Giving Your Business a Personality

When you’re running a business, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. If you don’t have a clear corporate personality, you fade into the background and there’s little reason for clients or customers to pick you out of a long line up of similar companies. Having a strong personality also helps to attract the best talent and keep them motivated and contributing.

Having a defined personality is different from your USP. Every business should have some unique feature that makes working with them a different (and, it is to be hoped, better) experience to the competition.

A great example of a company with a strong personality running through their every product and public facing communication is Innocent. From the description on the back of a smoothie bottle to a poster glimpsed at a train station you know immediately that it comes from the same source: a company with a unique spin on a popular product. This makes it easier for them to launch new products and open up new markets – they are already somewhat known.

If you’re trying to give your business a unique and memorable personality, there are several things you can do to get the process started.

A Voice

Early on you need to decide on a voice for your marketing and extend that voice through as much of your public facing communications as possible. Decide if the tone of your advertising and emails is playful, or serious; the audience it speaks to, and how it speaks.

Authors put a lot of thought into the ‘voice’ their characters speak in: how the qualities of their character are reflected in how they talk.  If you devote the same time to thinking about the character of your business you can efficiently convey a lot more information a lot more persuasively, whether that’s in advertising, mail outs, or in the language of your pitches.

Purpose

It’s important to have a clearly defined purpose for your business – communicating this to your clients in your unique voice is what gives your business a sense of identity they can latch onto, and they steer your own decision-making from day to day.

Premises

In a similar exercise to choosing a corporate voice, you can also make some decisions about how your business’ values and personality are reflected in your offices and branches. An open office with bright colours, and relaxation aids like games consoles foster creativity and team work, whereas a more traditional office with separate rooms or cubicles fosters more traditional values and hierarchies.

There are specialist firms who work with businesses to mould their premises into an expression of their identity. When British beauty retailers Lush chose Architects, UK based firm Hyphen came to the top of the pile, while Innocent’s distinctively quirky headquarters were designed by Stiff and Trevillion.

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