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The purpose and power of brand persona's - don't try to talk to everyone

May 17, 2018

What is a brand persona?

 

Brand personas are a hot topic in the marketing industry and it is common knowledge that it can make or break your company. For strong brand differentiation, you need a strong brand persona. But what is brand persona and how do you make yours stand out from the crowd?

 

It is important to reinforce this with your digital brand persona.

 

Your brand persona is the combination of attributes, values and ideas that your brand represents. Conveyed to consumers through each and everyone of your actions, your persona demonstrates who you are and what you stand for.

 

Build a clear brand persona and you’ll transform your company from one that not only provides goods or services, but to an idea that consumers value, feel connected to and want to buy in to.

 

It’s no surprise that 64% of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand (Harvard Business Review).

 

A strong brand persona is one that has a focused identity. It’s better to appeal strongly to a few people than to try and talk to everyone and fail.

 

How to identify your brand persona

 

To identify your brand persona you first need to establish your core audience, known by author Seth Godin as a tribe. Your tribe is ‘a group of people connected to one another, a leader and an idea’. According to Forbes, there are 7 characteristics of successful brands:

  1. Audience Knowledge

  2. Uniqueness

  3. Passion

  4. Consistency

  5. Competitiveness

  6. Exposure

  7. Leadership
                                   

Examine your assets and try to picture who it is that will be buying your products and the shared values that connect them to your brand. What is the unique quality that brings these people together? Is it a focus on quality and aesthetics or a shared passion for fun and creativity?

 

For example, Apple are famous for building products with beautiful and sleek designs and everything they do echoes that and their consumers are so loyal they feel that owning an Apple product defines who they are.

 

According to a chart created by eswstorylab, Apple is part of The Wizard persona. This “wizard” seeks out experiences that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. He represents the universal message of mystery and thrill. Just like the “wizard”, Apple believes in bringing change, anything is possible and that power to change people through technologies.

On the other hand, Innocent Smoothies have created a brand that has a distinctive childlike spirit with a great sense of humour and fun and a focus on the environment and health at the core. This value of bettering the world places Innocent Smoothies into The Purist persona. Simply and virtuously, the “purist” is wholesome and highly ethical. They believe in leading by a good example.

 

So, Innocent Smoothies, just like the “purist”, embody this idea of harmony and peace, with a mission to save the world one smoothie at a time.

In both cases, their values are the brand.

 

It will help if you envision the type of person that will be most interested in your business. What are their main hobbies? What problems do they face in their day to day life? What are their main priorities? What visual and cultural messages are they familiar with? How do they use and connect with your products? These questions are just a few ideas to help you start your journey towards finding your perfect brand persona and hence how to communicate in the digital space.

 

The more intimate your understanding of your tribe, the more potential your brand persona has to engage and influence in the digital world. However, this understanding is useless unless represented in your tone, messaging and more importantly your actions in the digital space. Actions speak louder than words. Make sure each of yours reflect the values, aspirations and traits of your tribe. Maintain your consistency and you’ll build a trustworthy, long lasting and powerful relationship as brands such as Nike, O2 have done.

 

Example:

 

According to the same chart cited above, Nike falls into The Conqueror persona. The “conqueror” is noble and is identified by its ability to overcome the mundane.

 

Nike is a perfect example due to being relentless, resilient, and confident in its ability.

 

They challenge, inspire and empower peak performance and always strives to be the best. In the conqueror mindset, winning is everything.

 

And don’t be afraid to re-assess your strategy in relation to your tribe’s behaviour and make a bold step; removing your brand from social media would be perceived as commercial suicide for some but Tim Martin Chairman of Wetherspoons felt was the right move as social was not having any business impact, in fact he said he had consulted pub managers before making the move, and "90-to-95% felt using social media was not helping the business". Marketing week went on to say “The average Wetherspoons tweet in 2018 managed to garner a total of six retweets and four likes. Wetherspoons serves three million pints a week. “We were concerned that pub managers were being side-tracked from the real job of serving customers,”

 

Martin explained on Monday. “I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever.” You can see his point.” (Source www.marketingweek.com)

 

Talking to the right people, in the right language about the right topic is the strategy that builds a long term, sustainable and credible brand.

 

If you’d like to strengthen your brand persona through insightful and strategic development feel free to contact us. We’ll look at your brand in detail, examining its assets and focusing its persona to ensure you establish a life-long relationship with customers in the digital space. Click here to get in touch.

 

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