An individual's personality is what makes them appealing or unappealing and forms the perceptions of others about them.
Similarly, this also applies to brands. A successful brand has a human appeal that makes it relatable and distinct in a competitive and saturated landscape. The question now is, what is brand personality and how important is it for a business or product?
In this post, we will discuss the following:
A brand personality is how a brand would be described if it were a natural person. Brand personality consists of the emotional, intellectual, and behavioral patterns a business product or individual identifies as. This is similar to how people possess distinct traits and characteristics that differentiate them from others. In the same way, a brand exhibits various attributes that distinguish them from others and form a perception about the brand in the mind of consumers.
The originality and consistency of these characteristics create a solid or poor perception of a brand. Brand personality influences decisions in brand design and brand messaging. An example is how Apple as a brand is perceived as a high-end, innovative, quality product, etc. An ideal brand personality is easy to identify. Harmony across all forms of expression is key to a brand personality.
Therefore if a brand messaging, style or delivery varies across different broadcast channels. It would be difficult for consumers to relate to the brand, as the message would be unclear.
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A company's brand evokes an emotional reaction within a specific customer segment. The aim is to elicit positive reactions that would benefit the organization. Brand personality is classified into 5 main types
Consumers are most likely to patronize a brand they can identify with effortlessly.
This dimension refers to cheerful, playful, lively, imaginative, and outgoing brands. It evokes a bubbly feeling of joy and inspiration. Brands like this use bright-colored logos and unusual fonts and present themselves in exciting locations and situations.
These brands are often present at sporting and music events, and they are usually presented as organizations that think out of the box.
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This dimension includes brands perceived as honest, genuine, and wholesome. This is so because such brands communicate ethical positions.
They also have clear customer policies to avoid misconceptions. Spirited brands foster good customer relationships, transparency and provide support to employees. Such brands are rarely in the news for scandals, or anything negative
Most importantly, their communication is evident in easy-to-understand language, with pictures and animations that allow immediate understanding
Competent brands are primarily trustworthy, dependable, and effective. These brands are judged based on the product or service's performance and how the organization conducts its affairs in society and the business environment.
This kind of brand uses colors that depict strength and evoke trust. Blue and white are predominant colors for such brands. The choice of their brand ambassador is usually an individual with an excellent reputation.
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Consumers see sophisticated brands as classy, glamorous, and distinctly appealing. Such brands are primarily in luxury industries and are usually patronized by high-net-worth buyers.
Forms of sophisticated branding can be found across various industries, from medical equipment, accessories, food, and dining. It is also popular amongst female-targeted brands.
Such brands use delicate fonts, simple designs, and light colors that depict luxurious environments to express sophistication. Their ads and brand message often portray a powerful status symbol. Most importantly, their products are not found everywhere, only selected high-end stores are allowed to carry their products. Moreover, in their ads, the models frequently portray status and power
This brand dimension portrays masculinity and toughness and is perceived as rustic. The focus of such brands is predisposed towards the male gender. The brand message for rugged products prefers to use dark colors and coarse details with solid and thick fonts. Such products are usually portrayed outdoors, usually under extreme weather conditions.
Rugged brands aim to show their products as durable, sturdy, and meant for fearless people and risk-takers who treasure extraordinary experiences. For all of these brand dimensions, it is noteworthy to mention that brand personalities are similar to human nature and consist of bits of various sizes, the same way brand's personality is made up of multiple dimensions.
For example, the Apple brand is perceived as rugged and sophisticated. The female lingerie brand Victoria's Secret portrays excitement and sophistication. Famous fashion brand Levi represents ruggedness and sincerity.
According to Forbes, consistent brand messaging, across all platforms, increases revenue by 23 percent. Building a brand personality is essential for any business, as it helps to create a consistent brand message that would come to be known as your brand voice.
This brand voice is what your consumers would identify with and recognize whenever you call, so to speak, because they are already familiar with it. The absence of a brand personality would make your brand a stranger, and it's common knowledge that strangers are always treated with mistrust and suspicion. The same applies to products without a personality, and the acceptance ratio would be lean.
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A brand personality fosters an emotional connection with your brand in the minds of your consumers, and this ensures brand equity and loyalty, because of the ease with which they connect with your product attributes.
For instance, a fashion-forward person, who loves quality clothes that are not loud and have some sort of quiet dignity would opt for the Levi brand. A brand personality is what evokes statements like this outfit or product is my style etc.
