When it comes to branding, there are a variety of ways for a company to approach their internal process. For some companies, it means identifying terms and ideas that they want associated with their organization, and crafting their marketing around those concepts. For others, it involves using imagery as the nexus of their efforts. However, in today’s world, where digital marketing has taken center stage for most strategists, it may be time to stop thinking about your brand in the abstract, and start envisioning it as something a little fleshier.
The internet has provided a wealth of marketing opportunities to the discerning strategist, but the way various channels are utilized by the public has altered the way society interacts with marketing. People have grown tired of trite campaigns, and adept at filtering out “marketing noise” from content they find valuable. As such, it’s important that your messaging take on an authentic and relatable tone. To this end, brands may benefit from centering themselves as something far more relatable than a catchy tag line or cleanly designed graphic: a person.
How can one go about defining a brand from this perspective? In some ways, it’s akin to outlining the profile of a character for a novel or short story. Sit down with your marketing team, and imagine that your brand was an individual. Ask yourself:
- Are they male or female?
- Is their sense of humor brash, or more refined?
- Are they educated, or more of an “everyman” kind of person?
- What kinds of hobbies might they have?
- What sorts of stories are interesting to them?
- How old is this person?
- How does this person dress?
- What kind of demeanor does this person boast? Reserved? Exuberant?
- What would their favorite color, book, movie, or food be?
Do these questions sound silly? Probably. In fact, the very idea of sitting down with a group of executives to debate the answers to these questions in the context of a fictional character representing your brand may seem completely nonsensical. However, the answers to these questions can have a substantial impact on your overall marketing strategy.
Digital marketing, particularly when paired with an increased reliance on social media, is most successful when it interacts with the target audience. Not only does this make consumers feel more connected to a brand, but it also allows your company to learn more about their client base and their preferences, amplifying their ability to successfully sell their products or services. The best way to foster these sorts of interactions is to make them seem more natural to your audience. Interacting with a person seems a lot more natural than attempting to interact with a logo.
So take a minute to feel silly. Think about your brand as an individual, and let that idea guide the content you use in your marketing strategy. You never know – you might like getting to know your brand in this new light, and if you like the persona, odds are your customers will, too.