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Marketing Mojo: Developing Your Brand Personality

In videogames, sometimes characters or creatures will be given a “personality” trait, boiled down to a single word that describes their nature or temperament.  Calm, silly, wild, bold, quiet - these broad adjectives serve to dictate to the game how well your horse listens to a command, how effective a particular character is in a battle, or what dialogue options they choose from when you talk to them. We joke that personality can make up for less than perfect appearances, but what makes that personality “great?” Distilling a person’s personality to a single word adjective is much harder than videogames make it seem, because we are much more complex than a few lines of coding.  Brands are the same way - if your entire brand identity can be summed up in a single word, you’re missing out on potential engagement with customers who might be more interested in something else you could provide.  So how do you develop a brand personality that resonates with your customers and still sets you apart from your competitors?

Developing Your Brand Personality

Forbes contributor Mike Kappel boiled the process down to five simple steps to help you develop a one-of-a-kind personality that fosters brand loyalty, engagement and authenticity.
  1. Know Your Audience - It’s important to know who your customers are so that you can effectively communicate with them where they are.  Using surveys, analytics, data and even social media can help you identify your target audience and help you build a brand identity that they will connect with.
  2. Choose Your Voice and Tone - Once you’ve identified your audience, it’s important to know to speak to them.  What kind of voice would resonate with them the most?  Follow the same rules to establish your tone across all your content.
  3. Tell a Story - Every person, business and industry has a story.  A good brand story doesn’t need to be glamorous or uplifting - it just needs to be authentic. Authenticity and transparency gives you credibility among your audience, which is crucial to developing brand loyalty.
  4. Stick to Brand Guidelines - In a similar vein to #2 above, having a brand guideline or “bible” helps you develop cohesive marketing materials that reinforce your mission and message.  Guidelines cover everything from logos and colors to the content and types of images that you use, and should help to reinforce the voice and tone you’ve already established.
  5. Be Consistent - Once you’ve gone through all the steps above to develop a personality, voice, and brand identity, the most important thing you can do is be consistent.  Following the rules you’ve established on your website, social media, marketing and mission statements will help you develop and reinforce a brand personality that is authentic and engaging.

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