Depending on the stage your business is in, you’ve probably gone through some level of branding work. Your company name, logo, and general color scheme are all figured out. Your website is aligned with your overall brand vibe and you have marketing materials to boot. But what is your brand’s personality? It might sound silly, but brand personality traits are sometimes overlooked during this process. In order to make your brand messaging consistent, and position yourself in the way you’d like to, it’s really important to define your company’s personality. Here are a few steps to do that.
Mull over your mission.
Your mission is basically why you’re in business. Of course you want to make money, and probably be your own boss, but that aside… why did you start the company? Are you trying to help people reclaim pride in themselves through fitness? Equipping business leaders to speak confidently in public? Giving kids academic skills that will last a lifetime? Your “why” should be the foundation of everything you do. And it’s also the foundation of your brand’s personality.
Once you view your mission through the lens of your brand vibe, you’ll start to hit on some brand personality traits. Maybe your company is driven and benevolent. Or empowering and bold. Positive and direct. Try to narrow your list of adjectives down to two or three that really match well with your mission. Then move on to the next step.
Identify your role in your industry.
Your industry shouldn’t define your brand’s personality, but your role within your industry does. For example, let’s say you’ve created supplements that are designed to support an individual’s wellbeing as they go through specific medical procedures or pharmaceutical treatments. You’re technically in the healthcare space, but your brand has a very different feel to it than a hospital’s would.
Once you think through the part you play in your industry at large, consider how that may impact your brand perception. A hypothetical company like the one we just described might be seen as an ally, or a wellness guide. At this point come up with one or two nouns that describe your role in your industry, and how your customers might view you accordingly.
Consider your competition.
Finally, what do you do differently than your competitors? Maybe you own a massage company, and you don’t offer memberships because you don’t want customers to be pressured to sign up when they come in. Or perhaps your business offers organization and life coaching. You might be different from competitors because you’ve chosen to only serve working moms, and be highly specialized.
Once you honestly and objectively think about how you’re different from competitors, you can come up with some verbs that encapsulate this. The massage company owner might land on “relax” and “unplug,” while the coaching company might hit on “simplify” and “optimize.”
After you’ve gone through these steps, you’ll have a few adjectives, nouns and verbs that work together to paint a picture of your ideal brand personality traits. From this, you can create a brand guidebook of sorts, that includes parameters for your communication, including the tone you want to use and words to use (and not use).
This all will help to reinforce your messages, keep your company in a consistent light in the eyes of customers and ultimately breed trust. And it all starts with a little bit of personality. Just give us a call if you’d like more branding tips or to map out your best digital strategy.