Building a brand identity is not as simple as creating a logo. It takes time and research to understand not just your target audience but also your brand, its history, and the people behind it. Though many companies have improved their brand identities in order to expand their reach into new demographics, not a lot have changed their brand persona unless needed.
When it comes to identifying your brand persona, you need to answer one thing: “Who are we?”. Your persona is what you want to portray if your brand was a human being. It is based on the collection of personality traits, values, and attitudes you want to be reflected to your public. If a brand’s identity is the face of the company, the brand persona is who the company is.
For example, Apple’s identity is as a luxury brand while its persona is about removing the complexity from people’s lives through simple people-driven product design. One could even say that Apple is revolutionary since it challenges the current power structure while also ushering in the future with its simplistic designs. Identity answers what a brand is while persona answers who it is.
Building a Brand Persona
Creating brand personas takes plenty of time invested in brand development as you also identify who your target demographic is. Your employees, business partners, and customers will have different perceptions of who your brand is based on how the brand developed and portrayed itself.
Follow these essential elements and start building your brand persona:
Set Up Brand Pillars
A brand pillar is what sets your company apart from the competition. You’ll want to have an outlook on things that matter to your target audience. It should consist of 3-4 keywords that symbolize what your brand is about.
Brand pillars should revolve around the following:
- Purpose – why your business exists
- Positioning – what separates a brand from its competitors, including what the consumers want and the strengths and limitations of the brand
- Perception – how people see your brand and what they really get
- Personality – how your brand communicates with your audience
- Promotion – how your brand builds awareness
Brand pillars are the heart and soul of a business. It is an essential tool to keep your brand consistent.
State a Promise for Your Audience
Your brand should also serve as a promise to what you want to accomplish or how you can change the lives of your public. But don’t make just any other promise. Make sure you can follow through with. It doesn’t need to be revolutionary or have a deep meaning, but it must be something that you can deliver.
A good example is Coca-Cola’s brand promise is, “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift”. This video shows how it was delivered. Commitment is a must to maintain a positive perception of your brand from your public.
Have a Brand Essence
Good brand essence is also crucial for businesses. Brand essence should consist of two or three words. Here are some examples:
- Apple: Innovation, Difference, Simplicity
- Disney: Fun Family Entertainment
- Nike: Authentic Athletic Performance
- BMW: Driving Pleasure
Brand essence drives demand towards products and builds a story around their offers. It also builds a bond with your customers through emotions. Brand essence also helps the marketers fulfill the customers’ expectations to remain consistent with their brand promise.
Here are the characteristics of a good brand essence:
Have a Mission Statement
Your mission statement tells your audience your purpose beyond making a profit. It also helps guide your brand’s actions as it is the framework or context as to how you formulate your marketing strategy, business operations, etc.
A mission statement consists of the following:
- Key Market – Who is your target audience?
- Contribution – What service do you provide your client?
- Distinction – How is your product or service unique?
A good example is Amazon’s mission statement:
“We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”
Clearly, this is a formal summary of what Amazon aims to achieve, the values of their company, and how they plan to make an impact on their customers’ lives.
Develop Your Customer-Facing Graphic Assets
After building a persona, you can then develop it further through graphic designs and marketing since you can now have an easier time deciding how your brand should look. You’ll need to invest in the most suitable brand development strategies for your brand.
Select Personality Colors
Use specific colors that you want to be associated with your brand’s personality. It can’t just be a random selection. Remember that each color has their own meanings and psychological impact. Choosing the right one can create a positive impact on your brand from your public.
Colors convey the mood and emotion depending on how they’re used. Here is a quick summary of what emotion each color represents or is associated with as per Canva:
- Red – danger, passion, excitement, energy
- Pink – feminine, sentimental, romantic, exciting
- Orange – fresh, youthful, creative, adventurous
- Yellow – optimistic, cheerful, playful, happy
- Green – natural, vitality, prestige, wealth
- Blue – communicative, trustworthy, calming, depressed
- Purple – royalty, majesty, spiritual, mysterious
- Brown – organic, wholesome, simple, honest
- White – purity, simplicity, innocence, minimalism
- Black – sophisticated, formal, luxurious, sorrowful
- Multicolor – United, open, diversity
The best brands keep their typography simple while considering the emotions and personality the font conveys. The style, line weight, curvatures, and spacing can define and reflect the brand’s personality.
Sans serif fonts that are surrounded by white space and clean illustrations have an upscaled, modern, and minimalistic look. Serif fonts with traditional-looking visuals can look stiff and bland. Brand names that use uppercase sans serif typefaces give off a different visual feel than those written in lowercase serif fonts.
Whatever font is used should align with the personality colors you’ve chosen.
Design a Logo
A logo is the graphic symbol of your brand. So, it should be memorable and easy to recall. It should contain your brand’s colors, typeface, and graphic design elements. And most importantly, it should bear a professional visual appearance.
In a nutshell..
A good brand persona is like your mirror image when customers are interacting with your brand. The easiest way to create one is by imagining the type of person who you think will be interested in your services. Remember, people listen and buy from people. The more relatable you are, the level of trust becomes higher for your brand. So be human.