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5 Unconventional Questions to Help You Find Your Brand’s Voice

It’s not just what you sell, it’s how you sell it. And it helps to sell it like a likable person.

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Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Everyone loves (or loves to hate) personality tests or clickbait quizzes. Don’t even act like you’ve never taken a quiz to find out where you should really live based on stereotypical questions like “do you prefer the beach or the mountains?”

Well, allow me to introduce a fun personality quiz for your brand. You see, your company isn’t one person — it’s a whole group of individuals working together. That doesn’t mean the brand can’t have a voice and personality, though. And getting to know your brand makes decision-making and marketing easier.

There are, of course, more proper ways to identify a brand’s voice. But go ahead, have a little fun. Use these questions to help guide discussion about who your brand is.

What would your brand’s eulogy say?

Yikes, jumping straight to the end of the line. There’s a good reason we’re starting with death, though. Think of your brand’s eulogy as a highlight reel of your company’s values.

A brand’s values, or what they think is important above all else, is the bedrock for decision-making. Your company’s morals help you choose the path that most aligns with the foundation of the brand.

For example, your brand may value kindness above all else. In that case, maybe you never launch smear campaigns against competitors — you promote good vibes only. Or, your brand can believe that customer satisfaction is supreme, and your customer support team has free reign to resolve an issue how they see fit. Your brand can even value tough love.

Thinking about what your brand’s eulogy would say (or what you’d like it to say) establishes your moral compass.

Who is your brand’s role model?

A role model is nothing more than a glimpse into your ideal future.

Who does your company want to be when it grows up? How would it like to impact the world or your industry? And what steps might it take to get there?

FYI, a company can have a person for a role model. If you’re stuck on what your brand’s eulogy would be, look no further than its role model. What words describe that person?

If your brand likes Oprah, then maybe you should focus on uplifting and supporting those around you. Or, your brand may look to Rocky Balboa to learn about patience and perseverance.

Selecting a brand role model not only affects how your company presents itself to the outside world — it affects culture too. Identifying a real person for a company role model can also be useful in the hiring process.

How does your brand feel about pineapple on pizza, cargo shorts, and La Croix?

Does anything differentiate your brand faster than an unpopular opinion? Holding an opinion or preference that contrasts industry norm sets you apart, and helps your perfect customers choose you.

Think about people or brands you’ve seen that are all about the hustle. Internet entrepreneurs that brag about how much they work. Now think about companies like Basecamp, who literally publish books about how it doesn’t have to be crazy at work. These two particular examples are performing different services, but imagine if you were so juxtaposed against the competition.

Some people love the hustle, and some people value balance. Calling out your company culture helps the right customers self-select you.

What’s your brand’s favorite comedy?

What, if any, funny movie is your brand’s go-to? The type of humor, or lack thereof, your brand enjoys and employs is important to understand.

Think about tweets from Wendy’s vs. JP Morgan Chase vs. Netflix.

Each has a varying level of comfort with comedy and sass, and that has a profound impact on the perceived personality of the brand. Not sure what your brand would like to watch (since it’s not actually a person)? Think about what your audience finds funny.

Who is your brand in the friend group?

Thinking about how your brand would theoretically interact with its friends' lets you know how you should speak to customers. Is your brand the bold leader who is always presenting new ideas and sparking conversation? Or is your brand great at giving advice and teaching others?

Your brand’s group dynamics shed light on how your content is written.

Authoritative sounds different than coaching sounds different from thought-provoking.

Why ask these stupid questions?

For starters, they’re fun. Business can (and should be) fun. Second, it shows that the only thing that makes a business likable is its humanness. Features, gizmos, capabilities, and gadgets are only as appealing as the person selling it. Who is that person?

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +400,714 people.

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