The voodoo behind Finding your Brand Personality


Written by

Martin Sully

microphone against a yellow background with episode 008 written on white over it

Voodoo, schmoodoo! There's no dolls, pins, saliva, hair or anything. Just 3 cool tricks (magical mystery spells) to master and start finding your brands voice, its personality.

Defining the tone of voice for your brand can be transformative for your confidence in your marketing, sales and brand awareness. 

A unique brand voice, can really amp your brand up and transform your business. You can then use it consistently across all your emails, social media, website, phone calls, packaging, everywhere.

Research other Magnetic Brands

Cool trick number one – I want you to look at 4 to 6 brands you love. That you are drawn to like a moth to my face on a warm summer night. Snoop over everything.

I'm talking emails, socials, packaging, product descriptions, website. Anywhere their branding touches. Maybe it's downloads, legally sniffed-out presentations, get your hands on content and look at how they humanise their brand.

How did they engage you? What drew you in? If you love it, others will too. 

Humanising your brand voice is key, and there's loads of examples of brands that nail this.

Take Mountain Culture, a brewery in Australia's Blue Mountains. Their about page on their website reads, "How can we brew a beer even better than the last? It's the question we ask ourselves every day. Sometimes at 3am, too." Give me more of that. It's aspirational and isn't a statement that puts its feet on the couch and says, "I'm done". The first question, "How can we brew a beer even better than the last?" works in two ways.

If they brew a bad beer, they'll improve the next. But if they brew a delicious beer, they're gonna make it even better. Mountain Culture has that little edge of self-confidence. They're not gonna say, "we just brew beer." How dull would that be?

Why should you care about brands that have no relevance? It's research! You need to discover how other brands have built their personalities. Then young padawan, you must apply it to your brand.

Get creative with your brands personality traits

Combine your new knowledge with buyer personas, haven't got a buyer persona? See my blog The Art of Attracting your Dream Customers. This is where you start adding creativity to your copy. That hearty mix of buyer personas, personality quirks and knowledge of what works will start captivating your audience quicker than a sausage sizzle.

If Heaps Normal came in saying, "buy our non-alcoholic beer, it's great." The chances are, they wouldn't be mentioned here. 

They are doing things differently – they're a non-alcoholic brewery trying to shift the drinking culture to a more mindful experience. If you look over their website, their copy has some serious swagger and confidence. It's super engaging. Here's a little extract, "Whether you are meeting a few mates after work, catching a gig or having a Barbie. The traditional alternatives to alcohol suck. The options at most pubs, bars and restaurants in Australia are sugary soft drinks, tea, coffee, or water. Not exactly an inspiring night out." 

By exploring personality traits like assertiveness, raucous-ness, cautious-ness and sheepish-ness, you too can paint a vibrant picture of how your brand talks and acts. 

Look at: 

  • How they walk. Are they dawdling, fast-paced, awkward? 
  • How they talk. Do they have a really good rhythm? Do they use slang? Is it really formal? Is it really brash or super intense? 
  • How they dress, be specific - are they off to a job? A meeting? Night out? Wedding?
  • The brand values. How would they react when someone has a conflicting opinion?
  • What they talk/think about. 
  • What they drink. Are they a quadruple shot latte on soy? Or are they English tea?

Get into it and have fun. All those extra details add depth and personality. This is what people engage with.

Find balance in your tone of voice

Last cool trick. Our personalities are super complex. Some branding agencies refer to this as dualities - where we have contrasting thoughts on a topic. Except we don't like being labelled. So we aim not to pigeonhole people.

Humans also contradict what we say and do, so it's essential to balance this. To do this, I use a game called This, Not That. Essentially you are highlighting a dominant characteristic of your personality or the brands personality but finding balance in it.

These are things like we are confident, not cocky. We're experts but not bossy. We're humble but not weak. Concise but not dull. 

Listing these can solidify your brands personality and give you quick tips to jump to when you're stuck writing content.

Let's simplify discovering your brand voice

This isn't a definitive guide, we can go much deeper, but these three techniques will help you to start discovering your brand voice.

First – analyse brands you love, find their human qualities and consider which bits resonate with you and why.

Second – combine that knowledge with your buyer/customer personas and dream up a brand personality they'd love. Think about entertaining and educating your customers. Throw in personality quirks and check out the bullet points above for inspo. 

Third – balance out the voice. Don't go too far with one of those personality traits you are dreaming up. 

Soon enough, your brand personality will take shape, and storytelling won't be as awkward or confusing as it was. You'll be left with an authentic, natural, fun, and fruitful way of marketing your brand.

Need support? Book a Discovery Call.

Not sure where you want to go? We can chat through your brand, personal goals and work out an action plan.

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