Do you want your brand to be relatable, recognizable, and impactful?
A brand persona can help you present your company values, personality, and benefits in a way that resonates with your current and potential customers.
While it may seem unnecessary or redundant to create a brand persona when you already have a brand identity, it’s not. A brand persona is one of the core visual elements that you and your marketing team can use to ensure a consistent representation of your brand.
This, in turn, can help you develop a trustworthy relationship with your audience and establish brand loyalty.
Because creating a brand persona is so important, we’ll walk you through the steps you can take to build a brand persona for your business.
What is a Brand Persona
A brand persona is a key visual asset that fits within your overall brand identity.
A brand persona is an avatar or imaginary person that a brand can create to represent who they are. Just as a person has unique values, language, and personality, a brand persona is a compilation of a brand’s values, voice, and personality traits.
It is your brand personified.
A brand persona doesn’t necessarily have to be a person, though. It can be a mascot, an illustration, or an animal like the Geico gecko.
However, unlike a brand personality, a brand persona should be a visual representation of the brand. And unlike a logo, it should have personality and voice.
Of course, all of these aspects of your brand should be seamlessly connected. This ensures that whatever element your customer encounters, there’s no confusion as to who your company is or what you do.
Brand Persona vs Buyer Persona
Brand personas and buyer personas are similar in that they are both visual representations of an authentic persona. Like brand personas, buyer personas have goals, values, and personality traits.
However, a brand persona is different from a buyer persona in that it reflects the attributes of your brand, not your customers. Buyer personas feature demographic information like age, location, etc., that is based on your true buyers.
Both are equally important to a successful marketing campaign, and they work together in many ways.
Think of it this way: Your buyer persona and your brand persona are friends — they communicate in the same language but have different personality traits.
Why You Need a Brand Persona
We already mentioned a few of the reasons why a brand persona is important: it can help you consistently represent your brand across all teams, and it can help you connect with your target audience segment more effectively.
Here are 3 key things a brand persona will enable you to do.
A clear brand persona helps establish who your brand is and what you’re all about. It exemplifies what makes your brand unique and helps you stand out, which can mean all the difference in a competitive marketplace.
Brands with a strong brand persona are immediately recognizable. You can probably think of a unique persona off the top of your head.
There’s Flo from Progressive Insurance, Mr. Clean from Mr. Clean, Ronald McDonald from McDonald’s, and The Most Interesting Man in the World from Dos Equis.
Recognizable brands are memorable brands, and memorable brands garner attention, gain traction, and earn more sales. With a strong brand persona, people will recognize your brand at first glance.
Share Your Benefits
Through a brand persona, you can address the pain points of your audience and the solutions your company provides.
Your persona will exude the characteristics your audience aspires to, which, ideally, will reveal to them what they can gain from purchasing your product or service. When customers identify with the feelings of a brand, they are much more likely to purchase from them.
Take Jeep, for instance. Everything about the brand, including the voiceover on its commercials, exudes ruggedness, adventure, and the outdoors. People who identify with those feelings are much more likely to set foot on the Jeep lot than someone who doesn’t.
In this way, a brand persona can be a great way to showcase your brand personality and what it’s like to work with your brand or own your product.
Will it be fun and easy?
Will the customer feel empowered and accomplished?
Or, cool and relaxed?
Connecting with customers has always been integral to a successful business, but in the modern age, with an increasing amount of customers discovering businesses online, establishing that connection is a little more difficult.
But having a brand persona can help.
People connect with people based on their personality traits and their values. Connecting with a brand is no different. People relate to brands through the way the brand represents itself, its traits, and its values. Often, these traits are what drives them to make a purchase.
Take celebrity-owned brands, for instance. People are often driven to make a purchase because they can relate to and engage with the face of the brand, i.e, Brian Tracy and his public speaking courses or George Clooney of Casamigos Tequila. These celebrities evoke aspirational characteristics that drive people to purchase their products.
While your brand persona may be a fictional character, it’s very much a way to develop engagement with your target audience. Companies that focus on cultivating this engagement through social media, events, virtual meet-ups, etc., will foster a community that will attract more and more customers.
How To Build a Brand Persona
Now that you know why a brand persona is important and how it can help your business achieve its goals, developing a brand persona is the next step. It’s a fairly straightforward process. That is if you already have a well-fleshed-out brand identity.
If you haven’t created your brand identity, do that first. When you solidify this, you’ll be in a much better position to craft a solid persona to represent your brand. Then, come back here and jump in.
1. Define Your Business’s Key Attributes
What words define your business? If you’ve never put these words on paper, now is the time.
Consider the feelings you want your brand to evoke as well as your brand’s personality traits, i.e., organized, efficient, and quirky, or artistic, elegant, and aspirational. What three words would you use?
