Brand Personality

Key takeaways:

  • Brand personality is a persona that connects the brand and its consumers.
  • Frameworks given by Aaker and Carl Jung can help in choosing the right personality fit for your brand.
  • Developing brand personality requires a clear objective, audience segmentation, and media strategy.

Brand personality is the personification of the brand. It means giving human-like qualities to a person or distinct characteristics that represent the brand significantly. It defines how the brand behaves and speaks. Brand personality is the ultimate persona that connects the customers and the brand. It is an added dimension to enhance their visual communication. 

Brand personality is a collaborative result of the brand image and brand identity. It could relate to age, gender, socio­economic status, and psychographic, emotional, and socio-graphic characteristics which get translated to the persona representing the brand. It consists of all the functional and symbolic traits to give them a specialized and distinct character. It gives a crystallized experience and more liveliness to what you want to deliver to your audience. 

Having a brand personality is extremely important because it gives your business a human touch in the eyes of potential customers. It can be represented through audio, video, or both. Brand personalities perform as evidence of your brand through the means of visual marketing, social media, product packaging, website, and other facets of branding. 

It is like a differentiation strategy to create a distinction from other brands and drive customer preferences. The consumer buying phenomenon is really simple, people purchase things from brands they like and relate to them. These personalities give a reason to the customer for recognizing or choosing you as a brand if they match their thoughts, preferences, and behaviour.

Every business needs a brand personality. It is built with the imagination that if the brand was a human and the following questions would be answered:

  • What would be their demographics? – Age, gender, social class, attire, etc
  • How do people perceive them? – Friendly, responsible, trustworthy, youthful, bubbly, premium, etc. 
  • How will the brand act? – Serious, funny, professional, etc. 

The concept of brand personality was made popular by Jennifer Aaker. She introduced the “Big 5 dimensions” of the brand personality framework. They are specific in a genre much like human behaviour, feelings and emotions. This framework refers to picking 3 to 5 personality traits that you want to ‘own’ when someone thinks about your brand. Choosing human qualities specific to your business allows you to create a strong value proposition for your brand. These personalities are as follows:

  • Sincerity – Characteristics that describe it are being authentic, wholesome, and cheerful. – Sincerity refers to building trust for your customers. Amazon is the most trusted brand. It is known for its sincerity in return policies, product accessibility, and delivery. Though not all products are successful, Jeff Bezos is not afraid of failures which makes it more human.
  • Excitement – Features of this type of personality are being youthful, imaginative, daring, and passionate. – Nike is an inspirational, cool personality and engages in an active lifestyle. It is always exciting and the slogan “Just Do It” provokes confidence and excitement.
  • Competence – It refers to being reliable, value quality, successful and intelligent. Rolex is a brand which is known for producing the world’s finest watches. It scores high on competency.
  • Sophistication – This personality type can be described as being glamorous, feminine, elite, and aesthetically engaging. Apple launches premium products that are elegant in packaging and software. It is seen as a brand that is somewhat off – the wall and irreverent.  
  • Ruggedness – It reflects being adventurous, masculine, earth, and outdoorsy. Jeep shows clear personality traits of being tough, durable, strong, adventurous, and a strong focus on the outdoors.

Another way to associate a brand personality is by choosing an archetype proposed by Carl Jung that stands for a different group of values, attitudes, characteristics, and aspirations. We have to identify which of the following identities will your target audience associate with the most.

1. Social personality will always want to connect with others:

  • Everyman – The motive is to be there and make the consumer feel a sense of belonging. Their characteristics are being helpful, authentic, casual, and down–to–earth. Brands adopting these personality traits are – IKEA, Visa, Levi’s, etc.
  • Jester – The primary objective is to enjoy the liveliness of life. They want their audience to have fun and joy in their life. Their traits are being humorous, quirky, fancy, and light-hearted. Brands choosing jester as their personality trait are – Skittles, M&M, etc.
  • Lover – The goal is to induce customers to find their connection or love. Their characteristic is being romantic, passionate, and warm. The brands who adopt these traits are – Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, etc.

2. Ego personality looks forward to leaving a mark by changing the world:

  • Hero – The end goal is to make the world a better place. The characteristics are being confident, courageous, and bold. The best example for this type of personality is – Nike, FedEx, etc.
  • Magician – The goal is to change things magically for their customers. Their personality traits are being thoughtful, spiritual, charismatic, and imaginative. Brands that have this persona are – Disney, Apple, etc.
  • Outlaw – The primary objective is to set break-free for the customer and on what’s not working. The features of this personality type are being the change maker, revolutionary, wild, outrageous, and free. Companies that have their personality as being rebellious or outlaw are – Harley Davidson, Reliance Jio etc.

3. Freedom personality is searching for paradise:

  • Explorer – The aim is to allow customers to experience new things and discover. The personality traits of being an explorer are being independent, pioneering, adventurous, and wanderlust. A famous example of having these personality traits is – Corona, The North Face, etc.
  • Sage – The goal is to share knowledge with customers. The traits of having this type of personality are being wise, intelligent, and be a reliable source of information. Brands that have these characteristics are Google, Quora, etc.
  • Innocent – The main motive is to make customers feel happy in the end. Features of this type of personality traits are being positive, reliable, optimistic, and young. Companies that choose to have an innocent personality are – Dove, Coco-Cola, etc.

4. Order personality believes in providing structure to the world:

  • Creator – The purpose is to innovate and make customers believe in them. They have trait like being creative, artistic, entrepreneurial, and visionary. A brand that has this feature is Adobe.
  • Ruler – The main role is to set control or trend and make customers well organized. The personality traits are being a leader, role model, and organized. Companies that have a ruler as their describing them are Microsoft, Mercedes – Benz
  • Caregiver – The motive of caregivers is to serve, help and make customers feel secured. The characteristics for this are – humble, caring, and empathy. Companies that adopt caregivers as their personality are Johnson & Johnson, UNICEF, etc.

These dimensions and personality traits are subject to the brand for choosing any combination they wish to and create their framework which fits in their archetype.

To develop effective marketing communication, the brand personality should be very clear with the objective that the company wants to communicate. The objective can be varied in combinations of promoting sales, creating awareness, attracting retail business etc. A set objective targeted towards a specific group of the audience makes the brand personality have a strong impact on potential customers. This segmentation is based on personality, interest, environment and needs. Putting all of this into action requires a media plan strategy that will be seen, heard or read by the target audience. The brand personality can deliver their communication via print or electronic media, media vehicles, etc.

Thus, a brand personality directly connects us to the end-user, enhances brand positioning and builds brand image. It makes brand communication easier and makes a strong mark for brand recall. It is advisable to choose an appropriate brand personality to ensure that they don’t overshadow the brand. There is still a slight scope of confusion if the personality is engaged with brands. In the future, executing a brand personality decision will soon turn scientific as it requires a lot of research in finding a perfect fit for your brand.

Content Credits:
Khyati Henia

Editor Credits:
Parth Panchal

Graphics Credit:
Avinav Kumar

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