Your Brand's Personality
When I start work with a client, one of the first topics we address is personality (No, not mine!) The personality of the business. Identifying personality is a cornerstone in establishing an emotional connection with your audience, and winning their trust. In essence, you're defining a set of qualities and characteristics that shape how people look at, feel about, and interact with your company. And if you don't take the time to define it up-front, your communication efforts may leave your audience confused about what to expect from you.
Let's look at an example. My Dad. Alright, my Dad is not a company, but he does have a great personality, and he happens to be one of my favorite people in the world (if I didn't have a mom, a husband, and children who might also read this blog, he'd be at the very top of the list)! My Dad is funny, genius-level smart, loving, honest, dependable, thoughtful, kind, resourceful, and can play his hand like a trumpet (That was not a metaphor — he literally blows into his hand as if it were a trumpet, and it sounds like a tiny trumpet. It's pretty cool). While this is not an exhaustive list of his attributes, these are the ones that come directly to mind, because these are the ones that are most consistent. In other words, every time I interact with my Dad, I can count on some combination of the 8 afore-mentioned traits being expressed. If you were to conduct a poll of 30 of Dad's friends, asking them to list the top-8-Dad-traits, we would likely see overlap on at least 5 of those words, across all lists. Whether it was his humor, or his intelligence, or his kindness — one or more of the attributes served as a gateway to emotional connection, and a friendship was forged. And Dad's friends keep coming back again, and again because those traits are so reliable (I actually have to make reservations to stay at my parents' house, they have so many visitors). If my Dad were a brand, his friends and I would be considered brand loyalists.
Let's take this example a step further. We trust my Dad, because he is authentically himself. He does not change his personality to try to win friends and influence people. There are instances where he might modify his behavior slightly, to accommodate his audience (he won't re-tell grandma's jokes unless everyone in the room is 21 or older), but his personality is consistent.
So what does this mean in terms of your business?
1. be clear.
All your communication efforts (both visual and verbal) should clearly express your personality. If your brand is casual and funny, don't pair formal copywriting with a humorous illustration. It will only cause confusion. When shaping your brand's personality consider these questions —How do you want your audience to feel when they connect with your brand? What attributes will catch their attention? What attributes will keep them coming back?
2. Be Consistent.
Once you've chosen those adjectives that make most sense for your brand (i.e. funny, socially conscious, edgy, serious, formal, or casual, etc.), make sure that your message is designed and delivered with those adjectives in mind, every time, at every point of contact.
3. be authentic.
There will be a natural overlap between your brand's personality and that of your audience. Like attracts like. Don't change your personality to reach your audience, or your marketing efforts may be perceived as insincere. Modify your behavior if you need to, but remain authentic.
Until next post,