Explore Your Brand as a Person in 5 Simple Steps
A brand as a person? What madness is this! Don’t worry, it’s a verified branding technique, and it can be a great opportunity to explore your brand personality, and what that means for you.
Passion is at the heart of great marketing, but it’s hard to amplify that passion when you’re not entirely certain of what it is you’re passionate about. That’s why understanding your brand is so vital to building a successful marketing strategy.
Building up the idea of your brand as a person isn’t just some quirky marketing gimmick, it can be an important step to developing a cohesive vision that helps to unify the tone and direction of your brand conversations. So what’s the first step?
Step 1 – Discuss the Importance
Before you build your idea of a brand as a person, it’s good to discuss with your team why this is such an essential exercise. In the digital world, brand experience is more important than ever, with consistency and positive user experience forming the foundation of a positive brand image.
Like we’ve said, understanding your brand is the first step to delivering that positive image. But a brand can be an abstract concept. What does it represent? What are its values? What image does it portray? Who does it appeal to? These are all concepts which can be explored through the brand as a person exercise.
What’s the value of that understanding? Studies have shown that brand consistency can increase revenue by 23%. So understanding who you are as a brand, is an important stepping stone to brand success.
Step 2 – What words describe your character?
If your brand was a person, what words would best describe their character? Are they fun, quirky and hilarious, or serious, honest and forthright? This is the core of a brand personality, the basic understanding of the emotions and characteristics that define your brand.
Take the opportunity to sit down and brainstorm words that relate to your brand. Is it glamorous? Mature? Caring? Adventurous? Cheeky? Serious? Throw your ideas out there and then discuss what they mean and how they may, or may not, relate to your brand.
It’s important that this is a free and open exercise. Give people the chance to present their own perceptions. Don’t discount any out of hand, but instead use the words to paint a larger picture. Once that picture becomes clear, you can discuss and help qualify which characteristics are the ones that match, and truly represent the brand personality you believe in.
Step 3 – What do you value?
Once you’ve got an understanding of the underlying personality, it’s time to explore what your brand values. Is your brand an ecologically motivated person that puts sustainability and green consumption at the heart of what you do? Are you a scientific kind of guy who likes to research, consider and discuss the facts? Are you economically focused, where statistics and quantifiable bottom line results is how you reference success?
Why is understanding your values important? In a Harvard Business Review study, 64% of customers cited shared values as the primary reason for brand loyalty. If you don’t know what your values are, how can you demonstrate them to your customers to benefit from enhanced brand loyalty? Understanding your own values is key for brand success.
Step 4 – How do you talk?
Consistency of tone is a crucial part of representing your brand values. Thinking of your brand as a person, how does it talk? Is it a smooth talker who likes to throw out a quirky quip, or a straight-no-nonsense facts and figures kinda guy? 80% of consumers cite authenticity of content as the most influential factor for following a brand. That all starts with your tone of voice.
Put yourself in the ‘shoes’ of your brand as a person and imagine how they might communicate. Explore the kind of words they might use as part of that communication. Would your brand pontificate or merely express its thoughts? Would it ruminate or just have a good think? The words and language you use are a core part of your brand. Again, run through the kind of words you may or may not use, and think through some example sentences to see how they fit with your image of your brand. Use this as a springboard to develop a consistent brand tone.
Step 5 – How do you look?
Are you the kinda cool brand who turns up in a Ferrari, steps out wearing your handmade Italian leather loafers and straightens up your tailor-made Armani suit, or is it more a kind of kick-back at the beach in some boardshorts kind of deal? It might sound silly, but understanding the visual differences through your brand as a person can be a great way to capture your iconic brand image.
Consider the kind of car you might drive, the clothes you might wear, and the places you like to be seen as a brand. While it won’t define the specifics of your brand imagery, this kind of understanding helps inform the kind of tone and style that imagery might set. Consistency, as we’ve already mentioned, is key.