Every brand has a different compositional makeup for what drives the business forward. In a world where everyone seems to be simultaneously a mobile experience, retail driven, social media driven, partnership driven, or... lucky and viral, you need to know which drivers are integral to you.
Which channels drive your brand forward? In what order or priority must they occur? How do they ultimately funnel into each other?
In the first section, we established where you want to go.
In this section, we boil down who you are as you go.
Personality is your right to be unapologetic and expressive on the issues you care about, in the way you want.
Personality is also about how you feel and come across to others.
Personality is finally and frankly—your effectiveness at communicating.
It's a lot easier to know your personality when you are one cook in the kitchen, rather than a hundred. This section will give you the framework to keep your voice singular. Our goal is that you complete this section effectively able to nail down your brand's steward. This is the lifesource for the traits that humanize your brand, and keep it from devolving into an inanimate entity.
Pinpoint if the core spirit lives in a person or a mascot, a place or a feeling. We need to know where to look to find your truest voice, as that gives answers to what you would or wouldn't do.
For example: if the spirit lives in a founder, document their character—everything from body movements, speeches, writings, ephemera, life history, to career pursuits and life passions.
Your visual identity is more than how you look, it is how you signify. Meaning, visual identity is your ability to speak who you are miles before you've even had a chance to say anything directly with words.
Through your visual identity, you'll signify everything from if you'll be easy to work with, to if you might not be the right fit for some, while you're totally speaking the language of some others—all through your use of colors, shapes, fonts, symbols (including your logo!), and the spacing or way you arrange / combine them on the canvasses your audience sees and ultimately will interact with.
What adds the color and timbre to your voice? Are you frank, flowery, technical, oppositional, colloquial, formal? Do you maintain distance, or are you actively engaged,communicative, and chatty with your audience? Are you democratic, open source, proprietary? Do you prefer illustrations over photos? GIFs over video? Do you even emoji?
To each their own tonality. Build the world around your communication so others can quickly discern when a communication is coming from you because it feels like something you would say.
Let's flesh out your ideal types of customers and get them into a hard-copy format you can easily reference later. To do this, we're going to create online dating profiles and play matchmaker.
Exercise 1: In a blank note, list a maximum of five ideal types of people you want to serve. Then for each, evaluate what makes this a good fit for both parties:
Note: Just in like online dating, you have their profile but you need to message and gauge your prospect's interest back. Do your early field testing. It's advisable you only move onto customer journey roadmapping (in the next step) for the personas that show promise back.
Note: it's important to revisit personas and refine them with real customer data as your relationship with them grows over time.
Here are the pros and cons of the most popularly used platforms:
Note: These views expressed here are my own and should not be used as formal business recommendations without a one-on-one consultation. I have not been compensated in any way by these companies.