How to uncover your brand personality


We’ve certainly talked a lot recently about building trust with your audience, and how your branding is a huge part of that. You customers need to get a sense of who you are professionally (and sometimes personally). To do that, you need to know that yourself. In fact, not just know it, but understand it intimately. Live it. Breathe it.

At this point, you likely understand that your brand is more than just your logo and the colours you choose. But there’s so much more to consider. Are you trading ethically? (And if so, do your customers know? If not, why not?) How do you view your customers, your role in the community, your commitment to the environment? Do you know who you’re selling to? Are they who you want to be selling to? Why should people shop with you instead of your competitors?

It’s a lot to think about, but putting in the effort and really chewing over the facts of who you are and where you’d like your business to go is essential. They seem like simple questions, but it’s surprisingly difficult to nail all this down! I’ve tried it myself, and although it’s a challenge, it’s really helpful in nailing down where I’m headed with my little business. It’s informed what type of website I have, the type of social media engagement I strive for, the type of language I use and the standard of behaviour I set for myself. It came down to three keywords for me. Always offer:

Integrity. Value. Knowledge.

Hopefully, this comes across.

After a bunch of analysis and thought, I found this was the easiest reminder to circle back to when I’m struggling for inspiration. Three. Little. Words. For all the other details that are important, having a clear, concise ‘mission’ that’s easy to see and easy to understand has been so very useful. I know who I am and why I do things the way I do.

Here’s the brand personality process in a nutshell:

  • What are your values?

    Maybe you’re a clean, green, environmental machine, or a profit-mad capitalist megastar. Know it. Own it. Your customers are probably just like you, aspiring to be you or at the very least respect the honesty. Pretending to be something you’re not is a recipe for disaster.

  • Who/what do you admire?

    Existing brands, celebrities, authors, cities, activists are all good options to compare your brand with. How do you stack up? What about these brands etc do you admire? Is it prestige? Intelligence? Dedication? Style? Wealth? Whatever the attribute, note it and use it!

  • What makes your business different?

    In reality, there are very few businesses that are completely unique. Having a USP (unique selling proposition) is still important because although the overall idea may not be new, the combination of all the things you bring to it may well be.

  • What do your clients say about you?

    While testimonials are essential for building your business, gathering feedback generally will help to guide you on how you’re tracking in line with your branding. A simple tool like Survey Monkey will gather honest feedback you can utilise to be sure you are doing what you set out to.

If this all seems a bit much, I’ve compiled a little template for you to try the branding personality exercise for yourself. Take it for a spin! I’d love to hear how you fare, and what YOUR three little words are. (Money, power, glory? Professional, clean, honest? Tasty, fresh, fast?) Hit me up! The first time you do this will be the hardest, but regularly revisiting your work will ensure you’re keeping on track, or trying a new direction if you’re ready for a change.

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