Unlocking Brand Personas: Types, Power & Juicy Examples
Uncover the concept of brand personas, differentiate key concepts, understand their significance, explore various types, and gain insights through brand persona examples!
Written by RamotionOct 27, 202310 min read
Last updated: Oct 27, 2023
Defining Brand Personas
As a business, you can’t possibly talk to every potential customer, sit them down for an hour or so, and explain your whats, whys, and hows. So, how can you make an impression in a jiff?
This is where you can tap the power of brand persona. With a clear and well-developed one, you can communicate what your brand is all about.
In this article, we break down everything you need to know about brand persona—its definition, types, and advantages— how they differ from other branding concepts, and how to create one that your audience can’t resist.
What Is Brand Persona?
A brand persona is what people see—outward appearance and image—when they come across your brand. It’s like a mask—rooted in the Latin term “persona,” meaning masks worn by actors—that personifies your mission, characteristics, values, and voice.
With it, you can easily communicate your brand essence while creating a meaningful connection with your target audience. Suffice it to say it’s crucial in building a positive brand perception.
How Can Brand Persona Benefit You?
With consistency, distinct attributes, and effective communication, your brand persona can establish a brand perception that sets you apart from the competition, influences purchasing decisions, and fosters brand loyalty that eventually drives brand advocacy.
Makes Your Brand More Distinct
Competition is fierce as so many options are available to customers. One way to shine is to create a brand persona complete with defining traits, and a compelling story allows you to humanize your brand and build a meaningful connection that lasts.
Emphasizes Your Brand’s Benefits
Your brand is not only about what you sell. It’s about creating experiences and inspiring customers by offering products and services that can improve their lives. Take a look at Lego.
They don’t just sell stackable colorful bricks. Instead, the brand encourages its customers to have fun and be creative as they bring their imagination to life.
Helps You Build Your Tribe
Developing a brand persona makes your business relatable. Just as people naturally gravitate to others with the same personalities and interests, the same principle can come into play in business. By crafting a well-developed brand persona, not only do you entice buyers but also create a sense of familiarity and emotional attachment, like joy, that nurtures loyal customers and brand advocates.
Brand Persona Compared to Other Branding Concepts
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on what a brand persona is and its role in building your brand, let’s kick it up a notch by differentiating it from other brand concepts.
Brand Persona vs. Brand Personality
If your brand is a person, the brand persona is how they appeal to others externally. On the other hand, brand personality is what makes your brand persona captivating from the inside.
It pertains to characteristics that make your brand more human. It adds soul by touching on the emotions, values, and beliefs that your business embodies. Some examples of brand personality include sincerity, excitement, and ruggedness.
Brand Persona vs. Buyer Persona
A brand persona describes how you want to be seen by your customers, while a buyer persona is your understanding of your customers’ desires, characteristics, and behaviors.
To formulate a buyer persona, you may want to consider creating an audience profile based on your competitor analysis and market research. It entails looking into a potential and actual buyer’s lifestyle, aspirations, and demographics—age, educational attainment, job, income, etc.
And if you target several types of people or have different products, you can end up with more than one buyer persona. For example, a shoe retailer may have products catering to men, women, and children requiring three buyer personas.
Brand Persona vs. Brand Mascot
A brand mascot is a tangible or digital visual representation of your brand. It could be cool, quirky, serious, or elegant. It can also be in the form of an animal, people, fictional characters, objects, and even animated letters.
When crafting a brand mascot, let your imagination run wild! But make sure that your brand mascot embodies distinctive traits that form your brand identity and is as authentic as it can be.
Check out our article about brand mascots for more insights and inspiration.
Brand Persona vs. Brand Identity
If brand persona is the character your business takes in the minds of your consumers, how is brand identity any different?
Not to be confused with brand and branding, your brand identity or corporate identity pertains to a collection of visual design elements and assets that reflect your brand image. Think of your brand’s logos, color palette, font, tone, voice and personality.
Through clear differentiation and consistency in your design, messaging, and USP, your brand identity can help shape your brand persona into something your audience can connect with at a deeper level.
Types of Brand Personas and Examples
A brand persona comes in many forms and shapes. Below are five types and examples you can look at.
1. The Strong Brand Persona
A strong brand persona has a commanding presence that often alludes to being adventurous, loving the extremes, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Some brands under this category are Patagonia, Harley Davidson, and GoPro. They champion the great outdoors, bold experiences, and embracing challenges. With a strong one, you must embody the essence of living an exhilarating life.
2. The Leader Brand Persona
Businesses with a leader brand persona often are brand authorities in their industries. If people think of certain products, these brands are top of mind due to their reliable and high-quality products and services. Having a leader brand persona also often means you are a trendsetter.
