Your brand isn’t just a logo, it’s a person. For your customers to know, like, and trust your brand, they need to get to know them.
I have been personifying brands since 2012. Personification is the process of assigning human attributes and traits to something non-human, which is an easier way of understanding your brand.
Personifying brands to understand perceptions
One of my favorite projects involved discovering who popular sports brands were personified as. We hosted a focus group and asked them what they associated with Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas.
Nike was the all-around jock. Under Armour was the new, cool kid on the block. Surprising for its longevity as a company, Adidas had few associations other than soccer. It lacked a full identity because people were unable to describe what it stood for and who it was. They even mentioned several specific commercials they were confused by.
Your own brand should be easily identifiable not only by its characteristics, but by how it relates to your target customer.
Who is your brand to your ideal customer?
Your brand may be:
- A trusted advisor
- A good friend
- A parent
- A teacher
- An inspiration
- A loved one
- Or could relate in another way!
Understand how your brand is perceived and relates to your ideal customer, so you can:
Identify content that serves and connects with your audience.
Evolve or solidify your brand’s identity.
Since our study, Adidas has done a lot of work to evolve its brand identity. It has launched new partnerships, campaigns, and product lines in order to solidify its brand identity. Will it work? According to Forbes, it may be working.
Effectively communicate who you are and what you want to be known for.
Being memorable for who you are is hard, which is why I always share my favorite example: The Bow Tie Guy. I met him a couple years ago when he handed me his business card shaped like a bow tie, while he was wearing a bow tie, and introduced himself as the “Bow Tie Guy.” While I haven’t seen him since, I have a clear memory of exactly who he is and his message.
Envisioning your brand’s personality can get in-depth. One of my favorite people, Ashley of Mouth Marketing, knew her brand right down to its signature smell. She’s not alone, there are other brands who know what their brand smells like.
How well do you know your brand?