Whether you’re aware of it or not, your brand has a personality, just like humans do. If you don’t have a defined personality, people won’t be able to figure out if you’re the right company for them.
A strong brand personality can be your foundation for boosting brand loyalty and customer retention. It can be that one thing that will edge out your competitors. Getting people and your industry baffled about who you are is the last thing that you want as a company. So, without further ado, let’s provide you with a framework on how to find your brand personality.
What Is Brand Personality?
A brand personality is something that your customers can relate to. It’s about the human characteristics of a brand, and how they’re attributed to the company.
Customers prefer to purchase from a brand that resonates with their personality.
Overall, there are five primary types of brand personalities:
- Excitement: Easygoing, lively and youthful
- Sincerity: Generous, thoughtful, and value-oriented
- Ruggedness: Rough, outdoorsy, and sporty
- Competence: Accomplished and authoritative
- Sophistication: Elegant and renowned
For example, Dove is a brand that utilizes sincerity as a personality, to engage more female customers.
— Dove (@Dove) November 1, 2019
On the other hand, luxurious brands such as Chanel target more sophisticated people. They’re focused on glamour and the lifestyle of the wealthy. Through their branding, they attract people that practice that lifestyle.
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REI is a sports retailer that has a rugged brand personality. They know how to inspire their customers, who are sporty, adventurous, and outdoorsy people.
— REI (@REI) November 6, 2019
Defining your brand personality is pivotal if you want to resonate with your target audience. A resound brand personality boosts brand equity and sets your marketplace approach. It is the key to every successful marketing campaign.
Discover What Your Brand Is About
Gather your team together and come up with all the right words to correctly depict your brand’s personality. For a more focused approach, make a list of the best adjectives that describe your brand.
Brainstorm. What got the company started in the first place? What is the WHY behind your company’s mission statement? Think about what drives your business. Once that is out of the way, ask yourself the following:
- What is unique about the products/services that you offer? – What do you provide that your competitors don’t?
- What are your company’s core values? – Think about what matters to you and your customers.
- What is your company’s mission? – Think about what you are trying to achieve through your work, products, and services.
- What is your company’s expertise? – For example, if you’re providing SaaS development, you’re might only be specialized in Enterprise CRM.
- Who are your target customers? – Define who do you want to attract with your campaigns, products, and services.
- What is the tagline for your company? – Strong brands have powerful slogans that resonate with their customers. In most cases, the best taglines are short and to the point.
When you answer the above, you’ll have an initial overview of the company’s personality that represents your team and your products and services.
Assess how your target audience has reacted to your personality so far. Discover which of your company’s traits attract people the most, and define a profile for your brand.
Think of Your Brand’s Tone and Voice
The core values of your company shape your brand’s tone and voice. It’s how you communicate every action and interaction, and how you present your brand’s personality.
As a brand, if you want to differentiate from the rest in your industry, you must have a distinctive and consistent voice across all channels. Think about how you communicate across your channels, and about the energy that your brand transmits through your messages.
Capturing the Voice of Your Brand
Once again, start a brainstorming session with your branding team. Collect opinions about your brand’s tone and voice. Guide the conversation towards a mutual agreement, consider the following practices.
Start With Your Target Personas – As a brand, your voice must be distinctive. But, you need to communicate your messages in a way that resonates with your target customers. Think about how they talk, the problems they face, and the words that they use to express themselves. Check their social media accounts, and see if they prefer humor or serious posts.
Image Superstardom – Think of your brand as a celebrity. For example, you might describe your apparel company as Russell Westbrook (youthful, powerful, and athletic). Or, if you own a tuxedo company, describe it like George Clooney (suave, intelligent, and eminent).
Ask the Team – Ask your team to choose five adjectives that describe your brand the best. When you get the answers, search for common attributes or a theme that repeats itself. Inconsistencies in opinions mean that you have a serious branding problem. If your employees can’t figure out what your brand is all about, customers won’t either.
Analyze Your Content – Examine the way you communicate through your content. Look at your last 20-30 social media posts, blog posts, and sales materials.
When you analyze your content in its entirety, you’ll discover commonalities in your approach. Your content might hold the secret to defining your brand voice.
Find the Message That You Want to Share
Your brand must have a core message that you want to share. It’s a statement that tells everyone why your brand matters, and how you’re different from your competitors. The core message must convey the relevant brand values and the differences that make you unique.
Developing Your Message
Messages should address specific needs, and in most of the cases, they are the same as the brand’s tagline. Here’s an example of a brand message you may recognize immediately:
Nike is a well-known advocate for athletes, and as a brand, they’re all about a passion for top athletic performances. Their tagline, “Just Do It” perfectly depicts that drive and perseverance. Even if they take on a political attitude, they’re still focused on celebrating athletes.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
Their “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” message is consistent with their entire branding strategy, reinforced by NFL quarterback and political activist Colin Kaepernick.
The above sounds catchy and looks easy, but is it, though? This is where many brands make a mistake. There’s a lot more work to be done before you can craft the perfect message for your brand. The following practices will help you direct your team towards an award-winning brand message:
Think About Your Customers: Again, everything starts with your customers. What do they care about? Are you aware of their pain points, favorite product features, and what matters to them? Everything about your brand’s message must be customer-centric. This means you need to think like your customers before you craft your brand message.
Survey Your Employees: Ask your team what the brand message should be. What do they think the brand’s vision should be? Where do they see the brand in the next five or ten years?
Research Your Competitors: Examine the marketplace. Remember that you must be unique, and do not let your brand be confused with one of your competitors’. You don’t want your customers to go to your rival simply because your brand messages are similar.
When you understand the perspectives above, find the commonalities after answering the following questions:
- Does your brand message offer something that your competitors don’t? Do you differentiate the brand with your core message?
- Is the message easy to understand, and is it relevant?
- Does your brand message bring real expectations?
- Does your message resonate with your target customers?
Examples of Successful Brand Personalities
Coca-Cola is one of the best examples of a defined brand personality.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) November 1, 2019
Since the brand started, it has been associated with pleasure and excitement. People buy Coke without having even seen an advertisement or TV commercial. Moreover, the brand has a fresh campaign each holiday season that creates an even stronger connection with its customers.
This is a brand that is all about the rebels! A Harley stands for freedom, independence, and the luxurious feeling of fast motorcycles.
— Harley-Davidson (@harleydavidson) November 1, 2019
Even though they are expensive, they make dreams a reality, allowing customers to cruise around the world’s greatest roads.
Apple is for the cool, innovative and creative techies that are after simplicity and superb product performance. Every new product sparks enthusiasm among their followers, making Apple not just one of the best brands, but one of the most desirable products on the market.
Starbucks is much more than just a coffee– it’s a movement. The brand’s personality coupled with the dedicated staff knows how to form connections with customers.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) November 8, 2019
Through an amusing and outgoing brand personality, the brand made every person in the world to crave a Starbucks cup of coffee.
When you define the personality of your brand, you’ll begin to connect more with your target customers. A personality is not only crucial for creating the foundation of your brand’s style, but it is also important for shaping your marketing strategies and messages too. Like human personalities shape how we speak and act, your brand’s personality will help you make better decisions for each aspect of your business.