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This Chapter:

Persona

Persona Title Card
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Persona

By Mark Brinn
Venture into the world of Brand Persona and humanize your brand, making it more appealing to your target audience. This article guides you through the process of developing a distinctive brand persona, using insights from your brand's Identity, Purpose, Audience, and Specialty. Learn how to derive inspiration from celebrities, combining their traits to embody your brand's personality. Beyond this, you will be introduced to various exercises that help breathe life into your brand. And as a final touch, get ready to delve into the all-important process of brand naming in the upcoming discussions.

Introduction to Brand Persona

Picture your brand as a person. How would they look? How would they talk? What’s their style?

The concept of a “brand persona” is all about humanizing your brand. It’s about creating a character that represents your brand, making it more relatable and attractive to your target audience.

This is not completely necessary step – if it helps it helps, but you can still make a perfectly unified brand without going through this exercise. I’ve found through the years of working with many startups that this is a very helpful step for non-designers to start thinking about imagery and style in an organized way.

What is a Brand Persona?

A brand persona, simply put, is a set of human characteristics attributed to a brand. It’s like creating a character for a novel, but this character is your brand. It’s a useful tool in your brand-building toolbox, helping you to craft and shape your brand identity.

  • It’s not the brand identity itself, but it influences it.
  • It’s not your product or service, but it represents it.
  • It’s not your customer, but it speaks to them.

Why is a Brand Persona Important?

A brand persona helps you to connect with your target audience on a deeper level. It makes your brand more than just a logo or a name. It gives your brand a personality.

  • It makes your brand relatable.
  • It helps to communicate your brand values and beliefs.
  • It differentiates your brand from competitors.

How to Create a Brand Persona?

Creating a brand persona involves a deep understanding of your brand, its purpose, values, and its target audience.

  1. Start by defining your brand’s core values and beliefs. What does your brand stand for? What are its guiding principles? Refer back to the Purpose chapter for guidance.
  2. Next, understand your target audience. What are their needs, wants, and preferences? The Audience chapter can help with this.
  3. Now, imagine your brand as a person. What kind of personality would they have? Are they serious or playful? Conservative or adventurous? How would they dress? Who would they hang out with? Use your brand’s core values and your audience’s preferences to guide this.
  4. Finally, bring this persona to life through your brand elements like the NameSloganLogo, and Voice.

Imagine crafting a brand persona as creating a character for a story. You start with a blank canvas, then you add layers of personality, style, and voice, until you have a fully-formed character that represents your brand.

Drawing Inspiration from Celebrities

Celebrities are like larger-than-life characters. They have distinct personalities, traits, and quirks that make them stand out. We all know them, we all have opinions about them. Using them as a template for your brand persona can make the process easier, especially when working in a group.

Think of a celebrity as a shortcut to a set of traits. For example, if you say “Our brand persona is like Beyoncé,” people instantly get an idea of what you mean. They think of power, confidence, talent, and glamour.

Mixing and Matching Celebrities

But your brand persona doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of one celebrity. You can mix and match traits from different celebrities to create a unique persona. The key is to choose traits that align with your brand values and appeal to your target audience.

For instance, you might want the creativity and innovation of Christopher Nolan, mixed with the charm and humor of Jennifer Lawrence. Or the cool elegance of George Clooney, combined with the youthful energy of Billie Eilish.

Celebrities as Metaphors

Remember, using celebrities is just a tool to help you visualize and communicate your brand persona. It’s not about imitating a celebrity or turning your brand into a fan club. Think of celebrities as metaphors that help convey the personality traits you want your brand to embody.

It’s like saying, “Our brand is the Steve Jobs of the coffee industry.” It doesn’t mean your brand wears black turtlenecks and invents iPhones. It means your brand is innovative, forward-thinking, and isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo.

Don’t take it too literally.

Additional Exercises

Brand Interview

Imagine your brand as a person you’re interviewing. What questions would you ask? What answers would you expect? Ask about its likes, dislikes, hobbies, and values. Maybe it loves jazz music and hates fast food. Maybe it spends its free time volunteering at the local animal shelter. The goal here is to get a clear picture of who your brand is as a person.

‘Day in the Life’ Scenario

Now, let’s walk a mile in your brand’s shoes. Imagine a typical day for your brand persona. Where does it go? What does it do? Who does it interact with? Is it an early riser that hits the gym before work, or does it prefer to sleep in and work late into the night? Every detail, no matter how small, helps to paint a more vivid picture of your brand.

Brand Mood Board

This is where we get visual. Create a mood board that represents your brand’s personality. This could include colors, textures, images, fonts – anything that visually represents your brand. Think of it as a collage that captures the essence of your brand’s personality.

Remember, a brand persona is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It needs to be authentic, unique, and reflective of your brand. It’s a powerful tool that can help you to create a strong, relatable, and memorable brand identity. It’s a great exercise to involve the whole team in.

So, take your time, get creative, and have fun with it!

Conclusion

In our next chapter, we’re going to delve into the nitty-gritty of brand identity creation. We’ll start with one of the most significant elements of your brand – its name.

Just think about it. A name can make or break a brand. It’s the first thing people hear, the first thing they remember. It’s a tiny word or phrase that carries the weight of your entire brand.

So, are you ready to name your brand?

In the next chapter, we’ll explore the complexities and considerations involved in selecting a name that not only represents your brand’s persona but also influences customer perception and understanding.

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