What is Brand Personality and How it Helps in Marketing?
Think about a person that you admire or has been a mentor to you.
Can you see them in your mind?
Feel how they make you feel?
Now, tell me about this person. Only I don’t want to know their name or their gender. I want you to describe their personality to me. Do they always make you laugh? Are they always running late? Do they have a quirky twitch that they do when they are thinking? Remember, do not tell me their name or gender.
Now let me tell you about my person-> My person seems quiet but is really smart and always has the right words at the right time. This person is creative beyond anything you can imagine. They sometimes doubt their potential and often forget to ask for help. This person will always be there when you need it.
Did you notice that even though you do not know who I am talking about, you can connect with the traits of the person that I am describing? As I described my person, you were thinking “I know someone like that.” These traits, make us relatable, personable, and dare I say even, unique?
Yes, personality traits are human traits and it’s how we connect with each other. We see ourselves in each other and relate through emotions, experiences, intelligence, characteristics, and beliefs. When we build brands using this model, it leverages the psychology of branding, emotional intelligence of people, and builds brand loyalty.
Brand personality is the way that a brand interacts and behaves with its clients and the market. It’s the collection of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral patterns unique to the brand and is consistent over time. Just like people, brands have recognizable traits that convey the way they think and feel about the world. The authenticity and consistency of these traits are what separates a strong brand from a weak one.
Brand personality is a critical component of positioning and differentiation. It’s the part of your brand that your clients identify with and build a relationship with. Because of this, it plays a huge role in driving customer acquisition, fostering brand loyalty, and building brand equity. Different brands (like people) have different drivers which allow their market to have a specific set of expectations.
Emotional brands are motivated by passion, zeal, or personal experience. Intelligent-driven brands are inspired by rational analysis and logical insight. These two types of brands will look and feel drastically different, and they will attract different audiences. They will also interact with their market in different ways (marketing, sales, and customer experience). While there are other types of brands, this is just an example to show that the key is cultivating your brand personality so it is authentic to your organization and relatable to your specific market.
A brand personality that is well-defined and effectively implemented provides three key results:
- AMPLIFIES COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATION. When your brand and/or product looks and feels like everything else in the market, it is significantly harder for your market to remember who you are.
- BOOSTS BRAND AWARENESS. When your brand is recognizable and memorable, it makes building brand awareness and generating referrals significantly easier and costs less. Have you been in a situation where someone is trying to share a resource with you, but they can’t remember the brand?
- BUILDS BRAND LOYALTY. Loyalty means that you are top of mind and your market thinks of you first for solving the challenge they are facing. It also helps with word-of-mouth referrals and customers who are at least partially defined by ownership of your brand or products. This is a popular practice among younger generations.
Your brand personality serves as inspiration, a compass for executives making decisions, company leaders, and marketing professionals as they create the many touchpoints where your brand will engage with your audiences. When we work with our clients, we are intentional about defining their brand personality so they can benefit from the results.
The primary ways that a brand personality will present itself is in how the brand:
- LOOKS. This is your brand’s visual identity or image—logo, color palette, fonts, photos, and customer experience. Brand Image and Brand Personality are completely different, even though they are often confused to be the same. A brand’s image consists of the tangible and physical characteristics of a brand while the brand’s personality relies on the emotional associations of the brand.
- SOUNDS. This is your brand’s voice—the writing style or language and tone that is used. Think of the difference between how JP Morgan Chase, Virgin, Disney, or Apple use their words, their choice of language that they use, or music that you hear.
- ACTIONS IT TAKES. This is how your brand interacts with your market and the world. It’s demonstrated in who you partner with, your political involvement, give-back programs, and customer experience and support.
The brain science of brand personality will help you craft an authentic and, above all, consistent brand personality that is relevant and relatable to your ideal customer. Your brand personality sets the tone for the expectations that define your brand in the market. It’s the connections that are made in the minds of the consumers of your brand. We relate to brands in strikingly similar ways to how we relate to the people in our lives. Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, use brands as a way to define who they are, and what they stand for.
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