For all the human effort that goes into making a brand, it is easy to forget that it is make-believe. sure, the product, the business, and the employees are all real, but a brand lives in the mind. Yet we spend so much time thinking about a brand in personified terms- brand values, voice, and personality – why not go the extra mile and create an actual person? This is where a brand persona comes in. The brand persona is a symbolic representation of all that you and your organization stand for. It allows the viewers to visualize the brand and imagine themselves as part-owner.
In today’s brand-driven world, the person who walks through the doors of your company is much more likely to make a purchase decision than to make an emotional one. Therefore, in order to create a strong impression, it is important for you to take time in understanding what your customer really wants from your company. Being able to understand what your customers want from your company will be invaluable when it comes time for you to create a brand persona. This article will help you in creating a brand persona by providing examples and guidelines on how to create one.
Your brand persona needs to be consistent. A consistent brand persona will allow your customers to develop trust in you, which is the key to long-term success. Brand consistency is very important, so never change your brand persona without careful analysis and consideration of the consequences.
A working example would be the well-known business Starbucks. Their goal was to offer a comfortable neighborhood hangout where people could enjoy a good cup of coffee and strike up a conversation with whomever they chose to sit next to. By creating a house blend of coffee beans, they managed to bring forth the experience they wanted their customers to have from their stores. They also served as a meeting place for free internet use as well as a place to chat with friends.
Starbucks stressed consistency by using the same blend of coffee beans and creating the same atmosphere in every one of their outlets. Even though they were a global company, their brand persona remained consistent globally. They developed a strong brand that customers came to trust because it remained consistent in every outlet. The Starbucks brand persona was so strong that it existed beyond the physical product and evolved to wherever there were people meeting up to have a cup of coffee and chat about life’s issues. The brand became a symbol of community.
In order to develop a strong brand persona, you have to study the successful brands in your industry. Find out what they have in common, then figure out why that works. This is not to say that you need to duplicate their strategy, just figure out what is making them work and how you can use some of their ideas for your own business.
It’s important to remember that the most important aspect of developing your brand persona is being honest with yourself and what you are trying to accomplish. It’ll be easy enough for people to realize if someone else has developed it for you rather than the actual employees of your company.
Making mistakes is very important with brand building. The more honest you are with yourself, the more honest that people will be with you. The best way to create a brand is to think of it as if it’s real life- you have to put yourself in the character. If you act like someone else, how can others be sure that you are who you say you are?
Starbucks developed its brand persona by keeping its company structure simple, providing the same experience in every store, providing ample internet use for customers, and providing customers with welcoming venues where they can meet friends or even strangers at random times or places.
Creating your persona will not be an easy task. You will have to study yourself and your company, then create a persona that is easy to understand and remember. If you’re still having trouble developing a persona, try thinking of it this way: what does your company believe in? Personify your beliefs by writing out a sentence or two about what you stand for. You can take either a positive or a negative approach. You could say “We believe in excellent customer service” or “We don’t tolerate rude employees.” Either way, take those beliefs and make their brand values.
If your business is based around simplicity, then your brand persona should reflect simplicity as well as honesty and generosity of spirit. This would be a good persona for a small, casual business that has a very small niche market.
While you’re developing your persona, it’s important to be open to changes. A brand persona will get stronger over time if you stay true to the core of who you are and what you do. There will be many people who see your company’s product or service and do not understand why it works the way it does. Remember, the best way to make a customer understand your idea is by giving them a personal experience with it.
In conclusion, creating a brand persona can be a very powerful tool for your business. It is the key to building strong emotional connections between you and your customers. If you can learn how to create strong emotional connections between you and your customers, then the sky is the limit in terms of what you can do with them. Learn how to develop a brand persona that stands out from others, and then implement it throughout your company in order to keep your customers coming back again and again.
Interested in reading more about brand image? Branding – Elements to Build Brand Identity discusses elements towards creating a brand identity.
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