As a consumer, it can be hard to relate to a corporation. After all, a corporation is made up of many different moving parts. Different specialties and personalities within the company are vital to help it thrive and operate effectively. But for a consumer speaking with first once person and then another, it can start to feel like you’re making friends with a hydra.

Although a company is made up of different personalities and talents, it’s also true that collectively, you form a single entity; hopefully a whole that is greater than the sum of your parts. In order to define your brand and help customers to relate to you, it can be useful to summarize that overall identity into one personality.

This might all sound really vague and hypothetical, so take a solid example:

Apple’s “I’m a Mac” campaign was enormously successful. Expressing bigger concepts through simplified one-on-one personality interactions made Apple’s advantages immediately relatable and explainable. If the Apple brand was a person (besides Steve Jobs) it would be personified by a young, cool, casual man. His affable but capable demeanor provides a contrast to the major competitor; PCs, embodied as an out-of-touch, lovable but clueless individual.

Now. Think for a minute. If your company walked onto the “I’m a Mac” commercial, how would it be personified?

Obviously, reducing an entire company to a specific person can be a major case of over-simplification. But that’s the point for marketing efforts that need to be communicated clearly and effectively using your audience’s limited attention span. Think about Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World. Or Progressive’s Flo.

So, consider who you’d want your celebrity spokesperson to be. Come up with a specific personality, or write out what you’d put in a casting call. You might even want to pick a hypothetical celebrity spokesperson.

How does this translate into things you’re actually doing?

You’re probably not going to make your own “I’m a Mac” commercial. You might not even be working on a new tv campaign. However, this exercise can still help you:

  • Communicate with followers and fans on social media.
  • Write content on your site, or for use in outreach.
  • Get better sales.
  • Create better cohesion within your team because you know what your collective goals are.
  • Create style guidelines for design on print and web, and make sure that all of your communication is united under a common voice.