The Blog.

Give your company a Personality

Author:
Dave Meier
Category:
Marketing, Strategy
Date:
June 18, 2012

People buy from people. They judge you on your personality and if they identify or connect with you. The same can be said for companies too when done right.

A typical business has a number of different people, all with different personalities, who deal with customers and represent the business. These people may make cold calls, provide customer support, write blogs, send emails, create content for promotional material and much more. Each person will have their own spin on how the company should sound and act. This can be great as personality counts but without a set of guidelines for everyone to follow the actual personality of the company can be lost or just look like a mish mash of personalities.

I’ve never been particularly good at numbers, but I think I’ve done a reasonable job with feelings. And I’m convinced that it is feelings – and feelings alone – that account for the success of the Virgin brand in all of its myriad forms.

Richard Branson

Brand Persona

A brand persona is a set of personality guidelines for your business. Put simply, if your company was a person what kind of person would it be. It can help make your business easier for people to relate to by giving it human traits. These guidelines can be used by everyone associated with the company from how to communicate over the phone or the kind of text to go into a brochure. The brand persona can be given to designers working on projects, like a website, for you so they understand how the company should be perceived.

Creating a Brand Persona isn’t rocket science and should only take a few hours max. Your brand persona should include:

Overview

A brief paragraph or 2 on what the business it, what it stands for and what is most important.

Brand Traits

List 5-7 traits that your business has. Do you excel at attention to detail? Or pride yourselves in your knowledge of your industry? These things should be showcased by everyone in the business and in promotional material like your website, brochures, flyers, etc.

Personality

The best way to gauge personality is by using X and Y axis charts (this helps give people a clearer measurement than just ‘friendly’). You can include things like:

  • Friendly or Unfriendly
  • Dominant or Submissive
  • Outspoken or Conservative
If you’re an expert in an industry you tend to be slightly more dominant as you are the one telling people how things are. You also have a certain level of friendliness but you won’t be running round hugging people.

Voice

If your brand could speak what would it say? What kind of language would it use? Would it be formal, casual? Would it use slang?

If everyone in the business knows how the brand should communicate and sound they then know what they should and shouldn’t say.

Copy Examples: At least 5 Do’s and Don’ts

Telling people what they should say when communicating as your business is great but also telling them what they shouldn’t say is very helpful. Create a list of success and error message for your website.

  1. E.G. Someone visits your site and subscribes to your newsletter. Should the message say “Thanks, you’re now signed up and you made our day” or “Thank You. You have now subscribed to our newsletter and will receive the current issue very soon”
  2. E.G. A sales rep has to cold call potential customers. Do they begin the phone call with “Howya, can I have a quick chat about….” or “Good morning, would you have a few minutes to talk about….”

A brand persona is NOT a logo

Your logo has to do with your visual brand identity. Your logo is a way for people to recognize and associate your business. Your logo can be influenced by your brand persona but should never be the other way round.

Useful Resources