yourself questions about what makes your brand unique, such as what values you stand for, what words would describe your brand best, and what kind of tone do you want to use in your messaging. You’ve likely already gone through many of these steps if you’ve been following along with our process.
Some words you may come up with could be things such as:
Answering these questions can help you define your brand personality and give you a better understanding of how to communicate with your customers.
How Do You Want Your Customers to Feel When They are Communicating With You?
You’ve gone through many branding exercises as part of our series, so you should have already gone through how you want your customers to feel about your brand in general.
When communicating, are there differences or additions to this? Maybe you want them to feel heard when communicating, but that isn’t a primary focus of your overall branding. Or you want them to feel like you’ve been helpful.
There’s going to be some subtle differences here, and it’s important to strategize through those differences as well.
How Will You Demonstrate This Identity Through Your Brand Communications?
Developing a tone of voice that aligns with your brand’s personality sometimes takes trial and error, yet when you strategically focus on this as an exercise in creating your brand personality, you can hone some of the terminology and verbiage that you use to communicate.
One of my favorite activities is to write down whatever I might say to someone to introduce my brand to them in person – like when I’m at a networking event and someone asks what my business does. And OMG please don’t use the “I help ________ do ___________ to do ______________” … that fill in the blank recommendation started annoying people years ago.
After you’ve written that statement, it’s likely an entire sentence and maybe even more than one. So now start cutting out all of the extraneous words.
For example, in that sentence I just wrote, I can cull it to read “Delete extraneous words.”
See how few words you can get that down to that still fully defines your business. One super short sentence.
Now go through all of the brainstorming you’ve done, and personality words from above, and buzz words in your industry, and make a mind map adding those words and phrases to your super short sentence.
Start adding words that you should NEVER say. Then add words that you always want to say. Include some phrases that you always say – to the point that your team is laughing when it’s “oh you said your favorite phrase again”. Add in some industry terms, and the names of some of your most common products and services.
This activity is meant to get you started on the right path, and you can use some of that information to create a brand communication guide.
Create a Brand Communication Guide
Create a brand style guide that outlines your brand’s personality and how it should be expressed across all channels. This will ensure that all members of your team are on the same page when it comes to representing your brand’s personality.
A brand communication guide is a document that outlines how a company or organization should communicate its brand to the public. It typically includes information about the brand’s tone, messaging, and messaging guidelines. To create a brand communication guide, follow these steps:
Define the brand’s tone
The tone of a brand’s communication is the way it comes across to the audience. It can be formal, informal, friendly, serious, etc. Depending on the brand, the tone may be consistent across all communication or it may vary depending on the audience or the topic, or even the platform (ie LinkedIn vs Facebook).
Develop brand messaging
The brand’s messaging should be a clear and concise statement that conveys the brand’s value proposition and differentiates it from competitors. It should be based on the brand’s mission, vision, and values, as well as market research and customer insights.
Create messaging guidelines
Messaging guidelines are a set of rules that dictate how the brand’s messaging should be used in different communication materials. These guidelines may include information about how to use the brand’s name, tagline, and other elements of the brand’s identity. They should be specific and easy to follow.
Gather these items into a guide
This brand messaging and communication guide outlines for you and your team how, when and why you’ll be communicating these items. Attach this to your brand visual style guide that you created as part of an earlier step in our Branding process.
Review and update the guide regularly
As the brand grows and evolves, the brand communication guide should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.
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Vicky is the CEO and Chief Creative Strategist of Vicky Wu Marketing. She draws from 30 years of experience at the CMO level, the CEO level, marketing for Fortune 500 companies and multi-million and multi-billion-dollar organizations, PLUS strategies learned helping startups and nonprofits with limited budgets … now focusing on providing SMBs with effective and efficient marketing strategies – giving them access to the same level of expertise as the really big guys with deep pockets, that they may not otherwise be able to access.