Marketing Brand Exercises to Uncover Your Company’s Personality
Every company starts with a brand, and there comes a time in each company’s lifecycle when it should rebrand. Sometimes a rebrand happens to relate better with shifting customer bases. At other times, it is because of mergers, buyouts, or a change in the company’s direction. Marketing agencies in the Cayman Islands sometimes find that a company didn’t properly build its brand from the onset, or did so cheaply (think: clip art logos, baby), and needs an agency to help fill in gaps via a rebrand.
No matter the reason, discovering your brand personality – as odd as it sounds – is one of the first steps to making a brand. A brand’s personality is made up of human qualities and traits that define it, set it apart from the competition, make it unique, and set the tone of how it presents itself in the market via words and imagery.
To find your brand personality, it helps to take a step away from the day-to-day internal viewpoints and jargon by adding a bit of gamification to the creative process. Outlined below are several versions of marketing brand exercises (or games!) we’ll call “To be, or not to be” and “Humanise it!” that you can try to discover your brand’s personality. Remember, the brand personality discovery process should not be boring or stiff. Taking a rigid approach will not yield the best results.
To be, or not to be
This exercise will have you identify four different types of global or well-known consumer brands within the same vertical as each other and then describe how you are or are not like each one.
This exercise can be used to identify the nuances of your brand or to ensure you are not focusing on your brand with an intrinsic view. The exercise forces you to describe your company in new ways and terms that will bring more insight instead of looking through the lens of a boring list of product/service functionalities that mean nothing to the look or feel of your company.
How to play:
- You should have one moderator to ask questions and guide responses and have one note-taker for the session.
- To prepare, select four distinct brands within a certain industry sector that isn’t related to your company. Then, place the brand’s images/logos together on one slide as this triggers the brain’s creativity center more than just saying brand names out loud.
- Then, have a team (of three or more, ideally) discuss which brand your company best identifies with – why and why not.
- It’s key here to not mix up personal tastes for what the brand would do or be. Also, it’s critical that there is dialog and explanation of why the options are selected and to allow the group to debate each other’s answers.
The examples below look at finances, groceries, cars, and media sectors. You could do the exercise with celebrities, food or whatever fits your company.
- Financial: Bank of America, Scotiabank, Paypal, Local Credit Union
- Grocery: Walmart, Aldees, Whole Foods, Waitrose
- Cars: Volvo, Ford, Tesla, Jaguar
- Media: Facebook, Tick Tock, Netflix, Holywood
The exercise could reveal, for example, that a particular company is more like Facebook because it connects families and loved ones together for the long term; it is like a Volvo because it is reliable and held in high esteem; like a local credit union because it is humble and community-based. These characteristics together show that the company is not innovative, trendy, outlandish, or showy and likely blends in with the crowd. These findings may not seem to be huge, but knowing these types of qualities are key for designers and copywriters and strategists for building your brand.