If your brand were a person—or type of person—who would it be?
Let me ask you some questions about the picture, above:
Now, think of how those brands are personified in their marketing approaches. Lexus and IBM are conservative and traditional brands, while Mini Cooper and Apple computer are edgy and contemporary brands. You get the idea. When you know the persona of your brand, you can communicate it through all your marketing touch points.
Another way to look at brand persona is to consider the necktie. A necktie can speak volumes about the person wearing it. Is it sophisticated? Fashionable? Obnoxious? Reserved? Flamboyant? Playful? If your business were a necktie, what kind of necktie would it be? Once you’ve arrived at that answer, you can begin to communication in that persona.
When your brand is associated with an archetype—a universally recognized character or ideal—it will be much stronger.
Think of the characters in any great myth or fantasy—Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, for instance. These archetypes show up with regularity in classic forms of storytelling. What stories define your company? What archetype are you living out? What is your unfolding myth?
Here are some common brand archetypes:
Regular Guy or Gal
As you think about your brand persona—and about which archetype most closely resembles your business—make sure it’s an accurate reflection of your company culture, your mission and vision, your values, and your one-thing essence. Like your voice and tone, make sure you are consistent in how you present your brand persona in all your marketing and communications and, of course, how you treat customers, solve problems, and train employees.