Entrepreneurs don’t often think about personal branding, but when they do, they should take a tip from Dos Equis. The brand’s parent company has been in business since 1894, but sales began soaring after Dos Equis introduced the Most Interesting Man in the World in 2006. By 2012, the memorable ad campaign had propelled Dos Equis from a regional brand sold in Texas and California to America’s sixth-largest imported beer, Ad Age reported. Putting a face on your brand can be one of the fastest ways to boost your marketing presence and sales results. Entrepreneurs seeking better marketing results should prioritize putting their brand’s best foot forward online.
Begin with Buyer Persona Market Research
An effective brand persona begins with good market research. Your brand needs to connect with your customers, so start by considering the buyer persona of your target market.
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. For instance, Old Navy ads have targeted a fictional married soccer mom named Jenny who is between the ages of 25 and 35. In most cases, a company will target more than one market segment and will need to develop multiple buyer personas, with some prioritized more than others.
E-commerce expert Dmitry Perlovich suggests that you begin defining your buyer persona by using keyword research, social media analytics and social browsing to identify demographic characteristics of your target market. Your research should aim to identify the images and emotions that connect with how your ideal buyer thinks and feels, explains Design Shack writer Carrie Cousins.
Position Your Personality
With your buyer persona in mind, it’s time to consider your own brand’s persona and where you fit in the marketplace. Online e-commerce branding expert Richard Lazazzera recommends a four-step approach to building your brand persona. Start by selecting three to four “brand pillar” key words that sum up who you are as a brand and what you’re about. For instance, when Apple started, its original marketing philosophy focused on empathizing with customers, focusing on doing one thing well, and imputing quality to its products, summed up by the key words “empathy, focus, impute.” As your branding strategy develops, periodically review your brand pillars against your brand’s actual activities to make sure you’re projecting a consistent image.
Next, select two to three words that define your brand’s essence. For instance, Disney’s essence can be summed up as “Fun Family Entertainment.”
Third, define your brand’s promise. What do you do? Who do you do it for? What benefit to they get out of it?
Finally, express your brand’s mission statement. What contribution do you aim to make to the lives of your customers? What target market do you aim to serve? And how does this make you unique in your market? For instance, Amazon’s mission is to be the most customer-centric company in the world by providing one place where people can find anything they want online.
Use these four steps to help you verbalize the persona you want to project to your market. All visual images and language your company’s representatives use when interacting with your target market should be consistent with the way you intend to represent your brand.
Make Your Online Presence Consistent
Lazazzera says the next step is to make sure your marketing is consistent with your brand’s intended persona. Review all verbal and graphic elements associated with your brand persona, including taglines, product names, logos, color palettes, fonts, tone of voice and sense of humor.
How you represent your brand in videos has a major impact on your online persona. You can use stock video footage suppliers such as Shutterstock to find professional-quality videos that fit your brand persona.
Review every aspect of your company’s existing online footprint to make sure your brand is reflected consistently. This includes reviewing websites, blogs, social media sites, video platforms, photo sharing sites, podcasts, search engine results and paid ads.
Publish & Promote
After reviewing your existing online presence, continue building your brand by publishing and promoting content that expresses your brand persona. The heart of this effort will be your website and blog. Here you can post content that expresses your brand’s personality and positions you in your market.
You can then use your social media sites to distribute content from your blog and enhance it with supplemental content. When promoting your brand on social media, pay special attention to video, which lends a face and voice to your brand and its representatives. Video is the perfect place to add a human touch and sense of humor to your brand persona. Memes also give you an opportunity to make your persona memorable by using images and humor.