Say, you plan on buying an all-around laptop with high specs and a stylish design that will last you for years. You’ll probably think of Apple, Dell, or Lenovo because of their reputation as leading laptop brands. Zooming in on Apple, the brand brings cutting-edge innovation to enrich the lives of its users front and center.
It doesn’t compromise on quality yet retains a humanistic approach that prioritizes seamless customer experience unique only to the brand. Hence, it has achieved a cult-like following.
3. The Friendly Brand Persona
Sales are vital for a company to thrive, but not all brands focus on profits. Some prioritize fostering a community for a unique small group of people with a friendly brand persona.
Take the iconic NYC fixture, Ray’s Candy Store. Since 1974, it has been serving classic American favorites like fries, shakes, ice cream, and more. Over the years, Ray and his store have become a neighborhood favorite, thanks to its consistency and authenticity. It was even featured by Anthony Bourdain and gained brand advocates.
When the store struggled to keep its doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of New Yorkers came to his aid.
4. The Caring Brand Persona
Those with a caring brand persona put helping people first. They craft products and services that address specific pain points and adapt to the growing concerns of their customers.
Sparked by her personal experience with hair loss due to work stress, the owner of the beauty brand ‘Centered.’ formulated hair products that help stimulate hair growth. It boasts cruelty-free, all-natural ingredients, giving its customers peace of mind. The brand often educates its customers about hair loss and thinning solutions through their socials, too.
5. The Corporate Brand Persona
The corporate brand persona is usually adapted by B2Bs or business-to-business organizations, finance and banking companies, and some luxury brands. They project a professional or elegant image while still being captivating to their audiences.
There’s nothing sexy about global consulting firms, but McKinsey remains engaging by refreshing its brand periodically. By incorporating its corporate color--electric blue, sleek lines, branded font, and other dynamic visuals, the brand successfully shows how it welcomes and adapts to cater to the current needs of its clients. They also connect with their audience through social media, featuring inspiring McKinsey clients and team members.
Steps to Develop Your Brand Persona
Step 1: Define Your Mission and Values
Before you can present your brand to others, it helps to understand why your customers should support you instead of other businesses by knowing what makes your brand unique and defining your mission and values. Your mission statement encompasses your long-term purpose as a business, while your brand values refer to the beliefs or ideals that guide your business operations.
Pro tip: Brevity is key when communicating your mission and values to your audience.
Step 2: Analyze and Gather Feedback from Your Audience
Understanding your target audience is key to meeting and anticipating their needs and wants. Fortunately, there are many ways you can do this.
You can start with market segment research to identify your audience, use analytics tools to assess your traffic and end-user data on websites, social media, and other digital marketing platforms, and conduct digital and in-person surveys and focus groups. Get to know your audience by integrating feedback sections on your digital platforms, hosting AMAs or Ask Me Anything events, and creating dedicated social media channels for real-time customer support, too.
Step 3: Analyze Your Competitors’ Brand Persona
Delving into your competitors’ brand personas can be beneficial to your branding strategies. By analyzing your competitors, you can discover insights into your brand’s weaknesses and threats. It allows you to spot opportunities for improvement and growth that your competitors are not tapping into, as well. In effect, you can better develop your’s one by leveraging your competitive advantage.
Step 4: Identify Unique Brand Characteristics
As you gain more knowledge and understanding about your target audience and competitors, you are well-equipped to identify unique brand characteristics. These characteristics guide you when selecting and designing the right elements to encapsulate your brand persona.
Keep in mind that this stage is crucial and should not be rushed. It is also ever-evolving, hence, adaptability is key.
Step 5: Craft a Brand Persona Profile
A brand persona profile is the amalgamation of what your brand could look, feel, and sound like if it were a person. Ask yourself:
- What is your brand persona’s name? How old are they?
- What specific role do they play to your audience?
- How would you describe them physically? What facial features do they have and how are they dressed?
- Can you elaborate on their hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes?
Remember that your profile should embody personality traits, values, and interests that your customers resonate with.
Step 6: Test and Refine Your Brand Persona
Like people, a brand persona is shaped by its environment, changing demands, innovations, and other external factors. That said, it pays to keep your brand persona in check, ensuring it remains relatable and aligns with your audience and current brand mission, vision, and values.
It’s also a never-ending development, so consistency is needed to ensure success in your branding and marketing efforts and longevity in the business.
Brand Persona: Discover the Authentic You
Creating an irresistible brand persona is an intricate process of delving into the essence of your brand, competitors, and target audience. Design is vital in shaping your brand persona, where visual elements like color schemes, images, icons, and logos need to reflect your brand essence, too. Additionaly, they should be unique and memorable.
With the guidance of brand design experts, you can achieve these and discover your authentic brand persona! Take your first step to propelling your business to greater heights with Ramotion.