Let me just start with why getting clear on your Brand Personality is so important.
- better quality referrals,
- less tyre kickers aka “price hunters”,
- a better ROI on your marketing efforts (both your time and money), and
- easier to deal with, rewarding and (dare I say it) fun customers to work with.
You will also notice…
- people recognise your business more easily,
- quoting is easier,
- more customers become raving fans / advocates for your brand,
- it’s easier to get 5-star reviews,
- marketing activities (e.g. your newsletter, social media, website) better appeal to the right audience, and
- it’s easier to say ‘No’ to advertising/sponsorship opportunities that are not a match.
I’ll explain how this all connects later on….I also teach this, and more in my FREE Profit Masterclass, but let’s get the cliche dictionary definitions out of the way first so that we can ensure we’re both on the same page.
What is a Brand Personality
And what it is NOT
No, it is not your logo, your photos or your brand colours, these are your Brand Assets! But your Brand Personality needs to be reflected through your Brand Assets.
“Brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name. Common ones are excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence, and sophistication. Brand personality is different than its imagery, though these creative assets should reflect a company’s brand personality.” – Investopedia
And again… “A brand personality is a set of human traits that define a brand. Things like values, hobbies, humour, candor, and sincerity. These traits are handpicked to build an emotional connection to a specific target audience with similar traits. This personality will be the foundation of your brand identity and brand marketing.” – Looka
Think of the big, successful brands and how there’s always one figurehead at the top. Virgin and Sir Richard Branson, Apple and the late Steve Jobs, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, Boost Juice and Janine Allis, Martha Stewart and everything she’s done including collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Fenty Beauty and Rihanna.
These brands are a reflection of their leaders/founders which actually makes their marketing more targeted, more memorable and encourages brand loyalty. “Providing a brand with specific character traits will make it more human. Consumers will feel concerned by its behavior and values. They will feel like they are talking to one person, which will generate attachment to the brand.” – The Branding Journal
Faking It Till You Make It
When And When Not To!
While I cringe at overused terms like “be authentic”, when it comes to your marketing, it’s vital that the Brand Personality you say you WANT to put out into the marketplace matches (or at least closely aligns) with what comes NATURALLY to you.
I speak with so many business owners rushing to emulate the next marketing guru who end up trying to be something they are not and do things they are not in alignment with. It’s not only exhausting pretending to be someone else, it also sets you up to Catfish Your Customers, selling them on a Brand Personality that’s not really you. These client interactions are often clumsy and full of misunderstandings resulting in a contemptuous relationship where neither party is happy… and good luck getting a 5-star review out of it.
Example One: If you are an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. What you say and how you say it is not believable or sustainable. You’re energetically drained because you’re essentially putting on a facade. You’ll behave in a way that’s not matched to your marketing, therefore attracting customers who are also not a match to you.
Example Two: If you’re a bit of a hippy who hates wearing suits. Pretending to ‘be’ corporate to cater to the higher end of the market, because you believe that’s where the money is, more often than not will result in you bending over backwards trying to appease more demanding, detailed-oriented customers, chewing into your profit margin, and your patience.
Example Three: You like a good, well-placed F-Bomb and are quite casual in the way you communicate. Your she’ll-be-right-mate, “rough around the edges” style of doing business will likely not suit white-collar professionals or those who consider themselves religious or spiritual. In all your ‘authenticity’, you might come across as offensive, or at least unprofessional.
And Then There’s The Flipside!
“…The best time to use this strategy (fake it till you make it) may be when you’re trying to change your behaviour to improve yourself”. – The Science of People
If we reflect back to the Brand Personality you say you WANT to put out into the marketplace vs what you currently are, then you need to ask yourself… Are you willing to change your behaviour to become a better match for the audience you say you want to serve?
If you relate to Example One above, then maybe practising introducing your business in a way that’s not cocky and is more aligned with your personality is an approach you’d be willing to try. If you relate to Example Two, then perhaps you can start to physically present yourself more professionally to better appeal to this audience while still maintaining your comfort, and in Example Three, let’s face it, a few less “F-Bombs” could benefit most of us.
The idea is not to dig your heels in and proclaim “This is how I am and my customers need to accept it!”. It’s more about helping our audience relate to us, see that we understand them and trust that we have the experience/skills/tools to help them.
For more information about faking it till you make it, check out this article, Fake It Till You Make It: Is It Really Good Advice? By the Science of People.
Shopping The Similarities
The Universal Law Of Like Attracts Like
Like attracts like! It’s a universal law that explains why the people we attract are similar to us. This law can be leveraged in our marketing to attract customers who are so much more pleasant and easier to deal with, simply because they are aligned with our values, likes and dislikes.
As I cover in both my annual group coaching course, The Profit Program and my FREE downloadable Customer Persona Assessment tool, “Customers are more likely to purchase a brand if its personality is similar to their own”.- Investopedia.
To help you start to bring your Brand Personality to life, here are the 5 Brand Personality Dimensions as outlined by the J.Aaker’s framework. This is one of many Brand Personality models available however it is a great starting point. Your business can also be a mix of 2 or 3 Brand Personality dimensions.
What traits do you currently (or want to) identify with your brand and do your current Brand Assets reflect this?
Connecting The Dots
It’s clear that defining your Brand Personality has a bunch of benefits including a better ROI on your marketing efforts and attracting easier to deal with customers, so it’s not an activity to just skip over. Be honest with yourself and take the time to really dig down to the Brand Personality you WANT to put out into the marketplace vs what you’re putting out now.
If you’re not sure where to from here, then we offer a FREE 20 minute Clarity Call to help you narrow down your focus and determine your next best steps. Sometimes, it’s just a case of working out what’s next so that you can confidentially (and practically) move forward in your business.
Not sure where to start?
Still not sure? Check out a recent article I wrote for my web design agency ‘Can A Business Coach Help Me? How Clarity Leads To Growth’ more specifically around extracting that next-big, enticing and exciting opportunity that can really propel your business forward as well as help you get unstuck if you’re not sure ‘where to’ from here.