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Bring the brand to life as a person or a created character to represent at least one aspect of the brand, such as personality or visual identity. Here are three ways to do that.
1 Create a dramatic role for a real person to play
In North America there's Jack of Jack 'n The Box fame. He actually has some clever things to say, unlike the deposed King over at Burger King or the mute Ronald who plays the clown for, uh, what's the name of that fast food restaurant?
One advantage of a Jack, Mac or King is that they wear costumes, so anyone can play them, which means they can live for a long time, and their appearance can be updated as styles change.
2 Create an imaginary, illustrated or animated character
Here are some examples:
- The battery powered Bunny for energizer batteries. He just keeps on "going, and going and going ..."
- Mr. Opportunity for Honda. He comes knocking on your door with great deals!
- Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal. He gets your day off to a "Grreeeeeat!" start.
- The Geico Gecko wants to help you save 15% on car insurance in 15 minutes.
3 Turn the product into a person.
Or give the product human characteristics, such as the ability to talk.
Or take one aspect of the product and blend it into a person, such as camera lens eyes.
The world's oldest brand character, the Michelin Tire Man is a personification of he product, a stack of tires.
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By Bill Chiaravalle, Barbara Findlay Schenck
Your brand character is like the personality of your brand. Some brands are serious or even somber, and some are whimsical, fun, or playful. Some brands are youthful, and some are like silver-haired sages.
As a first step toward defining your brand character, ask yourself these questions:
What adjectives do those near and dear to your brand use to describe it? When asked to give a spur-of-the-moment one-sentence description, what do they say?
How would your brand be described if it were a person who walked into the room? Sophisticated? Fashionable? Flamboyant? Reserved? Important? Playful? Or one of countless other descriptions?
What words do customers use when they pay compliments, post reviews, or fill out satisfaction surveys? What words do you think they’d use to describe how they feel when they deal with you or your business? Would they use words like fun, creative, cool, serious, innovative, sophisticated, or others? See the following list for words Bill Chiaravalle presents to help brand-builders think about how customers might describe their character of their brands.
Choose Five Words You Feel Best Describe Your Brand:
Cool Innovative Gourmet Irreverent Hip Masculine Fun Serious Friendly Elegant Fast Quality Unique Youthful Sophisticated
The answers are important because the brand character reflected through the look and voice of your brand expressions must be consistent with what your brand actually is and stands for. If not, you’ll face two problems:
Your brand expressions will roam all over the map, serious at one time and playful at another depending on the mood and whim of whomever is producing them, and you’ll wind up with a schizophrenic brand identity.
The brand identity you project into the marketplace will be inconsistent with the brand experience people actually encounter, leading to a lack of credibility and a poor reputation.
Use the following format to write an accurate brand character statement that guides the development of all expressions of your brand:
Our brand is [insert a description of the character of your brand], a trait we reflect through brand expressions that are [insert a description of the mood and voice that all your marketing will project].