You might have heard marketing professionals talk about brand persona and how important it is to successful marketing – about aligning your persona with your mission and leveraging your brand differentiation. While you may be familiar with brand personas if you’re steeped in the inbound marketing process, those who aren’t may not be. Let’s take a minute to break this jargon down so we’re all on the same page.
What Is a Brand Persona & Why Do You Need One?
Simply put, a brand persona is the impression your company makes on customers, competitors, and employees. It is a combination of company communications, advertising messages, social media presence, and even the way the front desk answers the phone. Your brand’s persona is the link that connects you to your customers. It’s what sets your company apart, makes it special – and identifiable.
All businesses should be striving toward having a distinct and recognizable identity, which is why establishing a brand persona is a crucial step toward overall success. According to MarketSplash, 61% of people are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content. In today’s competitive market, consumers are looking to do business with someone different who knows what their brand stands for and why their offerings are the best in the business.
Despite the crucial nature of establishing a brand persona, it’s surprising how many companies don’t prioritize identifying and clarifying their own. Time is often spent on the logo and colors, and while those are important aspects of branding, they aren't the real substance behind your company. In fact, defining your brand persona first will help you reflect your true values and unique qualities in every detail of your company’s messaging, from the sign on the front door to your website and social media to how your employees interact with customers.
Skipping over the process of establishing your brand persona would be a grave mistake. It’s like that old Rush song lyric, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” If you don’t consciously identify your persona and guide every aspect of your business to communicate it consistently, it’ll be thrown together based on scattered, ineffective messaging and the resulting impressions of individual customers.
How Do You Establish a Brand Persona?
The process of building an effective brand persona begins with an honest appraisal of your current image. Talk to your employees, your competitors, and most importantly, key customers. Seek out those who will tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear. Examine all your current marketing messages: ads, flyers, product slicks, proposals, invoices, letterhead, business cards, website, social media, photos of your vehicles – anything and everything that current and potential customers might encounter.
Then ask yourself the following questions:
- Do all these communications look well-thought-out or do they look haphazard?
- Do they all look like they represent the same company?
- Do they clearly communicate what your company does?
- Do they accurately represent the abilities and attitudes of you and your team?
Next, summarize the answers in a single page, answering these questions:
- Do you stand out in your market?
- Do people know what you really do?
- Are you perceived as a leader or a follower?
- Are employees and customers proud to be associated with your company?
- Do your marketing communications deliver a consistent message in words and design?
Conduct an honest assessment of your current brand persona using this set of questions:
- Is your current brand persona helping or hurting your company?
- Does your current brand persona fit your business goals?
- Does your brand persona meet the needs of your customers?
- Will your brand persona help you grow your business?
- Does your brand persona reflect the views of both management and employees?
- If your company was an individual, would they be a welcome guest at a party?
If your current brand persona doesn’t meet these goals, you need to create one that does. It is possible to do so in-house, but that’s easier said than done. This is because it’s kind of like trying to recognize how other people see you. Sure, they tell you you’re good-looking or great with kids, but what do they really think of you? An outsider who knows what they’re doing may be able to give you more valuable insight.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you’re looking for that kind of perspective and you want to step up your branding game. The Hydrate Marketing team is made up of seasoned professionals with in-depth experience in all aspects of branding, marketing communications, graphic design, and digital communications. We’re passionate about helping companies share their stories with their target audiences accurately and effectively. Let’s work together so you can take back control of your narrative!