Whether you manage your personal or corporate brand, you need to consider personality. The right character traits attract the right people. Who do you want to attract?
Brands, like people, have personalities. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are interesting, compelling or off-putting. They can be bland, boring and stale.
Sometimes companies lack in personality so much that we simply don’t care what role they play in our lives. We ignore them beyond their practical value.
Which questions should you ask to develop your brand’s personality? Consider these five:
1. Who is my brand’s core audience?
Most companies have diverse audiences, but every company also has a core audience of loyal fans who make the brand’s product or service a priority in their lives. Who is that for your company?
Your core audience may be young moms living in rural areas, teenagers who love online gaming, or boomers near retirement. Do you think each of those audiences wants some personality from you? Give it to them!
You may already know your audience based on market research or surveys, but if you don’t, take some time to understand this important aspect of your business. Once you know, you can make smart decisions when you talk to your core audience and share what makes you unique.
2. What does the brand promise customers?
Every company or organization should have a brand promise. It’s like the pinky swears kids make on the playground. We have that same responsibility as companies, but it’s more than that.
A brand promise is an opportunity to clearly define what makes your brand special or unique to its core audience.
If you don’t already have one, it’s time to create a brand promise. It will guide you when you manage your market position, decide which products to launch, and communicate in advertisements or on social media.
When WalMart says: “Save Money. Live Better,” it is speaking directly to its core audience with a promise that resonates incredibly well. Here are some other brand promise examples.
3. What are my brand’s character traits and which should I emphasize?
Once you know your audience, you can ask them for feedback. Whether you have a product or service you deliver every day in person (tire shop, accounting services, baked goods), one you offer seasonally (tree trimming, tax services), or one you deliver by phone, there is always an opportunity to ask about the characteristics of your brand personality.
Ask “When you think about (your brand), what comes to mind?” Or, “If we were a person, how would you describe us?” You can ask this of your employees, customers and yourself.
It’s not just about the way people perceive you today. This is an ongoing opportunity to establish your personality and decide how you want people to feel about your brand.
Your brand’s personality can include character traits like serious, confident, fun, playful, helpful or provocative. Which of those words sound like a fit to you?
4. Where should I share my brand’s personality?
Once you have a clear personality, you need to establish it wherever you deliver your product or service. Your website’s content should be written with a voice and style that conveys your personality.
Whether you are established on social networks or just getting started, social media is a perfect place to be your authentic self and attract people.
Your packaging, storefront, menu and employees can and should be an ongoing visual representation of your personality.
5. What will I gain from a clearly defined brand personality?
You will reach and attract target customers more effectively. It’s as simple as that. But, you won’t reach everybody, and that scares people sometimes. What if you push people away because your personality is too obvious?
If you don’t push a few people away, you won’t really attract anyone. You will be bland like so many other companies.
Tim Tyrell-Smith is a marketing consultant, branding and business strategy coach, blogger, author, and speaker. A version of this article originally appeared on Fix, Build & Drive.