How to create an online brand persona

Brand personas are a collection of attributes such as personality, attitudes and values that reflect your brand in all its communication, creating a ‘physical’ representation of your brand. Personas are useful when building a brand, because not only do they help differentiate your business among the market, but they can help you to quickly build rapport with your customers if your personality resonates well with them.

In this article, we look at the journey to creating an online brand persona for your business.

  1. Begin with a brand archetype

If you’re not sure where to begin, there are some brand persona archetypes that are thought to be based on human behaviour. This is a great place to start if you’re stuck, by picking one of the following that most closely represents you and your brand:

  • The Outlaw – Disruptive, rebellious, combative
  • The Magician – Mystical, informed, reassuring
  • The Hero – Honest, candid, brave
  • The Lover – Sensual, empathetic, soothing
  • The Jester – Fun-loving, playful, optimistic
  • The Everyman – Friendly, humble, authentic
  • The Caregiver – Caring, warm, reassuring
  • The Ruler – Commanding, refined, articulate
  • The Creator – Inspirational, daring, provocative
  • The Innocent – Optimistic, honest, humble
  • The Sage – Knowledgeable, assured, guiding
  • The Explorer – Exciting, fearless, daring

Each of these has their own voice, message and personality, so choosing one of these that most closely reflects your brand ideals and values will help you to answer the next questions.

  1. Traits & personality

The next step is to look at the traits and personality of your brand. Much of this will come from your chosen archetype, so it’s important to get this right at this stage, but this doesn’t mean that your persona can’t evolve in the future.

Some questions to consider here:

  • Is your brand authoritative, or friendly and nurturing?
  • Is it outgoing or introverted?
  • Are you truthful and humble or daring and provocative?
  • Are you rebellious and disruptive or calm and soothing?

The answers to these questions will help you with the next steps in creating your brand persona. If you’re still stuck, take a look at some examples of personality traits for some further inspiration.

  1. What does your persona look like?

Now you have an initial archetype and personality traits in place, it’s time to figure out what your brand persona looks like. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a human – it could be a robot, a mythical creature or an animal, but it will be the semblance and visual representation of your brand.

One thing to consider when thinking about your brand persona is your target audience. Is your audience made up of mostly men, mostly women, Gen Z, millennials or parents? Your target audience can help you shape your brand persona into something that resonates with them.

For example, the Sage archetype is often thought of as an older, wise and knowledgable character, whereas the Caregiver is usually a more feminine, soft character. So make sure to choose a personification that reflects the chosen personality traits and your target audience equally.

  1. Tone of voice

Once the above steps are done, you can start to consider your persona’s tone of voice. Again, much of this will come naturally from your archetype’s initial traits such as whether they’re calm, soothing and reassuring or fearless and daring.

The purpose of a brand persona is to help you connect better with your audience, and for them to connect with you. So make sure to think about your target audience, and the ways in which they interact, and to use this to shape your tone of voice.

It’s important to remember also that your tone will be used across all of your communications – this includes your own site, sales collateral, and even external website customer platforms like Feefo. While your social media channels may have a slightly more jovial tone, your TOV needs to be relatively consistent across all channels and customer touchpoints for it to be effective.

  1. Bring it all together

The last stage is to bring it all together. A great way of keeping your brand persona consistent is to create a set of brand guidelines including things such as:

  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Colour palette
  • Fonts and font sizes
  • Images and photography
  • Brand persona
  • Tone of voice (with examples)
  • Mission and values

This will help keep your brand consistent across all departments within your business, as well as to external third-parties and content creators.

By following the five steps above, you can build a fully realised brand persona that accurately reflects your mission, values and personality, helping to keep customers engaged and setting you apart from the competition.

Image Source: Google Images