How To Give Your Brand A Personality
What is your favourite bit of acting, whether it be tv, movie, or theatre piece?
Think about what made that actor so compelling. What gave their performance so much weight?
Sure, it helped that other things about the performance lined up — lighting, sound, costumes and sets — but there was something intangible that made it so mesmerizing:
But you also know that they were acting; that their performance was carefully calculated around a character that they created through subtle cues. A good actor can curate a personality in their performance that resonates with their audience. They can make their audience feel what they want them to feel, and connect with them on a deeper level.
It’s no coincidence that we’re here to talk about your BRAND’s personality today, because all those things are exactly what you want your brand to achieve with your customers!
And just like an actor crafts a character’s personality, you need to develop your brand’s personality. If you don’t make a conscious effort to give your brand a personality, it will appear to either have none, or to have a really dull one. And who wants to talk to someone who is as dry and charmless as an old robot?
So to improve engagement, and build a brand that people want to support, here are 6 tricks you can use to perfect your brand’s personality!
1. Ask questions first. Shoot later.
One of the biggests mistakes that businesses make is jumping the gun when it comes to launching.
If you don’t take the time to ask yourself what your brand is — what its values and voice are — before you throw yourself into the public eye, then you’re really putting the cart before the horse.
Many owners know that time is money, and that the longer they wait to push their product or service to market, the more of both they lose. But the truth is: your brand is the product!
No one ever just buys an apple. They buy the biggest apple. Or they buy the organic apple. Or they buy the deluxe mega apple 3000. Without a way to understand what sets your brand apart, no one will want to buy your product. Now how do you like them apples?
2. Meet your audience
Get to know them. Who they are, what they wish they were, what their goals are and their frustrations.
Get to know them by numbers — what demographics do they fall under? What are their interests? What do their finances look like? What stage of life are they in?
The more you know about who your brand will be speaking to, the more you can make your message resonate with them.
What if your favourite actor performed Shakespeare beautifully, astoundingly — only, they performed it in ancient Egyptian? Their performance probably wouldn’t connect with anyone.
So learn what “language” your audience speaks and what words mean the most to them.
3. Pick your voice
Once you know who your audience is and how they speak, it’s time to choose how your brand is going to communicate.
Are you going to joke around? Stir the pot? Does your brand sound angry, happy, sad, excited?
Think about what your brand would sound like if they were an actual person. Are they loud or soft-spoken? Do they have a noble accent, or do they use schoolyard slang? How much do they say when it’s their turn to speak?
Pro Tip: it’s a good idea to have a multidimensional personality (just like a real person!). Try a juxtaposed combination like “funny but wise” or “smart but down-to-earth”
4. Pick the medium of your message
Content marketing is a major part of your brand’s personality. It’s never just about what your brand says, it’s HOW you choose to say it.
Think about where you’ll show your message. What sort of platforms are you using, and what sort of vibes do they have? Do you email people directly or do you just put up billboards hoping they’ll come to you? Decide on outlets that complement your brand.
Your message is also amplified (or distorted) by your artistic choices. Font choices, logos, colour schemes, imagery, etc. — they all reinforce what you’re saying with your words. Choosing the wrong visuals can also make your message seem blurred, and make it difficult for people to understand.
5. Consistency is key
A good actor can have a great performance. But a great actor can repeat that performance night after night.
Your brand’s personality needs to stay consistent in order to maintain your connection with your audience. You should commit to one strategy and be completely serious about not deviating.
You will have people who don’t like your brand. You cannot please everyone. But don’t let every naysayer cause you to change your personality to suit them. Doing anything opposite to your brand’s normal direction makes your whole business look weak.
Make a branding guide for yourself and for your team. Having a concrete rulebook for your brand ensures your messaging stays on point, and that everyone’s on the same page.
And lastly, rebranding IS OK! Sometimes your brand just doesn’t work. Or you want to focus more one one aspect and less on another. We suggest doing some split A/B testing with the different options first to see how they compare, and then stick with the upgraded personality as consistently as ever.
6. Listen to feedback
How we take feedback is one of our most obvious personality traits. Can we handle criticism? Do we crave praise? Do we retreat into shyness?
Your brand needs to actively listen to the feedback about it. Stay on top of your reviews, social media comments, and any conversations you can overhear.
You can even request feedback! Send a review request to past clients, or leave a survey on your website, for example. You can then analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your brand’s personality.
Your personality will shine through in how you respond. Avoid generic replies, like “thanks” or “sorry”. Reply in your brand’s voice and show them you heard what they said (because you should be paying very close attention).
They say that the best actors draw from their real experiences to create their characters. Your brand, too, can be a reflection of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into building your business — an homage to the mission and values that drove you to find success in the first place.
Keep these strategies in mind for designing a brand personality that suits your journey, and like a great actor, you’ll have a business worthy of a standing ovation.