This is a guest post from EverBold marketing executive Orla McCormack.
If you asked a marketing director or public relations manager what is meant by the term ‘brand personality’ twenty years ago, you may have got a response along the lines of, ‘What did you put in your coffee this morning?’
Nowadays, you are more likely to come across a human being lacking in personality traits rather than a brand that lacks them. Brand personality is a central focus for all marketing and public relations efforts of any brand looking to stand out among the crowd.
Here are some tips on how you can best portray the personality of a brand within a competitive sector, using the car insurance industry as an example.
Identifying and defining your brand personality
Just as an individual’s personality affects how others view them, your brand personality will determine how your customers view your brand. Therefore, it’s important that you strategically outline the traits of your brand’s personality from the get-go, rather than leaving the development of the brand personality to chance. So, the first thing you should ask yourself is simply, ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What are your core goals?’
Look: Brand appearance
Sectors like insurance can be perceived as quite boring and mundane – a task that requires lots of paperwork. But with the right brand appearance, it could be aligned with the liberation of being able to travel anywhere we like, alongside the security of knowing you’re covered. For our work with MissQuote.ie, for example, we use fun, bright and bold colours – orange, pink and white.
Sound: Brand voice
The next thing to identify is the tone of voice of the brand; in other words, how do we want to be heard? The voice of your brand contributes significantly to the perception of the brand personality. Should your tone of voice be formal or casual? Serious or funny? Traditional or on trend?
Once you have decided the tone of your brand’s voice, it is critical to keep the sound of your voice consistent – consistency is essentially the only way to build a recognisable and memorable voice.
Action: Brand behavior
Once you have established the appearance and voice of your brand, you need to start emulating this defined sound and look within the behaviour of your brand. The brand behaviour is demonstrated through the way in which your brand interacts with real customers. Essentially, you need to show that your brand can walk the walk. Engaging with your community online and offline through the content you post on social media, sponsorships and online interactions are all fantastic ways to engage with the brand’s community.
It’s vital to ensure that the content you are posting to your social media channels is emulating the brand’s personality; this could be funny, yet relevant memes, question polls and compelling blogs. You should also put real effort into replying to messages, comments and posts from social media followers, with all comments consistently relaying the brand voice.
Those working in the marketing, comms or public relations departments of any company, big or small, that operate within a competitive industry will appreciate how difficult it can be to get your brand to stand out among the rest. Consumers are more likely to trust and engage with a brand that resembles traits of their own personality. Therefore, it is important to really focus on the target market of the brand when defining your brand personality. Ultimately, it’s better to have a defined personality rather than one that is undefined and unheard, even if it means you won’t catch every fish in the pond.
Want more on brand personality? Here are 3 tips for keeping your brand consistent across social media platforms , top tips for finding an effective tone of voice for your online brand and how to pick the right ambassador for your brand.