Business success is defined by several factors. Almost every owner and manager know that you need strong relationships with consumers, a well-balanced budget and a solid marketing strategy, but there’s much more to success that well-crunched numbers and a knockout infographic on social media.
Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of a successful business is brand persona. Your brand persona is your personified version of your business and an expression of your brand’s personality. It is a vital part of your business’ structure because it is how competitors, consumers, and potential leads all interact with and perceive you.
As your business grows, so should your brand persona. Just as people mature as they get older, your brand should transform and mature as you expand your business. The most important thing to remember is that communication with consumers is key in expressing your brand’s personality, so to help your business start talking, we’ve compiled three easy tactics to help you build and improve your brand persona.
Let Your Business Come to Life
If your brand persona is an expression of your business’ personality, then you need to think of your business as a person. Forbes suggests imagining your business as a fictional character. When describing your brand’s physical representation, it’s important to try to be as specific and detailed as possible.
Start with the basics. Your brand doesn’t have to necessarily be a human. It can be an animal, an inanimate object with googly eyes, or even a mascot. The possibilities are endless and at the discretion of your imagination. Consider what your brand looks like physically and describe it as if you were introducing a character in a book for the first time. Are they more masculine or feminine? What are their likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests? How do they walk, talk, act and dress?
It may seem silly to be asking yourself these types of questions about your business and trying to come up with answers. However, in the long run it will help you develop a establish a voice, tone, and personified character of your business that you can tap into when communicating with consumers.
Allow Your Brand to Tell Stories
Since the dawn of time, stories have been one of the most effective ways to communicate. We all loved them as children and we still love them as adults. From hieroglyphics, to folk stories, to bedtime stories, and even commercials, stories help us express and communicate messages in a more relatable way.
Luckily, telling stories in the 21st century is much easier thanks to the Internet, and especially social media. Social platforms are one of the easiest ways to express brand persona because you can directly interact and talk with consumers, and more importantly, you can also post previously recorded or stream live video.
Use video to give consumers a view of the intricacies of your business first-hand. You don’t need to produce Oscar-worthy feature films, but rather, provide content that will allow customers to see how your business lives and breathes. Show how brainstorms and ideas become reality and finished products, or take a tour around the office and introduce consumers to your decision-making execs, interns, and everyone in-between.
Most importantly, use emotion in your stories. Consumers actually respond better to emotional content rather than logic because they can relate to it; therefore, emotional investment is a must—externally and internally. Show off the morale in the off office on casual Fridays or celebrating someone’s birthday. If you have a group of employees participating in a fundraiser or 5K share a photo or video of them preparing for or finishing the big race. Ultimately, emotion shows that your business is more than just a money-hungry entity.
Build Deeper Relationships With Consumers
Your customers are the heart and soul of your business. They keep your doors open and can even give you free marketing by spreading the word about you. It’s crucial that you establish and continue to build upon your relationships with consumers. The easiest way to grow your relationships is by talking with consumers themselves.
No, this doesn’t mean you need to set up focus groups and in-depth interviews. It’s much easier because all you need to do is hop online. Social media is one of the easiest ways to initiate conversations with consumers. You can use social media polls, even host an online Q&A with a corresponding Twitter hashtag or do a live Q&A on a Facebook Live stream.
Always remember that you’re talking with real people, whether it be in-person, over-the-phone, or online. Try to integrate more conversational, laid-back language instead of using strict professional terms. If your consumers don’t use your everyday office jargon, don’t use it with them. You don’t want your consumers to feel confused or like they’re talking to robots.
Finally, never be afraid to be spontaneous on social media, especially Twitter. Because it is a fast-paced platform, Twitter is the perfect place to take advantage of real-time events. Who could forget Oreo’s perfectly-timed tweet during Superbowl XLVII? It became one of the most successful Superbowl ads in history and it cost the famous cookie brand almost nothing because it was a spontaneous tweet. Being playful and humorous on social media can help express and improve your brand persona by showing you’re not all about business—you can be quite the comedian as well.
When it comes to marketing and communications, your brand persona is poured into every aspect of what you do—from advertising campaigns to website design to social media.
Your brand persona speaks to your consumers as your business’ voice and establishes crucial relationships with them. It’s important to remember that you won’t drastically improve your brand persona overnight, but with time you can start to unleash your business’ personality little by little until your consumers can’t get enough of you!