If your brand were a person—or type of person—who would it be?
Let me ask you some questions about the two pictures here.
Which one of these two gentlemen drives a Lexus? Which one drives a Mini Cooper?
Which one of these guys uses a HP PC? Which one uses an Apple Macintosh?
Which one shops at Abercrombie & Fitch and which one shops at Van Heusen?
Now, think of how those brands are personified in their marketing approaches. Lexus and HP are conservative and more 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?
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.
Here are some common brand archetypes:
Regular Guy or Gal
Your Brand Personality
BrandXcellence can help your small business develop a unique and relevant personality for your brand.
Your Brand’s Voice and Tone
Is your brand serious, competent, daring, adventurous, fun, rebellious, or intelligent? Is your brand sophisticated, outdoorsy, or reliable? Knowing your brand’s personality—and how that persona resonates with your prospects and customers—will help you define and direct your marketing and communications efforts. And when that personality is conveyed consistently across your products, services, logo, tagline, packaging, and communications, your marketing will be “on strategy” and therefore, more effective.
A mistake many businesses make is to express what can only be described as schizophrenia across various marketing and communications channels. A brochure might be serious in tone...while a direct mail piece might try a sophisticated approach...while the company logo expresses a conservative, corporate feel. These multiple personalities can cause a prospect—or even a customer—to run screaming to the competition.
What is your brand persona? What archetype was revealed in your discussion? How did that personality resonate with your company’s culture, mission, and vision? Now for the vital question: Have you adopted that personality and integrated it throughout your marketing and communications efforts? Use your voice and tone to begin building a relationship with your prospects and customers.