A Quick Exercise in Characterising Your Brand

Do you really understand your brand? Developing your brand identity, image, voice or personality can be a challenge, especially when you’re just starting out.

If you’re trying to come to grips with your brand or if you simply need a deeper insight into your current identity, it can help to imagine your brand or business as a CHARACTER.

If your brand suddenly sprung up on the table in front of you, what would he/she be like?

For example, the character behind ‘Disney’ might be someone who is enchantingly magical and kind. The character for the ‘Coca Cola’ brand would be someone who is passionate and loves life. The character of ‘Google’ would be somebody who’s driven, creative and who lives on the cutting edge of search technology.

This exercise may help you bring to life everything you’re predicting for your brand. It’s also a great way to visualise your target audience.

1. Is Your Character Male or Female?

This won’t matter to all brands, but for some (like a women’s beauty line or a men’s magazine), it will be entirely relevant.

If your business is not specifically gender driven, you could create two different characters, one male, one female, and see what similarities or differences arise.

2. How Old Is Your Character?

Is he/she a kid? Is he/she over the age of 65? The age of your character is important, as it embodies how you want to be seen in the marketplace and how you will choose to communicate with others.

3. Where Does Your Character Live?

Does he/she live in a magical kingdom? In the heart of the city? On the sports track? In the digital world?

This can help you uncover the spirit of your brand and the lifestyles that are associated with it.

For instance, the character of a bakery business might live in a field of wheat. The character behind a luxury car brand would probably live in a penthouse overlooking the ocean.

4. What Is Your Character Wearing?

Try to imagine your character’s clothing or wardrobe and include as much detail as possible. How does he/she dress? What colours do they wear? What are their shoes like?

This is all about understanding how your brand looks and how it should be seen in your industry. It also contributes significantly to your character.

5. What Does Your Character Sound Like When He/She Talks?  

Knowing how your character sounds will help you create their voice and personality (which lends itself to your content and copywriting, among other things).

Does your character speak quickly or slowly? What words and vocab do they use? What’s their tone? Have they got a fun sense of humour or are their words punchy, professional and wholly serious?

6. How Does Your Character Make Others Feel?

You should also consider how your character makes others feel when he/she is speaking or interacting with them.

What emotions, thoughts and responses does he/she invoke? How do others feel about your character?

7. What Does Your Character Do In Their Time Off?

Again, this is all about context and recognising where your brand fits in.

The character of a fast car brand might spend his time yachting. The character of a private banking firm might love luxury dining and someone behind a social brand might spend their free time at parties and events (and post many updates about it).

This will also tell you much about your target audience and the type of people your “character” associates with.

8. Finally, Describe Your Character in One Word

This might seem easy, but it’s actually about capturing the essence of what your brand is supposed to be about and how it makes the audience feel.

How does your character/brand ultimately make your target customers feel? How do you want your brand to impact your audience emotionally?

Your essence is critical to your brand and it will often be the driving force behind your business and all of your marketing approaches.

Don’t forget – a brand is a promise! It must always deliver on the essence of what it is.

Return to: www.nataliesutherlandwriter.com 


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