What is brand personality?

We all have a personality, so should a brand have one too?

Yes, indeed it should. In business school, you are taught that a company is an entity its self… and so it should be treated as one. The same thought process goes for your brand, no matter how big or small. It is best to arm your brand with its personality as best as possible, otherwise, your customers will soon identify one for you.

By definition, brand personality is “The set of human characteristics associated with a brand”. This means that in effect, your business brand should be relatable to your customers on a number of levels, whether that be as a friend/family type relationship or that they see your brand as an extension of who they are or who they want to be. It may even be that your brand has certain characteristics that indicate to consumers the type of personality that your brand has, often shared with customers through a product slogan or statement. Think Supaloc – Build it once, build it right or the Coca-Cola Open Happiness campaign. If you engage in a spokesperson or sponsor an identity for your brand, often your brand will take on the strongest parts of that particular person’s personality – kind of like when you stay in a foreign country and you start to talk with an accent – or see about the Pepsi and Beyonce.partnership.

So what exactly are the traits or characteristics that we should be looking at if we want to bring out the best in our brand’s personality?

You can start to consider some of these characteristics by asking yourself the following; If the brand was a real person:

  • What would it wear? (e.g. an Armani suit or Target jeans and a jumper?);
  • How would it smell? (e.g. like Chanel No. 5 or Britany Spears Curious?);
  • What sort of car would it drive? (e.g. a Holden Commodore or a BMW Z4?);
  • What would it drink? (e.g. Johnnie Walker Blue or Cutty Sark?);
  • Where would it live? (e.g. Glenelg or Ridgehaven?);
  • What is its favourite movie? (e.g. Driving Miss Daisy or The Exorcist?).

Questions like these start to explore the dimensions of your brand based upon 6 primary factors:

  • Sincerity;
  • Excitement;
  • Competence;
  • Sophistication;
  • Ruggedness; and
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity

Consider what the heart, mind and the body are of your brand and identify what trade-offs there may be. Remember that your brand is just like a person, it will evolve over time and will often be identified by Who it is, not just what it does.

Brand Personality is just one facet of developing a successful brand. If you aren’t sure where to start with the building of your brand Brand Ark and find out how we can help.