Is your brand personality telling customers the real story?
Our work with mid-sized companies has taught us that brand can sometimes be a touchy subject to approach. Although we often encounter brands that we instinctively know aren’t speaking to customers, convincing a client of this fact can be challenging. You can’t say, “It just doesn’t look good,” and expect agreement, especially when your client is most likely emotionally and/or financially invested in the current identity. We find a better approach is to start with the question of who you are, and to ask whether your current brand is showcasing this unique organizational personality of yours, or leaving your customers with a much different (even misleading) impression.
What is brand personality? Brand personality should be firmly rooted in the why of a company – the vision, mission and commitments that a company makes – in other words, its core beliefs and its approach to product and people. Once we understand an organization’s personality traits, we can start defining how those traits impact and define the relationship with its customers and whether those traits are being reflected in the current brand. Every company is different, and a good understanding of personality provides a reference point for all communications and connections. The following (Engle Martin & Associates and BreastCare Specialists) are two of our most recent examples that show how small changes to brand can make a big difference in perception:
EngleMartin & Associates, adjusters and claims administrators, define its personality as a trusted family friend willing to lend a hand when needed. As it grows nationally through acquisitions of smaller firms, the company wanted to ensure that the family feel of a smaller firm remained an important differentiator. Minor edits to the typography and color palette created a friendlier, softer yet familiar brand (the new version is on the right).
BreastCare Specialists, diagnosis and management of women’s health issues is combating a PR challenge. The group offers an amazing service by combining several weeks of treatments and doctor visits into a single day, but the initial appointment takes much longer than most clinics. Although the group provides clear communications and complete transparency about the longer appointment time, many women still expressed negative feedback. We suggested leading with the length of visit as a positive differentiator, repositioning the firm with the tagline “A half day makes a difference” — essentially turning a potentially negative experience into a positive expectation.
Our advice to clients is to be sure that your brand image and your message truly reflects your organization. Without agreement between brand and personality, your marketing strategies may fall flat and your brand can actually become a hurdle or even a roadblock to customers instead of a gateway. When brand and personality align, your audience will have a better and immediate understanding of why they want to engage with you and not your competitors, leading to a more authentic connection that will grow and deepen over time.
Relevant brand personality case studies