by Melissa Packham | Featured Contributor
Creating a brand personality is a fun but frivolous exercise that you might do once and then forget about to move onto more serious business, right?
Wrong. So wrong.
A brand personality is what makes the difference between a commodity and a product or service that is unique and worth paying more for. It moves your brand away from one seen as interchangeable with any other.
Seth Godin says it best (as he so often does) when he says:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.
A strong brand personality makes you memorable. It makes you stand out from your competitors. It helps to create a perception in your customer’s mind about value by shifting their decision-making from purely tangible elements (features and attributes) to intangible elements (feelings and emotional connections).
So exactly where, pray tell, does one actually start to build a brand personality? How can you build these memories, stories and relationships into a brand?
Well it helps to start with some fundamental elements like your brand purpose, values and beliefs laid out first. Then instead of plucking a personality out of thin air, you’ll have these to come back to which will help you in determining your brand archetype.
Once you’ve determined your brand archetype, describe your brand as if it were a person. Use personality traits that align with the feeling you want to leave with your customer once they’ve interacted with your brand. From there, consider every single touch point where a customer might interact with your brand and ask yourself, “how would this ‘person’ behave / speak / look at this particular moment?”.
You will use your brand personality everywhere – there’ll be personality for days!
When you begin to think about your brand as a person, you unlock so many possibilities for back stories, challenges and motivations which come with a set of symbols and meanings that will enrich your brand story.
And boy, don’t we humans just love a good story!
Being clear about your brand personality will help you craft a distinct tone of voice so that you can execute all of your brand communications in a strong and consistent way.
This all taps into psychology and the inherent human desire (and ability) to connect with other humans. By humanising your brand, you can build a much stronger connection with your audience, creating a bond that keeps them coming back to you again and again. It’s that cycle of customers coming back to you that pays back.
Now that’s some pretty serious business right there.