On defining your brand personality and gaining a greater sense of identity to your brand

 
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Who are you?

So many of us struggle to answer this when it comes to our business. We know what we do, and we might even have a decent idea of what it is that we’re particularly good at… but defining any kind of tangible brand personality beyond that can be a challenge too far. This is even more the case for solopreneurs, who can get so wrapped up in running their business that finding a separation between themselves and the business is near impossible.

What do we mean by a brand personality?

Just like a person, your brand is a living, breathing entity. The way it behaves, the way it feels to interact with and how it makes others feel effects the impression that others have of your business. As humans, we’re psychologically programmed to seek out things that are familiar to us - that sense of belonging makes us feel safe and secure. When you consider this, it just makes sense that you should make sure your brand has a clear personality behind it, to help your prospective clients identify with it and make it easy for them to know that your business is the only possible option for them.

Drawing the line between you and your business

It’s only natural that there’ll be a lot of you in your brand - after all, it’s your vision, your values and your drive that’s behind your business. It’s really important to recognise your brand as its own personality, though - remember that you and your business are not the same thing. Keeping this separation in mind will keep you sane on the days where things aren’t so rosy! More than that, defining a distinct personality to your brand makes it easier for others to join your business as you grow, empowering your team to behave in a way that’s consistent with the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.

Defining your brand personality

Think about one of your good friends - how would you describe their personality? Most likely you’d think about their sense of humour, their tastes, perhaps their sense of style, the kinds of vocabulary they use… all of this applies to a brand too! So if your brand were a person, what would they be like? Introverted or extroverted? Grounded or hedonistic? Rebellious or conservative? List out as many characteristics as you can think of! What sort of places might they hang out at? Where would they shop? What’s important to them? You’ll quickly build a picture of the personality behind your brand.

For context…

A couple of years ago we rebranded a large arboricultural business that was over 40 years old. The new management had worked with us previously under a different business in the same industry; their first business was young, fast-paced and hugely energetic whilst the business they were taking the reins of was much more established, mature and grounded. As we worked through the process of defining their brand personality, I remember the new MD saying that ‘if our first business was Guy Martin, this business is much more David Attenborough’. This analogy perfectly summed up the different pace and personality of both businesses - whilst one was always on the move, the other was more measured and wise. We were instantly able to understand the shift in pace between the two brands, and how this well-established business needed to be represented in order to do it justice.

Using every opportunity to inject character

Your visual brand will speak volumes about your brands’ personality, but it doesn’t stop there. Language has a massive part to play - whether your style of writing is formal or informal, whether you have a sense of humour, whether you use a conversational style or something much more structured. The experience that you create for your clients is also huge; think about how you want people to feel about your business and design the journey accordingly. Think about how you welcome people to your business, the sales process and what happens at the end of a sale. What opportunities do you have to reinforce your personality? Maybe you’ll send a gift when you welcome a new client on board - if so, what might you send? How can you structure your terms of business to get some personality in there? There’s so much you can do - have some fun with it!

And if you get stuck…

A session with an experienced brand consultant might be just the thing to deliver the boost of clarity that you need! Our consultancy sessions are designed to help you overcome some of the most common challenges, but if you need a hand with something that’s not covered here then drop us a line - chances are that we can help.