Understanding Your Brand Personality

May 22, 2018     Branding & Marketing

Apple technology

In this week’s blog, I wanted to give a little insight into how you can determine what your organization’s brand (or even just your own personal brand) personality may be. To do this, you need to first come to an understanding of what you are trying to represent. How do you want your consumers to see you? What is the culture that you create and that your consumers want to be a part of? You also need to understand the difference between brand personality and brand identity.

To figure out what your organization’s brand personality is, you need to focus on what kind of emotions you are wanting to display. For example, let’s think of Apple. Apple is and always has been a brand that identifies primarily with making people’s lives easier. They focus on creating products that reflect on the buyer’s lifestyle, aspirations, passions and imagination. They have always delivered the idea of wanting to give “power to the people through technology.” Apple has created a brand personality that people can relate to and want to be a part of. They are stylish, innovative, easy-going and cool. They have been so successful in their branding that their brand loyalty rates are outstanding. This is branding done right.

So what are some brand personalities? If you look at any brand out there, almost all can be associated with one of the five core dimensions of personality:

  • Sincerity

  • Excitement

  • Competence

  • Sophistication

  • Ruggedness

Within these five main personalities, there are countless traits that can be affiliated with each one, so it’s a good place to start. Pick which ones you think define that core personality as well as your organization.

Are you a non-profit looking to do good in the world? Then you may fall under sincerity. You are friendly, honest and down-to-earth. However, if you’re a new company trying to enter the world of beer, you may want to represent yourself in a way that will garner the attention needed to enter in that competitive market; excitement. You may be a seductress, a rebel, a dreamer.

Initially, you might come up with too many traits that you want to associate with your organization. Five is the magic number—any more than that could be overkill. One way to get around this is to lump some of your traits into one major category. Say you have kind, honest, friendly and warm. These could all fall under an approachable personality.

Once you determine which traits most accurately reflect how you want to represent yourself, you need to implement the personality into everything you share with consumers. Make sure your brand identity falls in line with your personality. If you are more goofy and easy-going, make sure your fonts and designs aren’t rugged or serious. That doesn’t translate well and you will confuse consumers.

To have an effective brand personality, you need to create something that connects with your consumers. Don’t try to make something fun and new and trendy if your target audience doesn’t fit that same persona. Essentially, you need to think up the ideal person that would have all of your brands traits. Do they represent who you are trying to target? If so, you’ve nailed your personality down. If not, start making some adjustments until you have something that accurately reflects your target audience.

Creating your brand personality is one of the first steps in successfully branding or rebranding your organization. Once that happens, it will be much easier to create brand standards and a style guide for your company. Once that’s done, you will be able to market yourself in a way that is consistent, accurate, and rewarding.

Side Note: If the traits listed above don’t quite fit the bill for who you are, I have found an additional 25 characteristics that may give you some ideas on your brand personality:

25 listed brand personalities

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