Treat Your Brand Like a Person

  •    Partner at Base Design.

To help companies wrap their heads around branding, I often instruct teams to think of their brands like people. Individuals can also use this framework when thinking about the products and businesses they are creating.

Identity - it’s who you are.

Male or female, tall or short, blue eyes or brown -- these are characteristics that make up our personal identity and they never change. Brands are the same. Imagine… “Hi, I’m Chanel. I was born in Paris in 1909. You can recognize me by my two black, interlocking C’s that have always been a part of me.” On a brand level, it is critical to develop an identity that reflects the company at its core.

Personality - it’s how you behave.

When you first meet someone, you quickly notice how they talk and express themselves. Is the conversation funny? Serious? Do they gesture wildly? Or are they more sedate? Your brand personality impacts people in similar ways. When making a welcome video, do you want to come across as academic? Edgy? Think about how you want your brand personality to flow and how it will communicate your business in the most clear and supportive way for your desired outcome.

Experience - it’s how you will be remembered.

You know how after meeting someone, you often walk away with an overall impression of that person? Like, “Smart lady,” or “I’d trust that man with my life!” or “Such a generous guy." How we experience brands is much the same. By thinking about how you want your brand to be remembered, you can define truly key points, such as values or purpose, that will serve as the basis for the emotional connection you will establish with your customers from that point forth.

Try to think of these three areas of your company just as you would a person and chances are you will have an easier time wrapping your head around common roadblocks to building a great brand. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the brands around you and imagine them as a person. Write the words down and you can start to see how you can apply it to your own work. Hopefully it will even be fun!