(for biz owners/marketers)8 steps to creating brand persona
06.15.2010(for biz owners/marketers)8 steps to creating brand persona
What follows is an edited excerpt from Engage!
Anyone who has ever worked in corporate marketing, advertising, and branding is more than familiar with a brand style guide. It’s how we ensured that the brand was represented as intended through marketing aesthetics and messaging – including detailed usage instructions on font, style, color, language, placement, positioning, etc.
It is our bible and adherence to its tenets and instructions is strictly enforced.
However, with the unstructured proliferation of social media within many organizations, the brand style guide is seemingly disregarded or not considered in favor of expediting the creation of profiles in social networks and the participatory engagement that immediately ensues.
Everything the brand was intended to represent is no less important simply because new tools and services make it easier for anyone within the company to reach and connect with markets. The contents and purpose of a brand style guide still apply. In fact, the unification of a brand and what it both evokes and symbolizes is now paramount in this conversational medium to effectively attract, earn, and inspire customers and advocates.
While it’s highly likely that the design of each social profile works against the brand elements and usage guidelines in the existing style guide, at least in principle, the true quandary and risk in all of this, is the potential for brand confusion and dilution.
In social networks, the brand and how it’s perceived, is open to public interpretation and potential misconception now more than ever. Without a deliberate separation between the brand voice and personality and that of the person representing it, we are instantly at odds with our goals, purpose, and potential stature.
Simply said, the style guide is more important than ever before and it is in dire need of innovation in order to humanize and personify a brand voice and persona, something that people can truly connect to online and offline. Therefore, we need to revisit our core and modernize our story, how we present it, and how we intend to be perceived, setting the tone for engagement and resulting activity.
The goal of a social media style guide is to establish:
- What the brand represents in the social Web
- Its characteristics
- Brand personality traits
- The voice of the brand
- Attributes and voice necessary at the representative level
- Procedures and guidelines for representation, accountability, and workflow
- Metrics for quantifying activity and the intended results
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