“If you were an animal, which animal would you be?”
Remember that game? It's time to play it with your brand – changing the question to, “if my brand was a person, what would they be like?”
Today's consumers demand brands have a greater social conscience, be more transparent, and communicate in a more personal manner. Basically, consumers want to know there are people, not robots, controlling a brand and its efforts. So the move to humanise your brand only makes sense, if you want to connect with your audience.
The “if my brand was …” exercise is what is known as a projective technique – aimed at tapping into the subconscious. Get your abstract hat on. Create your own set of questions, distribute them amongst your team and see what comes up.
Brand personification questions, to spark your imagination:
How does your brand act? What are its interests? Is your brand a quiet observer or the life of the party? Does it listen to classical music or rock ‘n’ roll?
What does your brand believe in? What causes does it support? Does your brand come from a big family? Does it need 8 hours of sleep a night?
What does your brand wear? How does it look? Does it know the power of basics or does it prefer the elaborate?
Not only is this an insightful in-house experiment, market researchers have long been using such techniques to gauge consumer perceptions. So, distribute your questions among those who already connect with your brand (your yes-men), and discover what they deem to be your brand characteristics.
All of the answers that arise can give you clues as to how you see your brand, how you want your brand to be seen, and how others see you. Know who your brand is 'as a person' and reflect this throughout your business story and communications; customers are now dealing with you, not a faceless brand.