What do you think are the most important aspects of building a successful ecommerce business?
Probably one of the most oft-neglected, yet crucial elements to building a well-rounded ecommerce business is—you guessed it—brand persona.
Many people, who aren’t well versed in the methods of marketing, think about branding and picture brand logos. While a logo is an integral aspect of branding, there is yet so much more to building a brand and its persona.
But what is brand persona anyway?
You can compare brands to people. All brands have a name, a distinguishing feature (as in the case of a logo), a voice to speak to its target audience, and a unique persona or personality that the target consumer can connect and relate to at a deeper level.
When you develop your brand’s persona, you are creating a framework for how your target audience will perceive your business and its products and services. It’s important to note that the modern consumer is influenced by branding. As a matter of fact, brands play a big part in our emotional lives. People aren’t only buying products from a particular brand because they like it or that it works well. Consumers have also forged relationships with brands because it contributes meaning to their lives and experiences.
This emotional connection is the major contributor as to why a consumer will purchase from Brand A over Brand B. Even if your product is a bit pricier, takes longer to deliver, and has more or less the same function and purpose as that of your competitor’s, your consumers will be more willing to pay extra and wait longer because people want to buy into your brand as it means something more to them.
One other important reason for building a brand, especially for new ecommerce businesses, is that having a clear framework for your brand’s persona will also guide you in every action you commit to in the course of your online business.
You may now have a better sense of just how important branding is. When you build a brand, it will become one of the major assets of your ecommerce business. No matter what kind of online ecommerce operation you are running right now, big or small, branding is everything when it comes to making it big.
Now let’s talk about how to successfully build your brand’s persona:
1. Know Your Target Customer
The crucial first step in building a brand persona is understanding your target customer first. The persona you build for your brand must appeal specifically to your target consumers, so you need to have a clear picture in mind of who you are targeting.
So who is in your target market? Are they men, women, or both? How old are they? What traits do you think they would be more susceptible to receive favorably in a brand?
You must also thoroughly evaluate the industry your ecommerce business is in, the products you wish to distribute and distinguish the types of individuals who are most likely to benefit from your products.
You must define your target demographic by age, gender, location, purchasing power, interests, hobbies and more to gain a clear picture of your buyer. For instance, if you were to sell beard products online, you wouldn’t be targeting middle-aged women.
Only from developing a deep understanding of your target market can you develop a brand persona that can have a resounding effect on the hearts and minds of your consumers.
2. Plan Your Persona
Your potential customers are more likely to buy from a brand if the brand’s persona resonates with the consumer. In this sense, you must choose a brand persona that you know will appeal to your target customer. It should be a persona that can make your customers feel included and understood. Only then will they want to incorporate your brand into their lifestyle.
According to Investopedia, there are 5 personality types that are most commonly used by brands.
If you are still in the process of building your brand, picking one of these brand personality types is a great place to start building your framework for your brand’s persona:
- Excitement-carefree, spirited, and youthful
- Sincerity-kindness, nurturing, care giving spirit
- Ruggedness- masculine, tough, and outdoorsy
- Competence-successful, highlighted by strong leadership,
- Sophistication- elegance, style, and prestige
3. Decide How Your Brand Speaks
Once you have determined a basic personality framework for your brand from the 5 listed above, it’s time to bring your brand to life by giving it a voice to speak with. That’s right, your brand needs a voice to speak to its target audience in order for it to successfully communicate its values and connect with its consumers and potential consumers.
The reason why establishing a consistent voice for your brand is important is because you will be using this voice to communicate with your consumers across all marketing material, social media posts, and throughout your website. The more your brand’s voice is tailored to appeal to your target audience, the more persuasive they will find you to be.
So what does your brand’s voice sound like when it is communicating with its target audience? Is it male or female? Is it serious and professional or young and hip? In order to figure out what voice your brand expresses itself in, it is best to develop some guidelines to remain consistent across your ecommerce business’s entire communications and information operation.
It also helps to list down some keywords, slogans, and unique phrases you feel is appropriate to your brand’s persona.
4. Create A Consistent Look
Once you have built a basic framework based on the personality and voice of your brand, it is time to build a consistent look. A major part of building a brand persona and identity comes from the design process.
This is where it is time to build a logo, decide on your color palette, fonts, and other design elements that correspond with the image of your brand and its personality. Here are the necessary design elements that your brand should not go without:
Logo- Think of your logo as the face of your brand. It is a strategic design symbol for building brand recognition as this is what your consumers will be exposed to the most because of how often you will use this symbol.
Color Palette- Colors affect how we feel, and many brands choose their color palette according to the psychological influence certain colors have on people’s emotions. It’s best to choose 1 to 3 colors for your brand.
Typography- Choosing the fonts that you will use is also essential and can be a confusing process, considering there are many fonts to choose from. You’ll want to choose a font that will work well with your logo and color palette. It’s also best to keep it simple and don’t go overboard with fancy fonts.
Images- High-quality images must also be a part of the visual representation of your brand. Use quality images only across your website, advertising, and social media campaigns. Themes can also remain consistent across your images, especially when they will be centered on your brand, the experience of your brand, and its products.
Supporting Graphics- Your supporting graphics on your ecommerce website should also be designed in a way that is consistent. Supporting graphics include any icons you may use in your online store, as well as other design assets.
5. Create A Mission Statement
We mentioned earlier in this article that an important reason for building a brand persona is that having a clear framework will guide you in every action you commit to in the course of your online business.
One way to clearly define the purpose of your brand is to create a mission statement. Your mission statement defines the purpose of your brand and the service you intend to provide your target customers. Think of creating your mission statement as a way to pave the road for the direction in which your brand wants to go. Giving your brand direction will be a powerful way to establish a brand persona because you are giving your brand goals and defining its purpose.
Here are some examples of mission statements from successful brands:
Google: “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Starbucks: “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Apple: “to bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.”
As you can see, a mission statement can consist of one sentence that imbues the goals and the purpose of a brand outside of its intentions of making a profit. A mission statement is a customer-centric statement, with the goal of making the target customer’s life better and experiences more meaningful.
Here are the three key components that you have to consider when creating your mission statement:
- Your customers.
- What you wish to contribute to their lives.
- Unique points of your products or services that your customers will favor above the competition.
Back To You
There you have it. We have talked about the value of branding and brand persona and given you some tips on where to start off in building one. Remember that building a great and well thought out brand persona is what is going to take your online business a long way. Without it, you cannot hope to establish a meaningful connection with your customer, nor can you hope to rise above your competitors. Remember that when you are creating your brand’s persona, you are shaping the way your customers view your business and your brand.
Every brand should have a personality, and so should yours! Creating a brand persona should be a fun and creative process, and it is also part of building a strong foundation for your ecommerce business.
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