We spend vast quantities of time defining our brand: the look of the logo, the design of our products, packaging, ad creative and website. Are you spending the same amount of time, effort and energy detailing exactly how your communications team is messaging to the world? Your brand personality is what truly makes users want to engage. Beauty brands may want to be a little bit sassy (or a lot!), fun, and certainly energetic while brands for baby may skew more towards the ‘trusted and staid’ category of brand voice, while still retaining warmth. Ultimately, the personality that you select for your brand is only workable if its extended throughout each customer interaction: in store, online, on the phone and on social media. Customers want to know that there’s a human being behind the brand that they’re able to connect with on a personal level. See how you can create a brand personality that will “Wow!” your customers and prospects alike.
As you can see from the chart, there are several different dimensions of brand personality including: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness. Balancing each of these attributes will allow you to define an honest voice for your brand that can be clearly communicated to front-line staff as they extend the face of your organization. Using this framework, developed by Jennifer Aaker, allows you to create an analogy between your brand and a human being in a meaningful way. Each facet of the brand voice should then also be defined, bringing you to a clear and concise understanding that allows for honest communication between the brand and individuals interacting with the brand — essentially, defining your brand personality.
As teams become more disparate, the importance of nailing down your brand personality increases. If you have separate teams working on website content, social media, advertising and more — you need to know that everyone is communicating appropriately not just for your brand but for the medium. For instance, a comment on social may be slightly more flip than the text of a printed advertisement, but neither should stray outside the bounds of what you’ve defined ads acceptable for your brand personality. Silos continue to appear between the strategic and execution sides of marketing teams, making it ever more challenging to gain consistency across platforms and communication channels. When you clearly communicate your brand’s voice through a structured framework, your customers are more likely to recognize (and trust!) your brand regardless of where their interaction occurs.
Customers today are looking for a brand that is willing to have a two-way conversation, not someone who will “market at” them. People tend to block of messaging that doesn’t feel completely relevant to their needs, making it critical to evolve your storytelling to encourage authentic communication. This isn’t something that you can fake, either. As Richard Pomes, Partner at New Orleans marketing agency RapJab states: ” . . . brands too have to evolve–not to trick people into buying something, but to convey a thought, idea, message or story to an audience that is ready to listen.” Pomes recommends starting with a vibe or an ambience that reminds you of your brand, whether visual or audio. This can help you truly get into the persona that you want to define and craft the messaging and language that will bring it to life.