Unlocking The Secrets of Brand Personality Whether you’re a small startup, a well-seasoned enterprise, or a personal brand, having a distinguished personality is essential to creating a strong identity. Just like human personality, brand personality is a set of characteristics that people can relate to on an emotional level. Say you and a friend are chatting it up at your local coffee spot. She bumps into a co-worker and introduces you to him. Let’s call him Craig. Craig has nothing interesting to say, yet he hangs around for way too long. The whole interaction was awkward and uneventful. You know right away that you and Craig could never be friends. Period. End of story. That’s how simple it is for people to judge how much they like or dislike your brand based on its personality. Having a relatable brand personality is beneficial for a myriad of reasons. It’s what differentiates you from the pack, increases brand engagement, and gets people into what you’re doing. When you use brand personality to captivate your customers, you differentiate from other brands and directly increase your brand’s overall value. Brand Voice & Tone Brand voice is how a you use language and tone in a unique way to capture your identity. When you create a compelling brand voice across blogs, email, video, and website content, your brand’s character will shine brighter than everyone else’s. And, if your brand marches to a different beat (as it should), your brand voice will help you stand out from the crowd. Lifestyle media company UrbanDaddy does this masterfully with a brand voice that’s equal parts funny, stylish, and sophisticated. The company focuses on bringing the best current events, food, and culture to a select number of cities across the nation. Their copy is succinct and to the point, yet filled with witty analogies, current event references, and genuinely helpful tips. Their brand voice feels like talking to a cool new friend you always want to be around, and their helpful tips on where to nosh, chill and party keeps readers craving more. Visual Style Humans have extremely short attention spans. For companies that want to be remembered, unforgettable visual brand and style elements are absolutely essential. Logo design, color, typography, and overall brand look and feel can have immense impacts on people’s emotions — if done correctly. For example, using cool blue and purple tones can create a calm, relaxed, and peaceful feeling, while bright reds and yellows create a sense of excitement and energy. The Honest Company is one brand that relies on design to connect to consumers in a crowded industry. The Honest Company — which creates natural, non-toxic cleaning and personal products — displays a refreshing approach to the eco-friendly lifestyle. Their butterfly logo communicates themes of transformation, freedom, nature, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the brand’s packaging design is filled with whimsical illustrations, playful shapes and cheery pops of color that echo natural forms. This visual language appeals to the young, eco-friendly mom while steering clear of overused eco-friendly and baby-centric branding trends. Brand Essence To sum it up in a few words, brand essence is the emotional heartbeat of your brand. It’s everything your brand means and stands for. From how consumers feel when they use your product, to what values they associate with your brand, your essence pulses through every single consumer touch point. With so many opportunities for consumers to interact with your brand online, managing the way people perceive your brand can be a difficult task. However, a careful dedication to your values, ideas, and brand soul can help you forge a brand essence that is authentically yours. Take Poler Stuff, for example. This outdoor apparel brand proves that small, consistent elements can add up to create an unforgettable brand essence. While Poler Stuff’s brand slogan “camp vibes” is laid-back and simple, the tagline is used consistently across all consumer touch points. In addition to using this slogan across t-shirts, hats, and mugs, it’s also used to create a powerful online community that rallies behind the spirit of the brand. The hashtag #campvibes is used to generate brand engagement on Instagram, where users are encouraged to post their adventure photos using the hashtag and join the community. Brand Culture Statement Brand culture statements are important for informing the daily work of employees and inspiring your organization on an internal level. Modern brands are leading a more transparent company by publicizing their culture in a place where it can be accessed by everyone. By being transparent and open about your brand’s culture, your customers will better understand and appreciate the motivations behind everything you do. Moz uses its culture code to inspire internal team members, loyal customers and prospects. The B2B software brand dedicated an entire page on their website to TAGFEE, an acronym that stands for “Transparent & Authentic, Generous, Fun, Empathetic, and Exceptional.” This culture code page offers an intimate view of Moz’s brand personality. Moz smartly defines their dedication to customers throughout the core code, making it clear that their culture code transcends every part of their brand, including their corporate culture, product offering, and relationship to customers. Consistency By now you know that consistency is a core component to building a brand that consumers remember. Likewise, upholding a consistent brand personality can encourage customers to choose your brand. Even if your brand is just starting out, making consistency a key goal can attract your lions (loyalists) early on. Fabletics is a relatively new brand that proves how powerful a consistent brand presence can be. Fabletics fills their Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts with quick workout videos, inspirational quotes, colorful product shots, and envy-inducing lifestyle imagery. While all of this content is strategically varied, it upholds the same inspirational and powerful brand values. Fabletics’ consistent posting delights their audience and reinforces the same brand personality day in and day out. Ashleigh Hansberger Ashleigh Hansberger is Co-founder & Director of Brand Strategy at Motto. Inc. 30 under 30 alum. Born and raised in Chicago. Shows up to do work that shakes the world. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.