Your brand personality: how to define it and some tips
If I ask you to describe your best friend, you’d probably tell me something about their personality. Makes sense, right? And if I ask you to describe the brand that you identify with the most, would you tell me something about its personality?
If brands are built properly, they will have their own personality too and this can be vital when it comes to positioning yourself in a special place in the consumer’s mind. Let me tell you a little more about this…
First, I’d like to explain what a “brand’s personality” is all about. It is one of the aspects that has the most influence when building a relationship with the consumer, as it connects people to products, sets the brand’s and studies the way your brand behaves in society. It’s made up of a set of human characteristics which make it unique, define it in a coherent way with specific features that are easily distinguishable. Bearing all of this in mind, let’s go into a little more detail:
How do you build your brand’s personality?
Well, before we start, it’s important that we’re willing to make sacrifices. If our brand has been on the market for a while, but we’ve realised that its personality isn’t strong or stable, it’s likely that we will need to take steps to rectify this. Surviving on the market isn’t a matter of luck, it’s down to hard, continuous, and excellent work.
Back to the original question, how do you build your brand’s personality?
- Firstly, you need to clearly define your brand’s mission, vision, and values. This will help you understand where you want to go and how to get there. It’s important that these things are clearly defined, as people often make mistakes when they get ahead of themselves. We’re in a hurry to write our first words in a really colloquial or overly formal way (how many times have you clicked on a website and then closed it in less than 20 seconds because its first few lines have been written in a quasi-administrative language?) This wouldn’t happen if our brand’s mission, vision, and values have been managed correctly. Thanks to these three elements, we can move straight to the second point and we’re able to define our brand’s personality much more precisely.
- Once we know who we are (mission), who we want to be (vision) and what our values are (values), we can start with the second phase of building our personality. Here, I suggest using the 12 Jungian Personality Archetypes, an extremely useful tool which will help you identify which archetype your brand belongs to. So, you can start to provide it with content that follows the personality patterns which are most similar to those we are going to transmit.
- I’ll give you an example: RedBull, a market leader in energy drinks, has identified itself as the “Explorer” personality archetype. It’s a brand that helps people express themselves, breaks away from convention and is constantly experimenting and searching for new sensations. For their communication strategy, they’ve chosen to sponsor high-adrenaline sports events which are reminiscent of their claim that “RedBull gives you wings”.
Some final tips
- Buyer persona: now that you’re going to get down to business with your brand’s personality, don’t forget to create a buyer persona for your customers. This exercise will give you a much clearer idea of your customers than market research or work groups. Personally, whenever I’ve defined a buyer persona, I’ve discovered aspects that have helped me reorganise both my communication and my branding.
- Online and offline: The law of use! ;-) Remember that you shouldn’t be showing your brand’s personality in the digital world only. Make the most of it in any medium, both online (of course) and offline! Use this exercise and the creation of a branding manual to apply to your social media, website, point of sale supports, catalogues, packaging, and all of the other things in your business.
- Make a banned list: yes, you read that right. If your personality is strong enough, you’ll know which words or expressions are the complete opposite of your brand and that you should, therefore, avoid. Make a list of these words and include it in your branding manual. This will help you eliminate the risk among the people working during the creative process.
- Above all, put yourself in your customers shoes. Remember that inconsistency is annoying and confusing because our brains need “biases” and stereotypes in order to work. In the same way that your brain learnt not to put your hands into flames because they’ll get burnt, it uses these biases to save energy by quickly associating information with something that it already knows. Otherwise, it’d be exhausting and almost impossible to decode all of the information we take in every day.
So, now, if I ask you to describe the brand you identify with the most, what would you tell me? ;-)