If you’re a brand strategist, consultant or branding agency, you probably know that one of the trickiest yet most important parts of the branding process is articulating the personality of the brand. Why is this so crucial?
You’ve probably heard the saying: People want to buy from people. To connect, a brand needs to be more than a company, service or product. It needs to personify itself so people relate to it like they do to another person – via emotion.
95% of customers are likely to make purchases and decisions based on their emotional connection to a brand.
— Gerald Zaltman, How Customers Think
In this article, we’ll show you how to create this connection during a brand strategy workshop. You’ll learn the three main areas that are crucial to include in the brand personality session of the workshop, as well as which tools help engage participants effectively. There’s also a handy checklist to help make sure your personality session runs smoothly and generates stellar results.
How “Look and Feel” Translates to Connection
Brand Personality is an essential part of the foundation for all marketing. If a brand is not using their specific personality to shape how it looks and feels – in everything from messaging to website to store design – it will be impossible to connect with leads and resonate with their ideal customers. Even the priciest marketing efforts will fall flat.
Can you imagine a soft-spoken, refined woman who’s looking for a gorgeous leather handbag going into a store that has aggressive signage and bad lighting? No way. The look and feel of that brand’s personality won’t resonate with her emotionally. She’ll walk right on by.
However, when she comes upon a window display that features luxurious textures and warm colors echoing the tones of their fine leather handbags, she’ll feel an emotional tug that lures her in. It’s like she’s found a kindred spirit.
It’s this type of emotional connection that leads to sales, loyalty, and even advocacy.
People make decisions quickly, often based on whether something has a familiar or aspirational vibe. (This is why celebrity brands are so popular – in a bottle of perfume, customers see someone they admire and aspire to!). If a brand’s personality doesn’t grab their emotional attention, they’ll just keep on scrolling (or strolling).
3 Essential Elements to Include in Your Online Brand Personality Session
Now that you see why brand personality is so important, let’s make sure your Brand Personality Session is top-notch. This will be where stakeholders uncover (notice we didn’t say formulate) the brand’s authentic essence, so it’s important to have good structure to let ideas flow.
The Brand Personality Session usually comes at the end of the overall Brand Strategy Workshop. This works well because participants have already explored the product, ideal customer, positioning and messaging. Everyone is primed and ready for this next big step.
To uncover a brand’s true personality, there are three key areas that must be explored in the Brand Personality Session of a branding workshop:
- Beliefs and Values
- Brand Archetype, Personality Traits & Tone of Voice
Whether starting from scratch or leveling up a brand’s image, it’s important to include all of these areas to make sure participants are developing an overall vision as well as sussing out the finer points. This can be challenging even in person, but it’s even harder when the workshop is happening online.
Visual Tools: Your Secret to Engaging Workshop Participants
To make the Brand Personality Session engaging and effective for participants, it’s helpful to include visual tools that assist them in articulating their ideal version of the brand. This will lead to the most positive result: a brand personality that feels authentic, accurate and stylistically representative.
One easy and effective way to do this is by using the Brand Personality Cards. The images and words on the cards stimulate creative brainstorming and generate useful discussion. (Much better than awkward silence!)
👉 For best results, read out guide on How to use the Brand Cards.
The Brand Personality Cards are designed to work in tandem with the digital Brand Canvas. This useful template is where the whole Brand Strategy Workshop comes together.
Here’s how it works: All participants can see the cards on a whiteboard and are able to actively select the ones they think are the best fit. Then you can easily drag and drop the final card selections into the corresponding spaces on the Brand Canvas.
This streamlines the process: by the end of the workshop, the Brand Canvas provides a concise “‘snapshot” of all the information generated. It gives the team a complete picture of where the brand is heading.
👉 Pro Tip: After the workshop, The Brand Canvas acts as a guide for implementing the Brand Strategy. It keeps everyone on the same page and is useful when creating briefs for designers and copywriters.
When the overall marketing reflects those personality traits, your customer will recognize and feel a connection. A new friendship based on trust and loyalty is born!
Checklist for a Successful Online Brand Personality Session
👉 Download the interactive checklist here.
- Meet briefly with decision-makers to determine:
1) Who should be involved and what roles they should play?
2) What are the desired outcomes and next steps for after the session?
- Give participants an overview of the tools they’ll be using.
- Invite people to sign up for the Brand Canvas prior to the workshop.
- Make sure your Brand Personality Session comes at the end of the whole workshop.
- Give participants plenty of time to select the Brand Personality Cards and discuss the results.
- If you have 5 or more participants in an online Brand Personality Session, break them into groups of 3 or 6.
- Make sure all participants have the materials they need to proceed.
- Thank everyone for their time and input.
- Send follow-up communications in a timely manner.
👉 To use this checklist, make a copy or download it here.
Remember the secret behind successful brands: they connect to customers in the same emotional way that people yearn to connect to each other.
Understanding that and mastering how to achieve it will help you get great results in your online Branding Personality Session.