Companies that express a powerful brand personality can turn customers into fans and advocates.
What is the one thing that is unique beyond the product – it is the people within the brand. People emotionally attach and identify with people, a brand lives and breath through these personalities.
In 2014 I wrote Business Evolution Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World, and although it has been six years, the strategies within the book are still relevant today. The book talks about the ‘Essential 4Ps’ and the first P is Personality, building your personal business personality.
I define brand personality as the humanity behind the business. How this is conveyed is through its people the key influencer, the personal business personalities and the business mission and values. It will guide how the customer experiences the business and interact with the individual personalities within the brand.
The world, more now than ever, is demanding a human-centred approach to marketing. There is so much false information that you must lead with real personable and relatable people.
You must build and leverage a credible brand personality. Customers may not be able to visit you personally but will check you out online, the individuals and the brand. Therefore, they must engage and trust your brand personalities long before they press the flesh. It is vital to your business success to engage and influence in a way that reaches your most valued customers and a potential audience of fans in an authentically way.
Whether you are a CEO, a leader, manager, expert, influencer, an employee, or employer; you and your colleagues are the key personalities of the brand and the story-tellers of your marketing campaigns.
What do you stand for?
It means having a point of view that is important to the brand mission and finding a way to express it through the people that engage with the brand. The primary source is the individual personalities within the brand if the brand stand for something then the representative within it are the protector and communicators of these brand values.
Customers want to know who the individual representatives are, what they stand for, and the mission and purpose behind the business and see how your actions impact the mission, i.e. is it congruent and trustworthy? Customers, buyers, and stakeholders will look you up and decide on whether you are reliable and credible before accepting a call or connection.
30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Consumers value the opinions of influencers they can relate to more than that of celebrity. 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations (ION). Do you show up as an expert influencer that your customer can rely on?
If you develop customer conversations from a position of expertise and authority, you are less of a commodity and will gain more sales. If you are boosting the company’s visibility in a competitive market, then building the brand personality will help to increase visibility, build trust, and generate more opportunities. Brand personality is the natural character of your cohort of employees, colleagues, these influencers create brand advocacy and become your personal business personalities.
The critical qualities of a personal business personality are character, professionalism, authority, and consistency. Visibly demonstrate how you show up online by sharing relevant content, creating your social footprint, and making connections. Without enough visibility for your personal business personality, you are invisible to your wider audience and potential customers.
Imagine 50 employees all with 500 LinkedIn followers generating content once a week, potentially 100,000 more people could view this content, in a year 1.2 million potential more viewers not to mention the comments and shares. Your colleagues or collective cohorts are your best sales team and a powerful force that most businesses underutilise. Your marketing department cannot compete with the collective power of your real and relatable people.
As a starting point, everyone in the business must be searchable with a credible LinkedIn profile. Employee advocates can help acquire new customers and retain existing ones when customers view them as authentic and trustworthy. Empower colleagues to deliver the company’s brand personality and customer promise across all touchpoints, such as website, sales conversations, support calls, social media, product demos. Wherever customers interact with your brand; they must feel they are dealing with real people who care about them and live the mission and values that attracted them.
Of course, you cannot have everyone interrupting the brand messaging in their own way. However, if your brand values, culture and training and support are in an environment of collaboration and collectivism the individual communication will be on brand and the message consistent.
But this is not all about you, your personalities or even you brand personality – your reason for being is for your customer.
Having a clearly communicated brand personality with influencers trusted experts, and relatable personal business brand personalities under the umbrella of the brand personality, your customer knows and trust they are in the right place. And this is the best place to be, develop and grow together.