Buyer Personae, Meet Brand Personalities

Posted on February 12, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Inbound Marketing, Internet Traffic, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

To celebrate the end of the week and get us groovin’ into the weekend hit the play button for pianist Gene Harris’ version of ‘Put it Where You Want It’. More about why this selection at the end of the post. If you’re getting this by email – visit the blog to listen.

In inbound marketing we encourage clients to imagine their important audiences as Buyer Personae – individual types with particular qualities, characteristics and personality traits. Subsequent marketing to buyer personae becomes more focused and resonates more authentically with customers and prospects.

Lately, in consulting with a number of small and mid-sized businesses, I’ve started formulating some thoughts about Brand Personalities. Beyond the visual identities/logos, and overarching brand promises/values that marketers work hard to put forth with consistency, brands have personalities.

Like humans, brand personalities are comprised of a variety of traits and behaviors that can and should be displayed appropriately depending upon the audience, the interaction and the venue.

A brand may be dead serious about R&D and product safety. It may be playful in marketing promotions and intellectually curious in establishing thought leadership. It might be daring – or risk averse. It could be an advocate for its employees and a kind neighbor that gives back through voluntarism or philanthropy. It could be a no-nonsense negotiator in protecting investor value.

Companies need to consider their own personality traits when establishing their online presence. The array of social media and Web 2.0 tools offer ample opportunity to share various brand personality attributes in different ways.

For example, a firm’s website might present its most formal face to the general array of possible visitors: prospects, customers, referral sources, prospective funders, industry analysts, media, etc. There might be a calendar page listing upcoming events, speaking engagements and so forth. There might also be a page where the company’s philosophy of community involvement is described. Other pages would present products and services.

Offsite tools can make the personality traits associated with each aspect of your company and its activities come alive. Put the photos from a recent speaking engagement or community service event on Facebook, tagging noted guests, officials and employees. You can also share fan-only promotions, offers and contests there.

Post PowerPoint decks from analyst briefings on Linked In and solicit comments and questions. Share comments that highlight your understanding of your business on blogs and sites that cover your industry.

Use Twitter to tap into issues of importance to your key audiences, then comment, showing concern as well as expertise and sharing information that adds value to the conversation. Leverage your brand’s knowledge base on your blog, sharing insights from employees in various roles and commenting on industry developments, company issues, and customer concerns.

Regardless of the venue, link every part of your online presence to every other part so that over time those who engage with your company will get a fully rounded picture of your rich and diverse brand personality.

I chose the Gene Harris tune ‘Put It Where You Want It’ from his album Alley Cats for two reasons. First, the album notes say, “Soulful, bluesy, swingin’, hard-bopping, funky – which of these best describes the two-fisted jazz piano stylings of Gene Harris? Answer: All of them!!” So it is with multi-faceted brand personalities. And, second, you can take the online content that best represents each aspect of your brand and – you guessed it – put it where you want it! Enjoy and see you soon!!


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