What is brand personality?
The personality of the brand is a set of human characteristics attributed to a brand name. A brand personality is something that the consumer can relate to; an effective brand increases its brand capital by having a coherent set of characteristics enjoyed by a specific consumer segment. This personality is a qualitative added value that a brand gains in addition to its functional advantages.
Understanding the brand personality
Brand personality is a framework that helps a business or organization to shape the way people perceive its product, service or mission. The personality of the brand of a company elicits an emotional response in a specific consumer segment, with the intention of encouraging positive actions that benefit the company.
Examples of brand personalities
Customers are more likely to buy a brand if their personality is similar to theirs. There are five main types of brand personalities with common traits:
- Excitation: carefree, fiery and young
- Sincerity: kindness, attention and orientation towards family values
- Roughness: rough, hard, outdoor and athletic
- Skill: successful, accomplished and influential, highlighted by leadership
- Sophistication: elegant, prestigious and sometimes even pretentious
Dove, for example, chooses sincerity as the personality of its brand, to attract female consumers. Luxury brands, like Michael Kors and Chanel, aim for sophistication. The personality of their brand is focused on a high-end, glamorous and trendy lifestyle, which attracts a consumer base with high expenses. REI, the outdoor leisure retail store, has a strong brand personality; they aim to inspire their audience – who are usually outdoor adventurous people – to be strong and resilient.
Customers are more likely to buy a brand if their personality is similar to theirs.
Brand personality and imagery
The personality of a company’s brand should not be confused with its imagery. The imagery of a company is a series of creative assets that communicate the tangible benefits of its brand. Conversely, the personality of a company’s brand directly creates an emotional association in the mind of an ideal group of consumers.
It is important for a company to precisely define the personality of its brand so that it resonates with the right consumer. Indeed, the personality of the brand leads to an increase in brand equity and defines the attitude of the brand on the market. It is also the key factor in any successful marketing campaign. In order to choose the personality of a brand, companies consider the five types of personality and select the one that the company wishes to convey.
If, for example, a new outerwear company wants to resonate with consumers, the natural tendency is to create a strong brand personality. However, it is possible that the company’s competitor has already positioned itself as the brand of robust outdoor clothing. Instead, the new clothing company can uniquely position itself in the mind of the customer by adopting a sophisticated brand personality. This differentiates the brand as a high-end high-end outdoor clothing option, which attracts a specific type of consumer.
Key points to remember
- The personality of the brand is a set of human characteristics attributed to a brand name.
- It is important for a company to precisely define the personality of its brand so that it resonates with the right consumer.
- A company’s brand must aim to elicit a positive emotional response from a targeted consumer segment.