A corporate identity (CI) beautifully packages your brand from a visual perspective, guiding design uniformity across all channels to establish and maintain recognition for prospective customers. Once you have a look and feel, the next piece of the puzzle is to develop the marketing language: the rhetoric that underpins unique, yet consistent, brand messaging? Answer: Brand personas.
What is a brand persona?
A brand persona is a marketing tool that allows you to convey the ‘voice’ of your brand. It personifies your business – think of it as a metaphorical brand ambassador that converses with your audience.
Why you need brand personas
Brand personas create a personality with whom prospective customers can identify.
A brand persona draws back the business veil, providing your audience with an opportunity to see who you really are, what you do and why you do it. This, in turn, will make your content far more relatable and easier to understand.
Brand personas serve as a guide for copywriters.
From the business’s creative team perspective, it acts as a language canvas on which every characteristic of your brand’s personality exists. It guides and shapes the writers’ voice and tone that defines consistent messaging to be utilised across multiple marketing channels. For example, if a brand persona is relaxed, reassuring and empathetic, copywriters will know not to use overt, direct language that may deter your target audience.
How do you create and nurture a brand persona?
So, where do you start? As with many things, start from the beginning and look at your business introspectively. Begin by looking at your company profile (this should be developed in conjunction with your CI.) Your CP outlines your vision, mission as well as numerous strategically chosen touchpoints give your business its unique value proposition and overall purpose.
Next, it’s time for ruthless market research so that you can bring your brand persona to life. One of the components that should be investigated, interpreted and mapped is the ideal customer base and their path to purchase. Appropriate metrics include but are not limited to
- Marital status
- Purchasing behaviour
- Attitudes to brands
- Switching preference
- Price sensitivity
Remember, you can have different brand personas, each of which, tap into a different segment of the market. This can also help you simplify the process of categorising which audience segment is performing best (or worst) in the sales funnel.
Construct valuable, emotionally resonant content
In your marketing strategy, you should have determined your goals and the methods through which they will be achieved. Concerning developing brand personas, the content needs are based on the collected data relevant to the target audience.
As an article published by Forbes Agency Council correctly explains, ‘Crafting these customer personas takes time. The better you can drill into who your customer is and what their desires are, the better you will be able to develop a persona that accurately reflects your ideal consumer.’
The one issue with data mining is that you do run the risk of creating stereotypical personas. The best way to combat this is to physically go and speak to your customers, ask for their opinions as well as constructive criticism. By doing this, you’ll gain a much more in-depth look into their identities and implement it when crafting brand personas.
Give brand personas names and personalities
Think of it as building a car: You’ve researched, found and fitted the perfect traffic driving engine, now, it’s time to add the body kit: the customised ‘face’ of the persona. Paint its personality. All you need to do is structure the gathered data into a narrative. E.g., let’s say you’re a fragrance company, and your research reveals the following data points will collectively add up to your customer with the highest chance of converting. Your brand persona could be
- Gender: Female
- Age: 35 – 40
- Occupation level: Senior businesswoman
- Car: Luxury, e.g., Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar
- Marital status: Married
- Hobbies: Travelling
- Purchasing behaviour: Discerning, calculated
- Attitudes to brands: High-end, but not brand specific
- Price sensitivity: Low
Armed with this information, you have a far more detailed profile. The visual design, as well as the marketing language created for proceeding campaigns, will be better positioned to target this specific audience. You also have data from which you can deduce the specific products that will be promoted and corresponding language that should be used. Using the above as an example, you might
- Only promote your high-end products
- Use emotive, universally understood language that naturally conveys the fragrances’ USPs. Words such as ‘sophistication’; ‘opulence’ and ‘influential’ should be key buzzwords in any copy.
- Add a travel-sized bottle as an incentive for purchase.
- Don’t make the price a significant touchpoint.
We all know that marketing is a dynamic industry and therefore, willingness to adapt brand personas according to user behaviour and the sentiment is paramount.
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 Rule?
In a nutshell, the 80/20 rule (also known as The Pareto Principle) explains that in general, 20% of your customers represent 80% of your sales. ‘By identifying the characteristics of the top 20% of your customers (who represent 80% of your sales), you can find more customers like them and dramatically grow your sales and profits.’ The development of brand personas is a perfect tool that can be utilised to assist you in leveraging the exponential properties of the 80/20 rule.
Another article published by Forbes sums up the financial benefits for creating brand personas, ‘It is simply not productive or cost-efficient to begin the design process before you’ve attempted to get to know who your ideal customers might be. This is true of creating almost anything, but it is especially important for executives to remember as they invest valuable time and funds into developing their brand.’
In conclusion, brand personas can organise audience segments, making it much easier for creative teams to build trackable, relevant and consistent campaigns that resonate with the target customer base increases the likelihood of sales. By personifying your brand, you are in a strong, informed position to connect with customers emotionally which can create a long-lasting brand-to-consumer bond.