Differentiating yourself in the market is a process, much like a high school grad going to college to find himself. Luckily, you’re a business, not an Adventure Education major (yeah, that’s a thing), and we don’t need a year, months or even weeks to get to the bottom of this. Let’s talk about how we can get to 5 brand personality traits in as little as 5 days.
Most brands already have a personality, but without a formal process of realizing it, you don’t know how to live it out. Likely, you already have places where it comes out. And people like it. But because you don’t want to alienate yourself or embarrass anyone, you hide your brand personality.
Your Process to Define 5 Brand Personality Traits in 5 Days
So let’s get to it. The goal of this article is to give you an example process, so it’ll be easy to do it on your own or manage the process effectively if you hire it out.
More formally, the goal: create and develop a list of 3-5 brand personality traits that can be translated into your communication, making you super-interesting to your ideal target audience.
Why should you care? Because when you’re considering working with someone, you want to work with people who think for themselves, who fulfill their promises and have some kind of sense of humor. People who get things and just seem to understand what’s going on around them.
I might be a little Archie-Bunkerish when it comes to John Lennon, but let’s take a page out of his book anyway. Let’s imagine.
- What if you were that business that everybody wanted to work with? That business that gets it?
- The business that is just clever enough in its communication and just interesting enough to be followable?
- That brand that knows the difference between what the industry is obsessing over and what’s actually important?
In other words, for those who identify with your business and your way of doing things, what if you could be considered the best?
Because when you’re that brand, you have a point of view.
- You’re telling them in economic hard times, they need to be thinking about today without ignoring the good times that are ahead.
- During a pandemic, when everyone’s empathizing, you’re the brand that says it’s not okay to stay scared.
- During an economic downturn, when everyone’s blaming, you’re telling people to take responsibility, find hope and work hard.
But you’ll never do it if you’re too shy, if you haven’t developed your personality and built your business on it and clients who expect it.
The Brand Personality Traits Process
This process yields 3-5 personality traits that you can then formalize into a list of traits that guide how you communicate and even the kinds of products or services you make.
- Start by downloading the personality traits worksheet from Resound.
- Schedule a time to get everyone together, ideally five of your most senior people, and go through the worksheet together.
Go through the section “Which most closely represents your brand and why?” and make sure to talk about why you chose what you chose. For instance, you have a choice of sodas that represent your brand. But if you choose Fanta, that doesn’t mean your brand is Fanta. Remember: WHAT you chose is less important than WHY you chose it. And it’s your job now to talk about why you chose Fanta and why it represents you.
Choosing the words in the next step can feel like a lot of work. But you can make it go fast. Set a timer and make everybody move through them quickly. Don’t think, just circle. As you pare things down to your final words, you’ll be looking for between three and five of your top traits.
You’ll take these traits and you’ll say which ones are your current traits and which ones are your desired traits. Take your current traits and then turn them into sentences. Those sentences represent your brand personality traits and why.
Optionally, if you have traits that you desire to possess, but don’t think you quite have them yet, then write sentences for those as well. You may find those helpful in understanding how far away you are and potentially what kinds of things you’d have to do to change and adopt those traits. You might also find that some of those traits will never be consistent with your other traits or with your business.
Now spend the next 5 days refining them in order to have them ready to finalize on day 5. Assign a person who will write them and who you think can capture the deeper meaning. It doesn’t even have to be a senior person. And that person should be asking for feedback almost immediately.
- Talk about the traits.
- Try to find at least 3 reasons that each one doesn’t fit you.
- Find ways you’re currently living them out. Hint: where you find these, make plans to double down on them!
Make it your goal to have them fully expressed and vetted in 5 days.
Living Your Brand Personality Boldly
None of this matters if you’re not able to live out your brand boldly and clearly in the world. Shy brands don’t inspire others. Your ability to directly and consistently live out your brand personality depends on getting a good start with a process like this one.
And remember, this process is not a long, drawn-out, vague kind of process. It can be done in one day. With refinement coming in the next day or week. But it needs focus for that one day.
If you do that and you sequester yourselves and fully complete the process, you will find that you’ll come out with a very good understanding of the personality traits that your company possesses, but has never maybe talked about. And you will understand the difference between aspirational, “want to,” traits, and ones that are actually true. And you will also gain the objectivity to understand the difference between what you want to think your personality traits are based on the fact that you’re the owner, and what they actually are based on the company you’ve created.
And then, over the next week, refine those and have fun with them. Think of examples and play with them. Talk them over and find out if there are things that you do that don’t exhibit that personality trait. Also, talk about the ones that do and how you actually do live those things out. Then double down.
This is how you make your writing fresh, your design unique and come across as genuine. Because before you can come across as genuine, you have to know yourself.