When you think of your business, you probably think of the employees within it, your branding, your offices, and what you do. And all of that would be right. But in terms of presenting your business to customers, it’s often not the most effective method for connecting with your customers. So what if, instead of a big group of things, your brand was just one person? A human character that is the face and voice of your business?
That’s what a brand persona is all about, and today we’re going to go into why your business needs one.
What Is A Brand Persona?
A brand persona is a fictional character that represents your business. It’s the embodiment of who your business is, what you represent and how you behave in the marketplace. It’s the attitude (think the cheekiness of Innocent Smoothies), the backchat (just look at the Wendy’s Twitter feed) and the caring nature (think Dove) that makes your customers feel as though they can relate to you, and they’re safe buying from you.
Your brand persona should include things like:
- Tone of voice
- Visual presentation
- Outlook on the industry/world
- Language profile
- Personality traits
All of these things together create a human avatar for your business. You don’t have to create a picture of a human being in your marketing and communicate through it or anything like that. But by having a brand persona you will be able to ensure your marketing is consistent and approachable for your audience, both of which are incredibly important for success.
It’s important to remember that a brand persona is very different to a buyer persona. A buyer persona is all about your ideal customer, understanding who they are and what drives them, while a brand persona focuses on your business, what you offer and how you communicate that to customers.
Why Does It Matter?
Quite simply, because having a brand persona is what makes good brands great. Especially in the eyes of consumers. We live in a very people-focused world, and the adage of ‘people buy people’ has never been more accurate. Customers don’t want to buy from big faceless corporate entities – they want to buy from brands who feel like human beings, that they can get to know, and feel like they have their best interests at heart. They want their brands to communicate with them openly, have conversations, and speaks in a way that feels comfortable and really connects with them on a personal level. Your brand persona is a pathway to creating a strong, emotional attachment with your dream customers, and brands with distinct voices and personalities are more:
To do this, you really do need a brand persona. That persona is your blueprint for marketing communications. It governs how your brand speaks, looks, interacts and feels in every piece of marketing material, be it a tweet or a company announcement. It provides your customers with that familiar feeling of interacting with a person, and will make them feel safe and confident buying from you.
Getting Started On Your Brand Persona
So now the real question is, how do you create your own brand persona? We’ll be honest, it isn’t as simple as it looks. You can’t just throw a bunch of attributes into a bucket and see what happens. Instead, you want your brand persona to reflect your business as closely as possible, especially if your customers ever interact with the people inside your business directly. Your company culture should be a big starting point for your brand persona, but in case you’re not sure what that looks like, here are a few things to consider.
The Key Types
Typically brand personas fall into one of 5 ‘buckets’, each of which is based on a common type of human behaviour or psychology. Looking at your business and your current marketing approach to see which bucket you fall into is an easy way to start building your persona. Is your business:
A Caregiver: Nurturing, empathetic and kind, always wanting to help.
Competent: Thoroughly knowledgeable with a lot of influence to help people, or persuade them to act.
Excitable: Bubbly, fun and cheeky – up for anything and sees everything as an adventure.
Rugged: Tough, masculine and athletic.
Sophisticated: Elegant, stylish and just exuding class.
These are the extreme descriptions of each category, but they should give you an idea of where your business sits.
Deep Dive Into Your Brand
In order to flesh out your persona, you really need to understand your brand on a fundamental level. Getting out a big piece of paper and writing down everything that makes your business, and everything your business cares about is a good way to do this. Make sure you drill down into things like your company mission, your promise to customers, and the essence of what you do.
Tell Your Story
Every business has a story. Getting yours written down can give you a lot of insight into the way your business should be represented. Make a list of words that come to mind as you write your brand story – things like sincerity, passion, innovation – and use them to develop the image of your brand persona.
Establish A Communication Style
Communication with your customers is a big part of the brand persona, so it’s important to put a lot of thought into it. How do you want your brand to sound to customers? What kind of language do you want to use? Are there certain terms you want to avoid? How do you use punctuation? Are there certain phrases you use, or a certain rhythm you want to speak in? All of this is essential to creating your brand persona and ensuring that all of your marketing communication is consistent.
Create an Avatar
Lastly, take all of that information and build it into an avatar. This character is your business. What’s their name? What do they look like? How old are they? What are their hobbies? What personality type are they? What do they like/dislike? Do they have a favourite quote? Once you have all of this information in one place, you have a go-to reference for anyone who needs to put out any communication from your business. All they need to do is pretend the avatar is the one talking!
Getting to know your customers is tough, but getting to know your own business can be more difficult in a lot of ways. At Lion Spirit Media, part of our work is helping you find that unique voice, and turning it into a roar that can be heard throughout the business jungle. When you work with us, we can help you develop a brand persona as part of your wider marketing strategy, and use it to showcase your business in its best light. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch with the team today.