Branding For Dummies
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Your brand character is like the personality of your brand. Some brands are serious or even somber, and some are whimsical, fun, or playful. Some brands are youthful, and some are like silver-haired sages.

As a first step toward defining your brand character, ask yourself these questions:

  • What adjectives do those near and dear to your brand use to describe it? When asked to give a spur-of-the-moment one-sentence description, what do they say?

  • How would your brand be described if it were a person who walked into the room? Sophisticated? Fashionable? Flamboyant? Reserved? Important? Playful? Or one of countless other descriptions?

  • What words do customers use when they pay compliments, post reviews, or fill out satisfaction surveys? What words do you think they’d use to describe how they feel when they deal with you or your business? Would they use words like fun, creative, cool, serious, innovative, sophisticated, or others? See the following list for words Bill Chiaravalle presents to help brand-builders think about how customers might describe their character of their brands.

    Choose Five Words You Feel Best Describe Your Brand:

    Cool Innovative
    Gourmet Irreverent
    Hip Masculine
    Fun Serious
    Friendly Elegant
    Fast Quality
    Unique Youthful

    The answers are important because the brand character reflected through the look and voice of your brand expressions must be consistent with what your brand actually is and stands for. If not, you’ll face two problems:

  • Your brand expressions will roam all over the map, serious at one time and playful at another depending on the mood and whim of whomever is producing them, and you’ll wind up with a schizophrenic brand identity.

  • The brand identity you project into the marketplace will be inconsistent with the brand experience people actually encounter, leading to a lack of credibility and a poor reputation.

Use the following format to write an accurate brand character statement that guides the development of all expressions of your brand:

Our brand is [insert a description of the character of your brand], a trait we reflect through brand expressions that are [insert a description of the mood and voice that all your marketing will project].

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Bill Chiaravalle served as Creative Director with world-renowned brand strategy and design firm Landor Associates before founding Brand Navigation, which has been honored with numerous branding, design, and industry awards. Barbara Findlay Schenck is a nationally recognized marketing specialist and the author of several books, including Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies.

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