What is it like? What is its personality? Looking at Mercedes-Benz for example, you could say the brand is German, elegant and elitist. Mini, on the other hand, is quintessentially British, witty and dynamic. The hero part is especially important since it informs many components of the brand identity, from tone of voice to photography.
Keep in mind that…
The possibilities for describing a hero are endless. Gender, personality, place of origin, sense of humour, etc. The important part is for your portrait to be coherent and relevant to your audience. For example, French beauty brand Horace bridges the gap between a startup and a traditional beauty brand by subverting traditional industry norms. It is unapologetically French, Parisian even, but not pretentious or snobbish. It is inclusive (as shown by its diverse roster of models) and perhaps ironically, focuses on results rather than appearances. Interestingly, though the brand caters mostly to men, it often relies on women for promotion, authority, and to appeal to women shopping for the men in their lives.
Yet diversity does not equate to exhaustivity. Past a certain point, the more detailed your brand personality is, the fewer people will feel a genuine connection to it. As your brand grows over time, a copiously detailed personality will also make it harder for you to change it.
Brand Storytelling Handbook
For many entrepreneurial brands, the brand’s personality can blend with that of its founder. Richard Branson in the 90s, and Elon Musk in recent years, have become respectively synonymous with the Virgin and Tesla brands. While this can be an incredible asset, it also leaves the brand more vulnerable to the whims and eccentricities of their founders. Elon Musk’s social media activism has created numerous PR storms and financial turbulences for Tesla over the years, and many Silicon Valley brands have faced similar issues due to the founder’s personality affecting the perception of the brand. Likewise, it’s important to distinguish between the hero’s personality and that of customers. Customers are not the hero of the story, however the hero’s traits should resonate with them so that they can identify with the brand to an extent.
Questions to ask yourself
- What personality do you want your brand to have? What adjectives would you use to describe it?
- What traits set your brand apart from its competitors?
- Does the personality of your brand resonate with your audience?
- Can your brand’s personality evolve and grow with time?