These words will become the defining attitudes of your brand persona so choose them carefully. Naturally, they should strongly correlate to the business you’re in.
For instance, if you’re providing financial advice, “trustworthy” and “informative” may be good attributes, but if you’re selling dog toys, you may want to choose words like “playful” and “exciting.”
2. Differentiate Your Brand
As any good business owner knows, knowing your competition is critical to your own success. And that goes for the success of your brand persona as well.
When you’re aware of who your competitors are and how they relate to their audience, you can differentiate yourself.
What sets your business apart?
You probably remember a famous example of a brand that compared its persona to a persona it developed for its competitor. We’re talking about the “I’m a Mac” commercials. In these commercials, Apple juxtaposed its innovative, fresh, and cool brand with a more dated, and less cool persona meant to represent a PC.
In these TV spots, Apple expertly personified its brand, making it extremely relatable and memorable.
You can do that too. When developing your brand persona, hone in on your niche and what gives you a competitive advantage. This way, you’ll be sure to stand out.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Customers
At its core, a brand persona is a reflection of your brand, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider your customers when you create it.
Your brand persona should reflect someone your customer wants to engage with and can relate to. Remember, the buyer persona and brand persona are friends with varying personalities.
So, your brand persona should reflect that friend relationship to an extent. For instance, if the core demographic of your audience segment is female, your brand persona should probably be female as well.
Remember, the goal of creating a brand persona in the first place is to be able to relate to your audience more easily, so it’s important to keep them top of mind.
4. Establish Your Tone
The tone of voice is critical to how you’ll relate to your customers and solidify that friendship. If you’ve already established a brand identity (which you should have), then you’ve probably put in the work to establish your brand’s tone.
Your brand persona should use this same tone, perhaps with a few nuances, to reflect your brand in a consistent manner.
At this point, it can be helpful to come up with a few phrases that the brand persona for your company might say. To solidify these phrases, consider how then your customers might react to them.
5. Pull it All Together
Now it’s time to put the persona on paper.
Pull out a fresh sheet or open a new Google doc and create a section for each of the steps we just went through — your brand persona’s key attributes, tone of voice, the way they relate to your buyer personas, etc.
Additionally, on this page, you should include an image or illustration of your buyer persona. Finally, don’t forget to give them a name. This will bring your persona to life.
3 Tips To Build a Brand Persona that Lasts
You now know how to create a brand persona to communicate your brand values and attract customers.
We have a few parting tips that will help you use your buyer persona effectively and achieve the goals you have for your business.
1. Be Consistent
Brand personas are not separate entities from other elements of the brand, such as the logo, graphic style, and color scheme. Rather, the brand persona builds off of and expands these elements of a brand identity.
For instance, the visual aspect of the persona you create should be in line with the other visual aspects of your brand, i.e., they should wear a shirt that is a color in the brand color scheme.
And the way they talk should be consistent with the voice and the tone of your emails, your blog, and your web copy. This is why it’s critical to create your brand identity before building a brand persona.
It’s not only important that your brand persona is consistent with the rest of your brand, but also that is consistently portrayed in the same way, for instance, on social media.
Your persona doesn’t have to be one-dimensional, but if its personality, tone, and image are inconsistent, it could diminish your brand’s credibility and hurt your connection with the audience.
2. Be Authentic
Don’t try to develop a brand persona around who you think your customers want your brand to be, but rather, who you really are.
What are the core values that make you a great company? What are the benefits you bring to the table? What are the ways you interact with your customers or clients that set you apart?
Look inward and answer these questions as you create your brand persona.
When you do this, you’ll create a brand persona that is authentic, and that authenticity will come through when you speak to your audience.
3. Share Your Brand Persona
Part of creating an authentic brand persona is ensuring it feels like a true representation of your company to everyone in the company.
So, after creating your brand persona, don’t keep it to yourself. Share this document with other members of your team and be open to edits.
Better yet, collaborate with other key members of your team when building the persona to ensure you don’t miss any key elements.
4. Be True to Your Brand
Brand personas can make it easier to see which other businesses your brand aligns with or not. This can be particularly useful when deciding who to partner with, be it another brand, or an influencer, say, for affiliate marketing.
Your brand persona will be more effective if you stay true to it. You can ask yourself, “who would this person work with and why?”
In this way, your brand strategy even depends on your brand persona.
If you’re looking to expand your brand strategy and see better results from your marketing efforts, it makes sense to create a brand persona. With it, you’ll be able to further solidify your brand, become more recognizable to your audience, and easily express the value of your products or services.
You can also sign up for a free Digital Marketing Audit to receive feedback on where else you can improve your strategy from our team of marketing experts.