Maintaining Brand Personality

Brand Personality is perhaps the most important part of marketing your business. It dictates what position you have in the market and has a lot of effect on who will buy your product. Without a consistent and strong brand personality, your business will have a very difficult time keeping up with its niche audience. Below are two well-known companies, Apple and Microsoft, that have a great brand personality and fit their audiences perfectly.

Apple: Artistic, creative, stylish. What your graphic designer uses.
Microsoft: Business oriented, versatile, high performance. What your accountant uses and what you use to play World of Warcraft.

Since the days of watching a commercial of dancing silhouettes with iPods on TV and then playing RuneScape on your family’s Dell PC, you’ve noticed the difference in brand personality between Apple and Microsoft. Today, with your graphic designer glued to his iMac and your accountant typing away in his PC laptop, you can see the personality of each brand is exactly the same as it was 15 years ago. You can absolutely do graphic design on a PC, and you can use spreadsheets on a Mac, but that’s not the reason people choose them. Your graphic designer is likely drawn to Apple’s creative personality, and your accountant is likely drawn to Microsoft’s business oriented personality.

Translating this to small business
Like large corporations, your small business has to maintain its position in the market through its brand personality. For example, let’s say you own a pizza shop. You make really great artisan, brick oven-style pizza. One of your competitors owns a corporate pizza place. It’s very important that you don’t try to lower the quality of your product to make pizzas as fast as the chain store because that will change your brand personality. If you decide to start working as a corporate chain pizza place, you are opening up the market for another artisan pizza shop to take away your business. It’s important you understand that you should focus on the strengths and opportunities for your business, so you can continue to be known as the place where you can go to get a great pizza made with extra care and a unique recipe. When McDonalds, for example, starts selling pizza, people see it as very out of place and you should avoid making the same mistake.

What this means to your marketing plan
Being consistent in using marketing to help cement your brand personality is just as important as keeping your product consistent. When all of your print advertisements tell a story of your unique pizza recipe, it’s definitely good to be diverse and sell salad and breadsticks well, but for the reasons stated above it may be a bad idea to start advertising yourself as a place where you can get amazing fried rice or 100 pizzas in an hour as well.