A strong brand has a unique personality. You know this is the case when you can easily imagine it as a person. Take the following examples of some well-known brands:
- Trader Joe’s loves to spend his weekends camping and hiking.
- Target is thrifty, but she still keeps up with the latest trends.
- Chik-fil-a loves to have his friends over for a casual meal.
These are huge brands that have spent a lot of time and money are their marketing and it’s paid off. The same thing can be done for smaller brands too.
In order to create a strong and memorable brand, you must clearly define its personality, so that all of your branding and marketing can align with it.
So how do you figure that out?
Brand Personification Exercise
One of my favorite exercises that I have clients do is to imagine their brand as a person. They then have to answer specific questions about their personified brand. Here are a few:
- What are some of his/her personality traits?
- What kind of clothes does he/she wear?
- What does he/she do for a living?
- What are his/her hobbies?
This exercise is helpful because it makes them think about their brand in a different way. It can reveal things that otherwise wouldn’t come up.
I’ve found that when clients answer these questions, the majority of the time they answer with their own personality traits and preferences. For some businesses this is the right approach, but not for all.
Below are some easy ways to help you determine how to approach this for your own business.
When to Infuse Your Personality into Your Brand
If you’re a solopreneur then it’s really easy to see your brand’s personality as your own. This may be the right direction for you if your business is largely built on who you are or if you work closely with clients in a one-on-one capacity (I dive into that further down).
In highly-saturated industries your unique personality is often the only thing that makes your business different from a competitor’s. It’s important to capitalize on that and even the quirks that really make you who you are.
By infusing who you are into your brand, you will have a business that is memorable and stands apart from the competition.
If you have a business partner or multiple team members then you might want your brand to have a personality of its own. In this case, it can be more helpful to think of your business as your child, rather than as yourself.
Like with children, it’s natural that certain elements of each business partner will show up in the business, but it will still have its own unique personality.
For entrepreneurs that offer one-on-one services it usually makes sense for your business to have your personality. This is especially true for any type of coach or mentor because you work very closely with clients.
It might also make sense for wedding planners, coordinators, and photographers who will spend a lot of time with a client on one of the biggest days of their lives and leading up to it.
For business owners in these or similar circumstances, clients know that they will be spending a lot of time with you and hire you because they like your personality.
Since it’s a huge selling factor, your personality needs to shine through in every aspect of your branding.
If you’re a product-based business then you could go either way with this. It's likely that your brand will have a personality of its own, but if you're a solopreneur there will still be a lot of you in it.
Since you don’t work directly with customers in a one-on-one capacity they don't need to see your personality as much to make a buying decision.
People do love getting to know the person behind the brand though, and are more likely to buy from you if they get to know you and your story.
You don’t have to infuse your personality into your branding as directly as service-based businesses do, but let customers get to know your story and learn about the process behind your products.
Free Mini Branding Guide
Now that you know how you should be thinking about your brand’s personality, grab my free Mini Branding Guide and start putting some visuals to that personality. In an upcoming blog post I will discuss some specific ways in which you can infuse more of your own personality into your branding.
More on Personal Branding
If you want to hear about the benefits of establishing a personal brand, check out this episode from Being Boss (my current obsession). If you aren’t familiar with Emily and Kathleen yet, it’s time you’ve met! They are chock-full of great advice for creative entrepreneurs, and they LOVE giving it all away for free.