What is it, why is it important, and how can your brand personality set you apart from your competitors?
The characteristics and qualities that radiate from your brand regularly, which will either attract or detract your audience's connection with you and/or your brand, are what comprises your brand personality. When you think of a personality of an individual, a brand’s personality is quite the same; it’s the way they talk, the actions they take, and the promises they make (and whether or not they can keep them), among many additional factors.
Let’s consider your best friend for a moment. Chances are, you can often predict what they are going to say in a conversation, the body language they’ll express, the excitement or frustration they have and the way it will radiate from them, the things they enjoy or dislike, and more. You know their personality, and their personality plays a significant role in whether or not, and how, you connect with them.
A brand personality is essentially the same concept, helping clients and customers in deciding whether or not they want to connect with that brand. Hence, the importance of brand personality. If none of your target audience knows who you are or whether or not they want to connect with you, chances are, they are going to choose to not make the connection with you/your brand, and will instead seek a brand they resonate with.
Not only is a connection to your personality important for the relationship you have with your audience, but it makes you appear more approachable and communicative. Allowing others to see you are open to chatting, and with their style and personality nonetheless, it opens the doors to communication to allow them to be more receptive to your offerings.
So far, of our 5 Key Branding Concepts, we’ve covered your Brand Promise and your Brand Positioning, and both of these will play into your Brand Personality - after all, your promise to your audience and where you stand in the midst of your market will help determine (and/or highlight) your personality.
When it comes to brand personality, there has been a paper written on the Dimensions of Brand Personality by Jennifer Aaker - a Stanford researcher. This research paper highlighted for us the five dimensions of a Brand Personality. (Read more on it here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3151897?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents) These five dimensions are pivotal in deciding what your brand personality may be.
These dimensions and some sample traits of each are:
Using these five dimensions and some of the characteristics of each, do you have in mind an idea of what your brand personality may look like? If so, that’s great! If not, we’ve got a small task to help you out.
The task: First, find five people you trust to be very open and transparent about your business. Keep in mind, this does not need to be five people that support or even like your brand or business, so long as they are honest with you on the questions you’ll ask them. Next, ask those five people to give you a few short descriptors or words they think of when they think of your brand and style. When they hear your business or brand name, what words immediately come to mind? What do they feel your style is resonating with? What colors do they think of, are there any phrases or taglines they think of, or how does it make them feel?
You can even send them this link to a large list of personality adjectives to give them a wider array of words to choose from: https://myenglishtutors.org/personality-adjectives/
Once you have a few responses, you have a great start to understanding your brand personality as it currently is, and how you may adjust it as necessary to fit your desired personality. Which dimensions do these descriptors of you fit into? If you hear your brand puts out the vibes of being manic, unique, witty, chaotic, versatile, and intense, would you assume people view you as being classified under the Excitement dimension, or would you feel they view you as being unreliable and unprofessional? The difference could simply be the professionalism you attach to your personality.
What if you are hearing that you are currently expressing a personality that is not that of which you wish your brand had? Simple - adjust it!
First, think of your target audience and the traits that resonate with them as a whole.
Then, find the 3-5 adjectives you want to encompass that will fit into the traits that will resonate with your target audience.
Next, start to talk the talk and walk the walk. If you want to be an energetic, reliable, tough company, ensure the correspondences you are releasing are reflecting those traits.
Keep your promise and positioning in mind as you are adjusting your tone for your personality, as you want to ensure all three are cohesive and do not detract from one another.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of companies that have really nailed the brand personality.
As you can see from the examples, these brands have made a commitment to their personalities and tend to represent these traits thoroughly.
Now that you’ve learned the 5 dimensions of a brand personality and have seen a couple real life examples, it’s your turn to take a shot at your brand personality.
Don’t forget, you can always ask those around you that you trust to weigh in on this to ensure you are hitting your targeted personality. If you’re not, adjusting is simple!
We’d love to see what you’ve come up with, and offer a little help along the way. Feel free to send your brand personality to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject of: Simplifying My Brand Personality and we will provide feedback and suggestions to get you well on your way of stepping in front of your competitors!
*Note: As you know, our mission is to ensure simplified marketing strategies that can be created and incorporated by anyone. However, if you’d like to dive deeper into your brand personality, we suggest you check out the brand archetypes model, which is based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality. This model contains 12 brand archetypes, and will also require many more hours to deep dive into your brand’s personality.
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