The market is saturated. It is filled with brands that do the same thing, offer the same products and services and compete for the same audience. So how do you get your brand noticed? How do you keep your brand in front of your audience?
Two words: Brand Personality.
A person’s personality determines whether they are likeable or uninteresting, inspiring or bland, attractive or off-putting. Brands are no different. The right brand personality gives your brand a human face, allowing your business to connect more with your target audience and stand out in today’s crowded marketplace.
What is brand personality?
Brand personality refers to the character of your brand in terms of human traits. It is the way you want your customers or prospects to perceive you. A strong brand personality can help you establish a long-lasting relationship with your customers and build brand loyalty.
The best brands have a distinct and immediately recognizable brand personality that epitomises their core values, vision and culture.
The idea of “likeability” has become more important in recent years for marketers. This is because social media and other marketing channels have given consumers power to choose what type of information to consume — this ability to tune out advertising messages when they want has made it harder for brands to grab people’s attention and make them sit up and take notice.
For example, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report, In Brands We Trust:
- 48% of respondents said they would be more loyal to a company that shares their values.
- 47% said they would buy or boycott a product based on the CEO’s stance on a social or political issue.
Why is a brand personality important for your business?
A brand is not a logo, a colour palette, or a font. It is the feeling that your business evokes in people. Its personality indicates whether your brand is adventurous or safe, fun or serious, trustworthy or suspect. Whether businesses realise it or not, customers are looking for brands that connect with them in a human and relatable way.
Brand personality matters because people want to do business with others that they like and understand. In fact, studies show that more than 40% of customers buy from businesses based on emotional reasons alone.
Think about the last time you bought something from someone: did you go to their store just because you needed something from them? Or did you go there because you knew you’d get exemplary service and walk out feeling great about yourself? If it’s the latter, then you were driven by emotion to make that purchase.
The essence of a brand personality is to humanise it, making it more relatable to the audience and giving it depth and nuance.
A brand with a clearly defined and well-implemented personality will help your business…
Create and enhance brand uniqueness
A unique, differentiated brand personality can set you apart from the competition and make your brand more memorable to consumers. Think of how you feel about brands like Apple, Nike or GTB. Each brand has a distinct voice and character that sets it apart from competitors.
Drive consumer preference for your product
Consumers often prefer brands with personalities that are similar to their own. For example, consider the stark contrast between the personalities of two popular energy drink brands: Red Bull (extreme and adventurous) vs Fearless (sophisticated). Is it any wonder then that Red Bull is favoured by extreme sports enthusiasts while Fearless has a strong following in the hip hop community?
Increase consumer trust in your brand
Your brand can be more than just a product or service. It can be an ally, helping consumers solve problems or overcome challenges. Consumers respond positively to brands they feel they can trust — such as those with personalities that are genuine and authentic — because they believe these traits make the brand more reliable and trustworthy.
Increase customer loyalty and retention
Customers who have an emotional connection with a brand are more likely to buy from them again and again. The more connected a customer feels, the less likely they are to shop around for alternatives.
Attract the right employees
When you define your brand personality, it’s easier for employees to understand what kind of behaviour is expected from them. If you have clearly defined values and principles, your employees will be able to adapt their own behaviour to match. This helps you recruit people who fit in with your company culture and ensures that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Improve business performance and profitability
According to a survey by Brand Keys, brands with a clear personality are twice as profitable as those that don’t have one. The reason for this is simple: Companies with strong personalities attract customers who share their values and beliefs, so they’re more likely to buy their products or services.
How brand personality works
A brand personality framework provides a way for classifying brand personalities into five main types:
1. Excitement: Free-spirited, youthful, fun and carefree. Examples are Tesla, Disney, and Red Bull.
2. Sophistication: Luxurious, exclusive, attractive, elegant. Examples are Apple, Dove and Mercedes.
3. Competence: Reliable, intelligent, successful. Examples are Microsoft, UPS and Standard Chartered.
4. Ruggedness: Tough, strong, outdoorsy. Examples are Jeep. Levi and Timberland.
5. Sincerity: Genuine, honest, wholesome. Examples are Amazon, Cadbury, Pampers.
As the world becomes increasingly digitised, and as more companies shift their marketing focus to digital channels, brand personalities have become even more important. This is especially true as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technology becomes more and more prevalent in the digital age.
As a result, marketers need to take a closer look at how their brand personalities are coming across in all of their channels. After all, it’s our personalities that help people connect with us on an emotional level.
How to create a likeable personality for your brand
Your brand personality is the outcome of your branding strategy. If you want to develop a likeable personality for your brand, you need to follow an effective branding strategy.
In order to create a likeable personality for your brand, there are certain things that you need to focus on first:
Know your target audience
If you already have a product or service, understand the audience that it is targeting. Your branding strategy should be focused on creating a likeable personality for your brand that appeals to the target audience.
To do so, first understand who they are and what they like in order to create a stronger connection with them. For example, if you are targeting younger audiences, use trendy and modern language in your branding elements (logo design, colour schemes, marketing materials etc.).
Make a list of words that describe the personality you want your brand to have
Once you’ve decided on your target market and the emotions you want them to feel, start thinking about the personality traits that will help achieve this.
This is essentially a list of adjectives that you think would best describe your brand’s personality.
For example, if your brand promises to make it super easy to do something (like transfer money), then words like ‘simple’, ‘easy’ or even ‘pain-free’ might be a good place to start.
Other examples include:
- Experienced, and
Visualise your brand as a living, breathing human with distinct characteristics
If your brand was a person, what would it be like? Would it be a young adult? A middle-aged professional? An elderly grandparent? Would it be trendy and fashionable, or conservative and reliable? Would it be kind and generous, or hard-nosed and competitive?
Once you’ve defined your brand’s personality in human terms, you can start building it into everything you do. Write content that mimics what your brand would say if it were a person.
When you design visual assets, let that personality influence the design. This will ensure consistency across all of your marketing materials — rather than a mish-mash of different styles and tones of voice.
Build trust with your audience
Your target audience needs a reason to trust your brand. They should feel connected with your brand and believe that it can solve their problems or fulfil their needs.
To build trust with your audience, ensure consistency across all of your branding elements (visuals, language and tone) and communicate clearly about what you offer and how you can help them.
So, what makes your brand different from the rest?
The key thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong personality to use. What works for one brand might not work for another and vice versa. Perhaps the more important thing is finding a personality that resonates with your audience and drives sales because people can connect with it on an emotional level.
If you want to succeed and stay afloat in a very competitive marketplace you will need to find a tactic that works. Using, creating and maintaining a likeable brand personality could be the way forward for your business.
Need professional help transitioning to a brand that people love to engage with? Speak today with your ‘Write’ business partners at NaijaCopy.