One of the 3 “Ps” of authority brand positioning is Personality. Some brands have a strong brand personality. McDonald’s has Ronald McDonald as its personality. He is immediately recognized worldwide as the face of McDonalds. For years Target used a dog with a red target symbol around its eye. Some brands choose celebrities (people or animals) as their brand personalities. And for others, owners or employees are chosen to represent the face of the company.
A strong personality that immediately identifies a business can be a strong competitive edge for a company. A company without a visible personality can find itself in the background without a strong competitive edge. Often the only way for a company in this position to compete is to lower its price, because that’s the only way to compete — through the comparative advantage of lower pricing.
If you are a solopreneur or a solopro (fessional), you are often the brand personality behind your company. If you have employees, partners, affiliates, sales reps, or others that are associated with your company, then the personality of your business is shaped by their personalities as well.
Remember, part of successful authority brand positioning is to be memorable. How are you different so that your customers and prospects will remember you? It’s not enough to “brand” yourself as “affordable” or “family” or “kid-friendly.” Those terms are too general and too broad to make your brand stand out from others, and other companies can easily claim those identifiers as well.
Too many brands try to be everything to everyone, and seek to compete in every available market segment, and in the process they do nothing well.
Instead, decide what your personality will be, and then focus on developing relationships that are attracted to your personality. Whether your brand’s personality is based on your natural state, or is a “stage name” with a created personality, your brand needs to consistently show that personality to your market. When you develop a distinct personality that is identified with both your brand and your business that sets them apart, it gives you a strong competitive advantage.
How will people connect with your brand? You want your brand to help attract your target market segments to you. One way to do this is to tell a story that resonates with your customers and ideal prospects. It can be your story personally if you are the face of your brand, a story about your business, or a story that conveys a point in a way that will connect with your target market. It can even be an advertisement or promotional message for your product or service that is told in the form of a story.
The brand story should connect with the emotions of the reader to be meaningful and memorable to the reader. It doesn’t have to be exciting; it just needs to be told in a way that captures the attention of the reader. A good story is more than just a straightforward description of the facts. Weave together action verbs with curiosity, add some drama, touch the reader’s emotional triggers, and paint vivid pictures with your words. Don’t try to be Hemingway, just try to give others a story that they will be more likely to remember.
You want people to connect with your brand so that they feel that they are in the right place when they do business with your company and that they have made the best choice to trust it to deliver what they need or desire that motivates them to do business with your company. That trust is reinforced by consistency in the messages your brand delivers to them. Those messages can be both tangible and intangible. You probably have had an experience in your life where someone’s words said one thing, but their body language was totally inconsistent with what was being said. A confused mind not only doesn’t buy, it doesn’t trust.
So you want to create a brand personality that is meaningful and memorable to your target market and use that personality to develop trust with your target market through a strong emotional connection.
Here are three questions to help you develop a Personality that will define and support your brand’s image:
1. What is the goal for my company in the long term? If you plan to build a business that you will sell, you need to think about creating a brand that is not too closely associated with you as an individual. If you are a professional that is building a business that you will eventually dissolve, then you can be the primary personality and brand identity for your business. If you are not certain, then just choose an answer and move forward.
2. What are the values that will define the brand? Choose 3-5 terms that will help your customers and ideal prospects connect with your company. They can be general terms, like “affordable” or “family friendly,” but also can describe how you will interact with your customers, such as “reliable” or “always on time.” Set a timer for 10 minutes and write whatever comes to you, then choose 3-5 from the list you have written.
3. What will be your story that will also help to define your brand and help your customers and ideal prospects connect with your company? Again, if you are planning to sell your company in the future, you may want to refrain from making the story about you, and focus instead on a story that is focused on the company’s struggle or good fortune, how it began, or how it helped one customer in a meaningful way. The story should be told so that there is a magnetic connection with your customers and ideal prospects, which is likely to come from the story itself as well as the way it is told.
Jan Sandhouse Hurst, the Authority Mentor, shows business owners, service professionals, entrepreneurs and experts how to use her signature marketing formulas to attract more clients, generate profitable leads and create killer authority positioning. Jan has taught hundreds of individuals and businesses her creative strategies, systems and solutions that pay off.