5 Tips on How Your Brand Personality Creates an Amazingly Likable Brand
Our personalities are what make us human, what makes us individuals. Because of them, we can be perceived as likable or annoying, safe or adventurous, inspiring or boring. Personality is defined as the organized pattern of the physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. Just like people, brands have recognizable traits that convey the way they think, feel about, and engage with the world and within their market. The authenticity and consistency of these traits are what separates a strong brand from a weak one.
To give brand personality a definition: it 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. Your brand personality is how you would describe your brand as if it were a person.
Brand personality is a key element in brand positioning because it humanizes your brand to give it depth and make it relatable to your audience. It primarily drives decisions in visual brand identity and brand messaging. But it also influences overall brand and organizational strategy to ultimately foster brand loyalty and build brand equity as you scale.
Brand personality is why Apple is known as a chic minimalist, creative type, or Starbucks customers feel at home in their cafes. Even though the Slack brand name is a synonym for lazy, its personality is easy, personal, and helpful. IBM could be pictured as the stereotypical scrawny geek with glasses. Its personality is technical expertise and education.
A well-defined and effectively implemented brand personality drives competitive differentiation. It’s why the same product or service can be positioned in distinctly different ways.
Whether your clients realize it or not, they are looking for a brand that speaks to them in a way that is human and relatable. When your brand is relatable, it’s subconsciously perceived as likable and, as you know, people are more likely to do business with people (and brands) that they like.
So how do you become a more likable brand? One that is true to the brand, adds value to the organization and better connects to your market to keep your clients coming back again, and again. Here are five tips to build a likable brand personality:
BE VISIBLE. The more we are exposed to something, the more we tend to like it, it’s called the exposure effect. This will typically fall within the sales and marketing aspects of your strategy—how and in what relevant ways can you, or your brand be present? How can you be informative and provide value without commitment? Don’t be creepy or pushy about it because that is sure to backfire.
BE PERSONAL. Personalization in both marketing and sales is becoming a requirement. Be intentional about at a minimum, creating the perception of personalization until you have enough information about a prospect or client that you can actually personalize your engagements or client experiences.
BE CURIOUS. Research shows that people who ask more questions during a conversation are perceived as more responsive and are better liked. Asking questions, and in particular follow-up questions, you are demonstrating active listening and leaving your client or prospect feeling that you are interested in them, their concerns, and their situation. There is a distinct difference between personal and brand-related questioning. When it comes to brands, you’ll need to identify how to ask fewer questions to give you the most relevant information. Your clients and prospects don’t want to take a survey that takes an hour only to tell them something they could learn from a quick internet search. But they will take a short quiz that gives them an instantly actionable result.
BE SIMPLE. Every industry and expertise has a library of buzz words and nuances that you as the expert are expected to know. Don’t expect that your client or prospect is going to have the same depth of knowledge that you do. After all, they don’t need to, that is what you are for. Also, they are busy, so the simpler it is for them to “get” what it is you do and how you will provide value, the more willing they will be to spend more time with you. As much as we don’t want to acknowledge this, the average reading level for an adult is a fifth-grade reading level. Content written at a third-grade reading level has the most engagement. Remember, a confused mind rarely buys and is most unlikely to be a happy, referring client.
BE ALIGNED. Research shows that we like people and brands that share our interests, values, and personality traits. This is the reason we are seeing an increase in brands taking a stand on social issues. Clients are choosing to do business with brands that are morally, ethically, or values aligned as a way of saying “because I do business with X, it shows I stand for Y”. While not all decisions are consciously made this way, “birds of a feather flock together” is a relevant saying for a reason. It makes your clients and prospects feel validated and emotionally rewarded for the beliefs and values they hold.
While we may not be able to shake a brand’s hand or go skydiving with them, it doesn’t mean we don’t relate to them as if they are people. Understanding the brain science of brand personality will help you craft a magnetic brand that builds loyalty and your clients will want to refer.
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