Messaging Magic (III of IV)

Character

Today, we often talk about brand personality. The idea is that brands, like people, have distinct personas that affect what they do and how they do it. Your organization’s persona is the amalgam of its values, beliefs, goals, attitudes and actions. It gives your enterprise a sense of identity, and it creates an innate power of attraction between your brand and the people you serve. It triggers a critical connection in the mind of the consumer – the “I know these guys” response that is key to building relationships.

Nowhere is your personality more important than in messaging. Some brands have done such a good job of infusing their communications with a particular point-of-view that even without seeing a logo or other visual mark we recognize the company just by the style of its verbal communications. Think Apple, Disney, Nike. Every brand can follow in those footsteps, creating distinction for themselves through the ideas they generate and the language they use to express those ideas. Through a particular turn of phrase, the use of certain vocabulary, an infusion of humor or fun, you can immediately signal that “something special is going on here.” You can create a magnetism that elicits attention from both existing and new audiences.

I’ve often written and spoken about how brands are stories that attract customers and rally employees. By metaphorical extension, in order be the best “brand author” you can be, you must find the unique language that captures the individuality of your company. It’s in your messaging that you find your voice – your personality evoked through words and content to make a lasting impression. In both fiction and in life, you can’t separate the voice from the rest of the character. Think of the tics of some of our favorite icons – Bugs Bunny’s “what’s up doc,” Bette Davis’ “what a dump,” and FDR’s “fee-uh itself.” In each case, the voice signals the persona. The same is true of brands – character is the twist on top of clarity and consistency that makes what you say interesting and engaging to people.

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