Building a consistent brand with a compelling personality

2 minute read

Every strong brand has a personality behind its voice. A good brand can build trust, engage new customers, and encourage loyalty and long lasting relationships.If your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room, are you confident in what people are saying about your brand, company or service?Your brand is your personality, and both can be crafted, but Iit takes time to develop and enhance a consistent brand with a compelling personality.When you think of your brand personality, is it:

  • What you tell people your organisation is
  • What the company sounds like
  • What the company does

It’s probably a little bit of all of these. Your brand is a combination of your intentions, your actions, and other people's perceptions.

Brand personality elements

Branding can be thought of in terms of visual work and marketing. Logos, colours, and fonts all play an important role in having a recognisable brand. But branding is also about how you sound and what you do. To that end, brand includes:

  • Message Architecture
  • Voice and Tone
  • Communications Strategy

Message Architecture

The message architecture has at its core a mission statement of sorts and is the first step in creating a brand. It’s a one or two line statement rather than a public-facing missing statement. It should summarise who you are, why you do the things you do, and how you accomplish your goals. The mission statement should serve as a reminder of how you make your decisions.The next part of the message architecture is the pillars. These are themes, or terms that summarise your brand attributes. For example, one core theme may be “up and coming,” which will influence the types of technology you use, how quickly you share information, and what types of products you create.These themes and mission make up your architecture and serve as the structure for your brand.

Voice and Tone

Your voice is the way you speak or sound. Good dialogue demonstrates how a specific character speaks, so your brand voice will demonstrate how you speak.If voice is inherent to you, tone is how you modulate your vocabulary for specific scenarios. As a person, you may speak differently to your colleagues than to your friends. You may use a different vocabulary and tone in a meeting than on a date. Your brand will also need a tone specific to common scenarios: one for celebrating great moments with customers and another for apologising when things have gone wrong. If you define the appropriate tone for each scenario you’ll ensure your voice maintains a measure of consistency.

Communications Strategy

Your strategy outlines how, when, and where you are going to communicate with your audience. Refer back to your message architecture to determine how to make those decisions.When you build out a communications strategy, you define additional elements of your personality. You define the types of places you spend time, when you’re going to reach out to people, and what you’ll respond to.

Live Your Brand

Listen to your audience, and learn if you’re being consistent. Check in with your message architecture, and make sure your mission statement aligns with your objectives.

Your brand personality is an intrinsic part of your organisation. Set yourself up for success with a message architecture, voice and tone, and communications strategy.

Keen to learn more?

Watch the recording of Marli's webinar, how to build a message architecture that reflects and promotes your brand. We covered how to build a message architecture, how to create a voice and tone, and how to use brand to further organisational goals.

Checklist

Content Style Guides Checklist

A free checklist to help you plan, create, disseminate and maintain a content style guide.

About the author

Marli Mesibov

Marli Mesibov is the VP of Content Strategy at the digital UX agency Mad*Pow. Her work spans strategy and experiences across industries, with a particular interest in healthcare, finance, and education. She is a frequent conference speaker, a former editor of the UX publication UX Booth, and was voted one of MindTouch’s Top 25 Content Strategist Influencers in 2016. Marli can also be found on Twitter, where she shares thoughts on UX Design, content strategy, and Muppets. You can learn more about her and her work at http://marli.us

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