Why you should treat your brand like a person

Of all the steps and techniques you’ve ever read about successful branding, has the idea of treating your brand like a person ever appeared? Possibly not – but this technique is, in fact, one of the most powerful that you have at your disposal for brand success.

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Why? Because customers identify with people. They can’t identify with logos and conceptual entities. When they feel warm and fuzzy feelings about a brand, it is because they feel friendly and well-intentioned towards it. They associate it with people that they like and values that they also believe in.

When we start to picture our brand as a person, everything becomes easier. For example, we can suddenly produce brand materials that are intuitive. We can develop a voice that is human, approachable and desirable. Writing copy in the brand voice becomes easier.

Introducing the brand persona

If you couldn’t already describe your brand as a person, then it’s time to develop it so that you can. What personality characteristics would that person have? What sort of age – a similar age to your target audience perhaps? What would it be like to spend time with that person – and why would you want to spend time with them?

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MTV is a great case study here. The brand was set up very cheaply by the four company leads, who were young, energetic, slightly crazy and looking to transform TV. They wanted a quirky brand that wasn’t corporate and which would allow that sense of fun to shine. MTV went on to define an era’s programming.

This can be a tricky process at first because, without clear definition already in place, people within the organisation might have different views about that brand and its persona. In these instances, a Cheltenham branding agency such as www.reallyhelpfulmarketing.co.uk/brand-development/ can assist with a facilitated brand development session.

Translating persona to marketing

Once that persona is identified, the core values and messaging are far easier to create. From here, a solid set of brand guidelines can be created which will inform every marketing, communications, PR and internal engagement activity on the agenda.

The acid test for every material becomes less about semantics and more about – “Would our brand say this”? Would our brand phrase this? Is this the message that our brand would want to convey?


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