There’s a lot of unnecessary phrases in business that I hate. From ‘going forward’ to ‘multi-sourcing’, ‘standardise’ to ‘facilitate’; there are so many phrases spoken by bosses that could easily be summed up by ‘we need to do this so we don’t go out of businesses’.
With all the different phrases, it can be difficult to remember that your employees are human and that maybe you should just, you know, have a chat. Don’t call a meeting and create an itinerary. Don’t suggest a focus-group with go-to points. A simple, “hey I have an idea, do you think customers will like it?” will often suffice.
This is where brand personality comes in. It will actually help your company stop using buzzwords and learn actual, real English.
Here are some steps to creating a brand personality that will get you liked and most importantly, understood by your customers.
Personality vs Identity
The first step to creating your brand personality is to decide what it actually means. It differs from brand identity in that rather saying who you are, it says why you do it.
Take some of the most popular brands for example. Apple are a tech company that produce gadgets and whatnots. That’s their identity and a description of the products they provide. But their personality is innovation. They don’t want to sell you a gadget, they want to make your life easier. They are casual while luxurious. Easy-going while intuitive.
In fact, I could talk about Apple all day long, because their brand personality is on point. You don’t want to just be known for the product you have or the service you provide. Business has grown to be just as much about the way your customers perceive you as the products you can offer.
While researching brand personality on the internet, there’s no doubt that you will find many tests which will help you ‘discover your brand personality’. You could probably just do this by thinking about it, but if you’re feeling the need for a test, then why not?
You will also come across many ‘boss-speak bingo’ cards; which, if you are yet to leave the corporate world, we highly recommend because they seem nothing short of hilarious.
Once you’ve taken various tests, it will be revealed to you what kind of business you’re running, although I’d hope you know that already. Once you have this figured out, you can decide how you want to channel your mission to your market.
You might think that brand personality is just the logo you choose and how your customers to perceive you. Actually, the logo is only a small part of what your brand personality.
In fact, everything you do to create your brand personality is probably only about 40 percent of what it actually becomes. The other 60 percent is how the audience distinguishes you from the competition, how they interact with you and what principles of yours they agree with.
But, the logo can really help the rest of the 60 percent, so you should definitely think about all aspects of it, and what it says before you publish it to the world.
You may think this means posting on your blog once a week and updating your twitter with office stories and industry-related insights.
Actually, content includes a lot more than a post a week. You will have to think carefully about how you want to publish your content, how your tone of voice will convey your mission and most importantly, what you will be writing about.
Any piece of copy you have to write – whether it’s the about me section on the website or the made in china type at the bottom of the product – think about how you can inject your brand’s tone into it in an appropriate way.
The more abstract your idea, the more likely it will be that you’re the first ones doing it – so you should go further out of your way to come up with different ideas.
This is mainly social media, but includes any kind of communication you have with anyone.
Your customers are (or should be) at the front of your mind when you’re doing anything to do with business. Whether it’s moving a box from the storeroom or hosting your opening event, you should never forget who you’re trying to market for.
So, that makes communication with customers a vital part of your brand personality. How you reply on social media is under scrutiny constantly, and with companies coming up with more interesting, funny and unique responses to customers, you need to spend a lot of time on working out your strategy.
What’s your brand strategy? Leave us a comment in the section below or tweet us @pandlecloud!