Create a sparkling brand personality.

Who are you, really?

Your brand personality, I mean.

What do you want other people to think when they think about your business, your service, or your product?

red sports car

Do you want them to think you're the life of the party, or the designated driver? Is it a trusted friend, or a charismatic rock star? Are you a Volvo or a 'Vette?

Whether you know it or not, your advertising and marketing materials are speaking volumes about your brand.

So I repeat…who are you?

You may already know this, and if that’s the case, I congratulate you! Many small businesses struggle with this. If, however, you need a little help in defining yourself, here are a few questions to start asking yourself:

1. How am I currently perceived by my customers? If you don’t know, do a quick focus group with a target segment of your market (10 – 20 people), customers and non-customers. Have a list of questions ready that you think will be helpful to your discussion.

2. How do I want to be perceived by my customers? Realize that your brand personality needs to reflect and resonate with your target market. If you want to be a sports car, but your customer wants you to be a sedan, you should probably reflect what your customers value unless you’re trying to attract a different set of customers.

3. How far apart am I from where I am currently being perceived to where I want to be perceived? What will it take to bridge the gap? Do I really need to bridge the gap, or should I enhance my current image?

Once you’ve got a general idea of perception, time to make your personality more definitive. So, ask yourself these questions:

magnifying glass

4. What are my brand’s human characteristics? As crazy as it may sound to you, many branding experts suggest you do this in order to put your brand on a level everyone in your organization can understand. Is your brand male, female? Old, young? Rich, poor, middle class? Where does it work? What does it do for entertainment? These are just starter questions…you can think of more yourself!

5. If my brand was an actual person, what would be its name? Think about it, when you hear someone is names “Biff,” an immediate picture comes to your mind. I bet you can think of a dozen such examples! Pick a name that personifies your brand. Paris, Tom, Jane, Inga, Ian, Jeff, Elsa…

6. What is my brand’s “life story?” Biff needs to know where he came from, so create a brief, fictional biography of your humanized brand.

Once you figure all this out, consider building a Personality Board. This is very helpful in giving your brand a visual personification. Cut out pictures, stories, headlines, or any other visual reference you think would work to define your personality. You may even want to find a photograph of someone who is the image of your brand personality (your Biff) and place it in the middle. Display it proudly and prominently.

Now, when you create your advertising and marketing materials – from print ads to tv and radio spots, from websites to packaging, and beyond - you know what personality they need to reflect.

To learn more about any of the subjects below, just click on the link.

Brand Development
Brand development should include a strong, identifiable brand that resonates with your consumer, which is delivered in consistent and creative ways. Here’s how you can learn to develop a brand with staying power.

How to Cultivate Extreme Brand Loyalty
Extreme brand loyalty happens when a consumer forms an emotional connection to the brand, and may even define him/herself by the brand to some extent.

How to Add Brand Personality to Your Advertising
If you have a "good" brand personality, it can help increase your brand’s image in the minds and hearts of your target consumers, and ultimately...your sales.

Positioning Statement
A well-crafted positioning statement should provide clarity and focus, and is a fairly straightforward communication about how you are currently perceived in the minds of your target audience.

Target Market
If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to ask yourself, “Who’s going to buy from me?” This section will help you define your target market.

Designing a Company Logo
Find out why designing a company logo to be professional looking can help your business succeed – and what you can do to make sure that important first impression is a good one.

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