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Is your brand fun or serious? Is it friendly or professional? If your brand were a person, what type of person would it be? What is your brand personality?
Every brand has a personality that positions it in consumers’ minds in the marketplace. Over time, your brand personality could become so distinct and so well known that it becomes a competitive advantage.
Think of it this way. If the Apple and Microsoft brands were people, which would you rather hang out with? Which brand’s personality is more appealing to you?
Defining Your Brand Personality
To identify and develop your brand personality, you need to start by asking yourself some questions:
- What does your brand promise to consumers?
- How does it deliver that promise in every brand interaction?
- What messages do you use to communicate your brand promise, benefits, and features to consumers?
- What makes your brand unique?
- What adjectives best describe your brand?
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of how to get started in your own brand analysis. A comprehensive brand audit would provide a detailed look at your brand in terms of your tangible and intangible assets, consumers’ perceptions of your brand, employees’ advocacy of your brand, and overall emotional involvement in your brand.
Often, it’s easier to define your brand personality by working backwards. What personality do you not want consumers to associate with your brand? Use your answers to this question to reverse engineer your brand personality.
Remember, a brand personality is an evolving thing, just as human beings’ personalities change with age and experience. As more consumers become aware of your brand, try it, become emotionally connected to it, become loyal to it, and start advocating it to other people, your brand personality will become more defined. However, as the brand owner, champion, and guide, you can use messaging and experiences to shape the “right” brand personality in consumers’ minds.
The 3 Primary Steps of Brand Building
Stick to the three primary steps of brand building—consistency, persistence, and restraint—to successfully develop your brand personality.
Make sure all of your messages and experiences are consistent with the brand personality you’re trying to develop, and don’t give up.
Strong brand personalities don’t develop overnight. It takes time for consumers to experience, trust, and believe in a brand personality based on consistent interactions with it.
Don’t pursue every opportunity to develop your brand that comes to you. Brand confusion is the number one brand killer. Instead, pursue only the opportunities that consistently communicate and represent your brand personality and promise.
I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.