You might be puzzled, knowing that inanimate objects do not have a sense of style. However, the message with which these products are presented to their consumers is what is referred to as the style that people find easy to connect with.
Some other importance of a brand personality includes the following;
Brand personality creates a worthy distinction between your brand and the competition. An athletic brand that incorporates youthful appeal to its target audience, through its messaging, would definitely be on the top of the minds of young people even when there are a million other athletic brands out there. For example; Nike.
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Brands that portray personality traits, like sincerity and competence, would build confidence in the heart of the customer. This would keep your customers coming back because your brand message has been tested through the purchase of the product and they found it to be everything you said it was and more. The result is returning customers.
Oftentimes, you see people, who would only drive a Benz and whenever they decide to change their vehicles, it is still a Benz, maybe a new model, or a different color. The question is why? Well, the Benz brand commands, efficiency, luxury, and precision.
Consumers who believe themselves to be different from the regular Toyota brand can connect easily to the Benz brand personality. A relationship is forged between an individual and a product and this relationship, sometimes is passed on from one generation to another.
A brand personality is the most effective tool for conveying your brand message. For instance, your favorite childhood snack could invoke feelings of warmth, security, and comfort.
Even as an adult you would prefer the brand because of the traits it features. You would now realize that when you want to convey kindness, comfort, and security to young ones, you tend to opt for the same brand, because of the tone and message it depicts.
This is the reason certain cookies have been on the market since the 12th century (Mcvities Shortbread) and in 2022, these cookie brands are still thriving simply because there is a brand personality.
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A brand personality is said to be weak when it is unable to convey its values and delivers a vague brand promise. Employees and consumers are unclear on the stance of the brand.
A strong brand personality on the other hand has clear attributes and is able to communicate its core values in a way and manner customers can identify with. Here are some signs that depict a weak brand personality.
Signs of a Strong Brand Personality
Here are some examples of a strong brand personality.
1. Apple - This brand is known for its competence and innovation.
2. Nike - The Nike brand inspires Excitement and depicts passion.
3. Google - This brand personality is simple, friendly, and easy to use.
4. Techno - Weak brand leaves no impression on the mind of users
5. Yahoo - This brand found it challenging to retain its customers and lost most of its customer share to the competition due to its weak brand personality
A brand audit assesses the effectiveness of your vis a vis, your mission, culture, and vision. It helps to check the strength or weaknesses of your brand. To perform a successful brand audit, the following questions would have to be addressed.
Performing routine audits using these steps outlined below would help nip issues in the bud before they bloom.
All this put together tells a story about your brand. Analyze competition, evaluate your product offering, and, most importantly, check your brand imagery and messaging to ensure they are in sync with your brand's other traits. A brand audit will keep you in tune with your brand DNA and help your business meet its goals.
Building a brand personality can seem like a daunting task; however, with the following steps, it can be easy.
Imagine your brand as an individual.
Answering these questions would help you determine your brand attributes and messaging to show you what personality best suits your brand.
While building your brand personality, it is essential to note that the effectiveness of a brand is its ability to appeal to your target audience's emotions.
Distinguishing your brand message from the competition allows your brand personality to stand out.No one wants to be associated with a phony or a clone.
So if your competitor's personality is sophisticated, it would be ideal for focusing on a different attribute like sincerity. This is a perfect way to position your brand uniquely.
Use suitable adjectives to describe your brand repeatedly until you find the best one that paints your brand picture.
What kind of people or people fit into the adjectives used to describe your brand.
Sketch them out, and this would help figure out what kind of person embodies the above adjectives? A visual representation of your brand identity would help you decide on suitable brand colors, logo, image, and brand style.
Having a conversation with your brand will help you gauge its brand voice.
Mimic a consumer and ask questions that your brand would need to answer.
Determine your response style with this result. For instance, is it serious, informative, formal, etc.? Once you figure this out, adopt this linguistic style in all your brand messaging.
Let your brand be consistent. Let the traits align with its voice. Ensure the messaging is consistent across all channels. Harmonize your brand vision, culture, and message, across all touchpoints in the customer journey.
These are the 5 elements that define a brand personality framework and examples of brands that fit into these categories.
A Brand Personality is a human attribute that describes how a brand promotes its product and connects with its target audience. It's important for your personality to stand out, be unique and consistent in order to drive effective long-term results.
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