Posted by: lalunablanca | November 12, 2007

Brand Personality

ConnieBensen wraps up her latest post with the question: “What ideas do you have for creating brand personality?”
http://conniebensen.com/blog/2007/11/11/giving-a-brand-personality/

I initially considered that it’d probably make a difference if it were an existing brand or a new brand. But she did say “creating”. So, “new” brand. That led my mind down two paths:

– The old worn and now even paved path of the Marketer controlling the brand. The way it’s been.

– The new branding where the Voice of the Customer is now louder than that of the Marketer.

With “perception being reality”, and quoting a latin american presenter of a recent podcast, the “consumer controls the brand”. As I ponder Connie’s question more, I begin to sense more that the most important aspect of controlling our brands is to guide the perception, acceptance, and portrayal by the consumers. Since consumers’ portrayal of the brand carries more weight than that of the Marketer, it is what ultimately controls it – what it is – the brand’s personality.

We must consider the personality of the -established- community that a newcomer initially encounters. The prospective consumer may encounter a sense of not belonging by the first impression of a brand’s community.

For example, let’s say I’ve been a Photoshop user for 15+ years now. I hear about XYZee photo software and headline skimmer I am, I blast quickly across their website, wind-up in the blog and see that most everyone is discussing using the software for specific applications that are NOT mine – like scanning, retouching, etc… I might draw the conclusion that the software is used by ‘ole film/print folks’ to digitize their libraries, but that it’s not meant for digital camera shooters. Quick conclusion, I stumbled on the wrong place or whoever it was that recommended it to me must have misunderstood my needs.

All that said, it would seem that the Marketer must continually be ever present within the community of users: participating and guiding them. As such, the community will associatively imprint the brand’s personality with that of its’ guides (or Community Managers). I can see some management cringing in their boots if there are merely two or even one Community Manager! That’s a TON of power to give 1 pure “employee”…

Boiling all that down, the bullet version might look something like:

Ideas on creating brand personality are
1. Maintain an ever present and responsive presence in the community.
2. Keep and eye on the “first impression” perception of the community to be certain that a cross-section of the target market is clearly represented and/or welcome.
3. Utilize the combinations of multi-media that reduce the likelihood of misinterpreting personality from the perceived tone of written-only word.

Connie engages this with the consumer’s imprinting on her and her sister as the brand. Also, the use of the utterz.com audio application.

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Responses

  1. ahhhhh – I only received the summary on my blog post!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your discussion about brand personality. Sure you can make it new, but yes, checking in with the established community & the establishment is a good idea too. 😉

    I hadn’t thought much about the ‘power’ of the community manager role. I think more of it as the responsibility!

    I look forward to seeing more of your writing! I’m subscribing.
    Connie
    http://www.conniebensen.com

  2. Too cool! What an incredible compliment – thank you.
    I didn’t know if it was appropriate to ramble on with a response on yours, so I just entered the summary. (I’m new to blogging other than having had my own journal once on LiveJournal and then on paper –way back).

    I subscribe to your blog using the RSS reader built into Outlook 2007.

    Your post earlier in the week about Networking is Building Relationships, sent my mind in so many directions, I had to put it down and get back to work! You write about great thought provoking topics. So much to be considered, understood, and misunderstood (to ultimately be corrected).
    Now, how to cross-post this on your blog at ConnieBensen.com? 🙂


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