Does your brand have a personality? It’s an essential guide for how your brand sounds and looks, and the feel it projects to the market. While many would think that enterprise brands should maintain a buttoned-up, professional persona (a.k.a. boring), that’s actually not the case. In fact, you’re more likely to evoke stronger ties with your customers when you inject emotion. If you’re ready to build or reshape your company as a bold brand, we’ve got the essential steps to take below.
What is a brand personality?
You’re well aware of what personality is in terms of people. When applying it to something abstract like a brand, it still means much the same thing. It’s the combination of attributes, characteristics, and qualities that define your brand and attract customers to it.
As every person’s personality is unique, so is every brand’s. The vision of brand personality impacts how audiences respond to and interact with it. If it fits within audience expectations, values, and needs, it has the power to:
- Drive loyalty
- Attract new customers
- Foster credibility and authority in your field
So, what makes a bold brand personality?
What are bold brands?
What does it mean to be a bold brand? It’s not about shock value but rather confidence and courage. A bold brand stands its ground on beliefs and values. It’s also consistent in remaining bold and not just something to pull out every now and then.
What it means to be bold in your company is different for everyone. That depends on your industry, audience, products/services, company culture, market share, private vs. public, etc. Many factors contribute to what boldness means.
You’ll have to make that determination with the input of lots of stakeholders. We’ll use our own brand as an example. We sell content marketing software, and content marketers are our audience. Our solution fuses technology and creativity. Our boldness originates from our mission to simplify the lives of marketing teams and help them achieve more together.
We’re passionate about helping enterprise content teams find success. Still, we’re not afraid to call out bad practices in the field. We mix in humor, real-life anecdotes, personal experiences, and more in the content we produce. Our idea of being bold is being authentic, genuine, and disrupting traditional thoughts on content marketing!
If you haven’t defined your brand personality or are ready to be bolder, that’s the first step. One major part of this is developing your brand voice and tone.
Brand Personality Starts with Voice and Tone
A voice and tone document is a critical part of your content strategy. It defines what you’ll say and how you’ll say it. It’s the blueprint for the content you produce in all areas of your company. It’s also a key part of your brand personality. Here’s why:
It defines a brand’s voice attributes.
These are descriptors of how the brand should sound overall. Some common ones are approachable, smart, empathetic, and authentic. In this section, you should describe how those attributes impact language with dos and don’ts.
Voice and tone documents set the field for word choice.
Word choice matters in your personality. It could be as simple as how you describe your audience. Many companies that market to salespeople (e.g., software, training, etc.) have specific rules about what they call them. Some don’t like to use the word “reps” because it has a negative connotation to some. Others prefer to refer to them as sellers, and no one would use the term salesman anymore, as it’s antiquated.
Other “banned” words may have to do with jargon that dates content or makes it seem less accessible.
It includes your foundational language.
Voice and tone guides also include the key messages your brand personality will always stay true to, which are:
- USP (unique selling proposition)
- Elevator pitch
- Value prop
Your level of “boldness” will be part of those statements and guide the angles you take and how you present solutions to your customers.
For tips on how to create your brand voice, check out the video below.
After nailing down voice and tone, there are more ways to build your bold brand.
Define Boldness in Terms of Your Audience
Whom you market to is probably the most crucial element of your boldness. You want to grab their attention and make them feel like you understand them. It can be a balancing act.
Boldness can sometimes go awry if you’re not strategic about it. You don’t want to offend people, but you should also keep in mind that you can’t make everybody happy. If the content you create or the actions you take ruffle a few feathers, that’s a part of doing business. If most people respond to you positively, that’s where you want to be.
Ultimately, your boldness should align with customer values because that drives decision-making. A recent study revealed that 82 percent of buyers want a brand’s values to align with their own. That’s a stat that many have been measuring for a while and appears to be increasing. It demonstrates how critical your brand personality is when it comes to value alignment.
Boldness Often Means Stepping Outside Comfort Zones
Fear is a deterrent to change or trying new things. If your brand is very comfortable, it may also be complacent. That’s not a personality trait that will boost growth. As such, you’ll need to move outside of your comfort zone. In terms of how content marketers do this, you might:
- Take on a complex, controversial topic that’s important to your customers with a bolder stance. That doesn’t mean you have to pick a side or argument, but don’t act like it’s not crucial to your audience.
- Lean more on personal stories to support the bold personality of your brand. Don’t be afraid to talk about the people behind the company.
- Add some humor to your content when appropriate.
- Include bolder content formats (e.g., quick videos, interactive content) into content planning to shake up the norm.
Ready to be Bold?
Striving to reach boldness is an important journey for your brand. As content creators and stakeholders, much of this is in your purview. Take a chance on being bold with what you do, who your audience is, and how you help them.
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