Chapter Seven

What is your brand persona?

Every brand has a personality. What’s yours?

Looking around on the internet, you will find brands that behave, look and sound in a specific way. Often in your lurking, you will see many brands that sound, look and behave like everyone else. Are you standing out or blending in as you compare them against your automotive brand?

As your automotive brand begins to take shape, it will have a distinct voice, a distinct look and a certain way it behaves. Your target audience wants to connect to your brand on a deeper level. Your audience will humanize your brand before you get a chance to influence them first. It’s essential to do this first before your audience does it for you. Do you want to be in control of your brand’s persona or let others control it?

I am a big believer in no surprises, and I encourage my clients to be open books. Letting everyone know who you are the moment they interact with your brand. No one likes to be surprised by inconsistencies. That is why you need to create your brand persona.

Your brand persona will help you attract and connect with the right people.

Defining your company’s brand persona helps influence the perception you want to create to your desired audience. How do you want your customers to perceive you? Professional? Friendly? Intense? Calming? These characteristics of your brand persona should be representative of the brand experience across all marketing channels.

Your brand persona also enables you to screen prospects. Think of this like dating. When someone is thinking about entering a relationship with you, they will determine compatibility. How do you behave? How do you sound? What do you look like? The same holds true when customers lurk your website, store or social media feeds. They are screening you for fit. Creating your brand persona will help you sift through who is an ideal customer and who is not.

Authenticity is critical when developing your brand persona. The traits you decide on need to be accurate and relevant to your brand. Be yourself!

Your brand persona also guides the development of your marketing direction for visual and written strategies. While it’s fun to think that creative freedom is good, it typically is not. We desire constraints, rules and guidelines. A brand persona gives your marketing guidelines.

Taking control of your company’s brand persona by correctly identifying its look, behaviour and voice will set the tone for those who interact with your brand. You will instantly let them know what to expect when they buy from you. It is your opportunity to show them your authenticity.

How to create your brand persona.

Authenticity is critical when developing your brand persona. The traits you decide on need to be accurate and relevant to your brand. Be yourself! This exercise is not about pleasing the masses or making assumptions about what you think your customer wants. Your brand persona reflects your brand experience, products, services and the people working for you.

This exercise is straightforward to manage. We will break your brand persona into three areas and then find the top 1-3 traits for each area. Do not go beyond three traits for each area. It will confuse you, your customers, employees and your audience if you can trim your attributes down to one or two, even better.

You may want to reference a thesaurus and dictionary for this exercise as there are many words and synonyms to choose from.

Your brand’s voice.
What does your brand sound like when it talks?
Are you Authoritative / Coarse / Frank / Formal / Fun / Playful / Passionate / Provacative / Serious / Trendy / Witty?

Your brand’s style.
When people look at you, what do they see?
Is your brand Natural / Causual / Elegant / Timeless / Trendy / Minimal / Elite / Ornate / Eclcetic / Sleek / Rustic / Cool / Retro?

Your brand’s behaviour.
When people look and listen to your brand, what do they think about your behaviour?
Are you High-Toouch / Selective / Conscientious / Visionary / Patriotic / Green / Empathethic / Aggressive / Adventourous / Cutting Edge?

As you put your list together, reflect on the whole experience of your brand to see if these words are valid. If they don’t sit right, find new words that clearly articulate your brand’s persona.

Chapter Eight

Branding with the senses
Read chapter eight