The world’s digital landscape presents new challenges that brands must overcome. One of these is that the digital game has evolved from a mere numbers contest to a personified digital conversation.
The question in the recent past was ‘what content should we develop?’. But with technology giving consumers the power to block, click or swipe away any interruptive content, that question has shifted. The bigger question that marketers and communicators must ask is ‘how do we keep the audience engaged?’.
As an inbound marketing communications agency, we find that developing a persona helps cement a brand’s identity in the digital space. Why? Because netizens have online personas. They perceive social media as alter egos of their real self.
What is brand persona?
Brand persona is ascribing human characteristic to brands to make it relatable to its target audience. This means attaching personalities, traits, values, and attitudes to the brand to make it appeal to the target audience.
Simply put, it humanizes the brand to set it apart from the competition. Brand persona goes beyond mundane transactional relationship with customers. It’s creating a living and thinking identity that customers can connect to on an emotional or personal level.
The Filipino Audience
Will brand persona work in the Philippines?
The Philippines, the social media capital of the world, is characterized by a hyper-engaged social audience. The Digital in 2020 report finds that Filipinos spend 9:45 hours on the internet a day, which is about 3 hours higher than the global average. One is tempted to think that developing regular content across social media touchpoints is the next logical step. That doesn’t work anymore.
Nothing wrong with producing and posting regular content. Do note that engagement has slowly entered a new phase requiring a braver and bolder strategy that goes beyond mere Facebook reaction.
Social media in the Philippines is slowly reaching a saturation point. In a hyper-engaged landscape as the Philippines, competing brands’ flood of social content drowns the same audience they attempt to nurture. In a space where every single player is trying to drive a stake, a brand persona strategy can help brand cut through the noise.
So that’s a yes, brand persona will work in the Philippines. In fact, a number of brands in the country are already employing this strategy.
Brands in the Philippines that Successfully Employed Brand Persona
Let’s take a look at two of the most engaged brands in the Philippines.
The ride-hailing application is easily the first brand that comes to mind. Used mostly by the Filipino youth due to its cheap and reliable service, the brand is renowned for its undeniable ragged yet charming social media presence. The brand would hardly need to sell itself.
Angkas’ social media contents echo the Generation Zs and Millennial’s virtual tone and personality — blunt, witty, and sometimes sarcastic and crass. The brand has been consistent in presenting this persona across multiple touchpoints: from tweets to replies, code promotion to even dealing with a crisis.
Netflix’s social media persona is one that is global but it reverberates even to the local audience. Goofy, witty, film-savvy, and a lot more, Netflix need not do more to sell its contents or service.
The brand embodies its philosophy on social media space. It exploits memes, GIFs, and the film characters and their lines to engage its audiences.
Building a Brand Persona
There are two factors to consider in building a brand persona.
First, profile your audience. In other words, create a target persona. Build a complete demographic and psychoanalysis of who you want to market to. Creating a target persona of your audience helps shed light on the needed approach to connect with your brand persona. It will lead to the correct tone, temperament, and lingo to use in engaging your audience.
Second, revisit the brand core. Calibrating to the target persona is not a license to go wild. Revisit the brand’s core and what the organization stands for to help you find balance in a polarized audience landscape. It will serve as your compass in developing the messages.
While the process of building a brand persona is tedious, establishing one can serve brands well for a long time. It is a great strategy not only in establishing a brand’s social media presence but also in driving audience engagement.
Evidently, there are brands in the country that have started using brand persona in building their digital communication campaigns. It wouldn’t be too late for all other brands in the Philippines to follow suit. Here’s one thing every digital communicator must keep in mind: Just as audiences see social media as an extension of their reality, brands must also extend its identity beyond intangible messages to one that is living in the virtual world.
If you need help in finding your brand persona, we would be glad to help! Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.