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Every best-in-class digital brand has a well defined, differentiating, and well-executed brand personality that comes to life in everything it does online. Brands have minimal real estate to communicate important messages and only 3 seconds to capture a person’s interest before they’re swiped away. That’s where the role of brand personality comes into play. Personality gets your emails opened, your content “liked,” and your Instagram followed. You don’t have to be funny. You just need to be humanized, dynamic, and interesting.
There’s a simple process to personifying your brand, and to help exemplify this process I asked some iconic drag queens to tell me about the personalities that have made them so popular. Check them out: Sherry Vine, Hedda Lettuce, and Jackie Beat.
Step 1: Compare Personify your brand by comparing it to people, characters, and archetypes that describe what your brand is like and what you want it to be like.
Hedda Lettuce:“A composite of all the glamorous gals throughout movie history – except for Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts or Norma Shear from the movie The Women.”
Jackie Beat:“The illegitimate love child of Bette Midler and Weird Al Yankovic or a one-night stand between Dolly Parton and Paul Stanley of KISS.”
Sherry Vine:“A middle aged Barbie meets a Las Vegas ex-showgirl sex kitten.”
Step 2: Describe Unpack your comparison into a long list of adjectives that describe it. Try to focus words that are describing inherent traits about a person and not descriptors of how someone is perceived. For example, funny is perceived while jokester is inherent. The synonym finder in MS Office will be your best friend. I recommend avoiding common words that are too vague like open, honest, real, expert.
Step 3: Refine From the long list of adjectives, refine your personality to a short list of ~5 adjectives that encapsulate the personality. Each word should be precise, and the collection of words should feel unique. Make those words work hard for you!
Hedda Lettuce:“Brassy, sassy, classy, and trashy.”
Step 4: Define Make your words actionable by defining the implications they have on your brand. Create rules like; if my brand is __________ then my content/imagery/ copy/ experience should __________________ and never __________________.
My challenge out to you brand marketers: Hire one of these fabulous drag queens as your spokesperson… if your brand can handle them!
David Trahan is a Senior Strategist with MRY in San Francisco. He specializes in consumer behavior, branding, and digital. He is opinionated, thoughtful, and provocative at his core, and uses his writing to re-frame ideas in a new context. David was recently named one of “Advertising’s Rising Stars” by Mashable. His idea of success is getting you to laugh, try something new, or take on a new perspective. You can follow him online @onthedavidtrain.