…consumers no longer get primary messages about a brand from the brand itself. Instead, they are more likely to receive and listen to messages from their trusted circles of influencers (i.e. family members and friends), and other customers.
~ Stephen Herskovitz: “The Essential Brand Persona: Storytelling and Branding.”
- Purpose – In communicating their brands, businesses need to tell a compelling story that connects with its audiences on an emotional level. Every story requires a clearly understood central character with which people can identify and create a long-lasting emotional bond: the brand persona. Without a strong brand persona, the brand narrative lacks a focus. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how to identify a brand persona that captures a brand’s emotional story and builds long-lasting value for a business.
- Design/methodology/approach – This article defines branding and explores how to construct a story and persona that is relevant, important, differentiating, and motivating. It explores what makes a good story and a good brand persona, how to understand and connect to an audience’s implicit needs. Importantly, the article discusses new learning in neurology and how to communicate so that a brand speaks in an integrative fashion to both right- and left-brain thinking.
- Findings – Companies that do not tell a compelling and consistent brand story that speak to both the rational and the emotional needs of audiences risk creating a shallow, short-term “brand” that is easily destroyed by external factors. A strong brand story connects at a deep emotional level that is difficult to disengage. This brand story and the brand persona must be tended to, invested in, and go beyond “words” in order to ensure long-lasting and real value.
- Originality/value – Most brand work focuses on developing an understanding of explicit attitudes and developing messaging based on what people “say” they think. This article discusses a process by which implicit attitudes are explored in order to construct brand stories and personas that connect on deep, emotional levels.