Brand personality is what makes us relate to a company and choose to buy a product from them, rather than their competitors. I know, I know…I’ve been hugely focused on branding and examples of how companies should be doing it. That’s because it’s important for your business if you want it to grow.
What is brand personality?
It’s a unique something-something that brings your company to life in the eyes (and hearts) of your customers. It makes it easier for you to create relationships and memories, rather than just having people buy stuff.
Huh, why is that important?
It’s important because it’s the driving force behind your brand experience. This is something you have that your competitors don’t. It’s not something you can buy or easily replicate. More importantly, it’s part of what will help you generate repeat business.
Interesting stuff. How do does it work?
For brand personality to work, it needs to be memorable, and generate positive associations for your company, product, or service.
Have you ever watched a commercial and felt embarrassingly emotional?
Think of how you felt when you saw small kids playing their grandparents during that cookie commercial. Or, think of that time you needed to get a Kleenex and were pretending it was allergy season, but really it was just a Hallmark commercial.
That unexpected emotion is brand personality working its magic on you.
It doesn’t always have to be sappy stuff. Brand personality could be something that makes you laugh, feel surprised, or makes you want to pay a higher price for perceived quality. 😳
Once you’ve been around for a little while and have a better understanding of who you’re selling to, you will start to see what has more of an impact on your customer base. This isn’t as easy for newer companies, but there are still lots of ways they can incorporate branding into their marketing tactics.
Generally speaking, there are five types of brand personalities. I’ve outlined what they are and the words associated with each of them below:
- Excitement — trendy, modern, imagination, energized
- Sincerity — wholesome, sentimental, family-oriented
- Ruggedness — rough around the edges and a bit daring
- Competence — reliable, technical, confident
- Sophistication — snooty, elegant and ‘that fancy stuff’
Let’s talk about excitement. Who’s doing this well?
People LOVE when their new commercials come out. They create collections of their merchandise. They save it, they trade, they cherish it.
Coca-Cola’s brand is strongly associated with happiness and excitement. People buy Coke for the experience rather than the taste. People love seeing this brand and buying from them. Lots of others make similar products, but no one else has created the level of brand personality that Coke has.
Their competitor’s marketing doesn’t get the same reaction because they haven’t nailed brand personality the same way.
Let’s talk about sincerity. Who’s doing this well?
They’re both wholesome and sentimental. When you see their products, you think of family events and sweet moments with the people you love. Some people have built their own family traditions around the experience Hallmark products provide.
Let’s dive into ruggedness. Who’s doing this well?
Remember that energy drink that gives you wings?
Redbull is more than just a can of caffeine and heart palpitations. This brand knows its audience loves pushing things to the limits. They are happy to sponsor extreme sports and commit to quirky taglines. They know what their customers like and are totally okay with colouring outside the lines when they need to.
Let’s talk about competence. Who’s doing this well?
Finally, there’s sophistication.
The marketing nerd in me likes to analyze companies who are chasing after a sophisticated brand personality. That’s because when they’re able to achieve this in the eyes of their customers, they’re able to command top dollar for their products. Brands that come to mind include COACH, Dior, and Hermès.