Everyone has a personality. They way people say things, the way they do things, the way they are. Its something that as human beings we buy into – or don’t! It’s the same for brands. Brands need to have a personality and its important for brand owners to define and understand that personality so that they connect with their customers.

It’s the personality that makes the difference (that’s what my mum used to tell me anyway!). Choosing between two very similar branded products that provide similar functional benefits, it is the personality of the brand that will make us choose one over the other, in the same way we might choose one similar looking person over the other.

Brand personality is all about how we communicate. Not what we say, but how we say it in terms of the tone and the language we use, how we act, how we present ourselves. The brand personality needs to be consistent through all the different touchpoints of the brand – from our advertising to our social media messaging to our interactions with employees.

It affects how we train our people to ensure they reflect the brand personality, it should dictate the people we employ, ensuring that they meet the personality requirements – this isn’t always possible, but if we employ people whose personality is at odds with the brand personality, then we very quickly find an experience which isn’t genuine for the customer.

It’s all a bit of a dating game. We need to find the right customers who we find attractive and are interested in us and then we need to show them our personality and hopefully draw them in. We build a relationship based on personality. If our personality changes or is inconsistent we very quickly find ourselves dumped.  We should be checking every single piece of content that we put together, every single ad to ensure it fits within our personality. Its important to be true to ourselves, be proud of who we are and if someone doesn’t like it, then there are plenty more fish in the sea!

My brand has a personality, both personally and from a business perspective and the two of them overlap. I have taken time to identify and define the key attributes of my personality that I want to communicate. And this is what the exercise is for you – to identify the key attributes and define what they mean to you. So that every time you put together an ad or a message or when you speak to people, you are being true to the brand.

My attributes are as follows – charismatic, passionate and honest. I have defined these in the tutorial – what they mean to me and what they mean to other people. And if people don’t like those characteristics, it’s likely we aren’t going to hit it off and probably won’t work together. But if I am true to myself, that is no great loss. I’d rather work with people who are drawn to those attributes.

Try and avoid generic words, words that everyone is going to use that lose their meaning – think about the words that truly define you and your brand, the attributes that make you different. They don’t have to be ‘business-like’ or ‘textbook’. It’s how you would describe yourself in a way you are comfortable with.

There is a clear link here between human personality and brand personality, so think about it in those terms. Think about how your brand carries itself. Think about your brand personality now…is it consistent, are you working in the same way across all your channels? Are you happy with your brand personality, does it feel natural to you and your audience – or do you need to change and redefine it?

 Chris Perkins is an Outsourced Marketing Director, working with clients usually on a part-time basis, to provide marketing leadership, strategy and direction. This course has been designed as a FREE to access resource to enable SME business owners and teams to create a workable business plan through a series of simple exercises.

If you require further help to manage your brand development, marketing strategy and execution, please email chris@oneobjective.co.uk