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Thought experiments for developing your brand personality

Think back over your life and pinpoint that one person who stands out head and shoulders above the rest. You’re looking for the person who has superglued herself to your psyche – through her inventive fashion choices or rallying laughter, her ability to always find the best in others or her knack for seeing the humor in life’s most challenging moments.

We all know someone who has become larger than themselves by blazing his own trails and imagining his own future, and whether or not we agree with his choices, it’s difficult to deny our admiration for his sense of self.

Because you don’t accidentally stumble into the role of iconoclast. We all start off with strikingly similar DNA. It’s the deliberate choices that we make that make us. And it’s the daring choices that we make that make us original.

Likewise, for your brand to stand out from all of its competitors, it’s necessary to make deliberate choices about your brand. Each decision that we make in relation to our brand either establishes it as something special or as just another business. Even if you choose to avoid brand management altogether, you’re making a decision that will impact how your customers and prospects perceive your company.

To establish a brand personality that reflects what you want your business to become in the minds of prospects, try these easy guided activities.

Build-A-Buyer

Hopefully, you’ve done some research and identified who your target markets are. Developing a Buyer Avatar (or Buyer Persona or Buyer Archetype – choose your own marketing jargon) will help you to carefully craft messages to the unique individuals who comprise a market sub-group.

  • Imagine a character who personifies one of your target markets.
  • What’s his (or her) name and story?
  • Write a journal entry from the POV of the buyer that expresses where she is in life right now, what she wants, and what she’s worried about.
  • Check out this post that provides a little more detailed instruction (and a workbook) on building a buyer persona.

Brand Hero

We tend to hold those people in the highest esteem who have the greatest sense of purpose. Likewise, brands with a purpose beyond profits are generally seen as more desirable than those with none, especially when it comes to Millennial markets.

  • Identify a person whom you admire for his or her purpose-driven life.
  • What is it about that person which inspires you?
  • How can you authentically integrate those same qualities to promote your own brand’s purpose?

Celebrity All Star

Of course, not all heroes are celebrities, but all celebrities find their way into the spotlight. How? Through a combination of compelling personality traits that captivate audiences. Some, like everybody’s favorite girl-next-door Jennifer Lawrence, are feisty and devil-may-care. Others, like Viola Davis, exude sophistication and wit. Similarly, deciding on a few key traits to define your brand’s personality will bring it to life and make it feel more like a member of the family than a corporate entity.

  • Imagine that your brand is a living, breathing human with a story to tell. What actor would you cast in the role?
  • What qualities make this actor such a brilliant fit for the part?

Time for a Pop Quiz

Next time you pass one of those “Which villain of Westeros are you” quizzes, answer the question from the POV of your brand. Who knows what ideas and inspirations for pop culture fun you might discover to infuse a little more personality into your brand?!

How would you describe your brand’s personality?

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