Brand Personality: The Definitive Framework [+39 Best Strategy Examples]

What is it about brands that make us feel like they’re part of our lives?

We don’t just buy, like and adopt these brands.

We actually feel connected to them in a way that feels eerily human.

Some brands are so embedded in our lives, we show them genuine human affection, loyalty and in some cases love.

Seriously, Love… Even though it’s just an entity of processes and systems.

What is this mystical power the most loved brands in the world have over us?

The Answer? Brand Personality.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly how you can use this modern brand strategy to warm the hearts of your audience to build long-lasting customer relationships.

What is it about brands that make us feel like they’re part of our lives?

We don’t just buy, like and adopt these brands.

We actually feel connected to them in a way that feels eerily human.

Some brands are so embedded in our lives, we show them genuine human affection, loyalty and in some cases love.

Seriously, Love… Even though it’s just an entity of processes and systems.

What is this mystical power the most loved brands in the world have over us?

The Answer? Brand Personality.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly how you can use this modern brand strategy to warm the hearts of your audience to build long-lasting customer relationships.

Contents

CHAPTER 1
The Rise Of Brand Personality

CHAPTER 2
The Science & Psychology Of Personality
CHAPTER 3
Personality Builds Modern Brands
CHAPTER 4
Brand Archetypes Framework
CHAPTER 5
How To Create Brand Personality
CHAPTER 6
How To Express Personality Traits
CHAPTER 7
Brand Personality Examples
CHAPTER 8
Brand Personality Execution

Chapter #1
The Rise Of Brand Personality

Modern brands are beginning to understand the critical importance of a human brand personality.

We no longer accept brands speaking to us as a corporate entity dictating terms.

We demand more and if we don’t feel heard we wield our power by taking our business elsewhere.

In this chapter, you’ll learn why personality has become an increasing important strategic branding tool.

Consumers Demand Brands With Personality

In a Strategy Study by Accenture, they found that as much as 83% of customers demanded more human interaction.

If you go to market with a personality like a wet fish, expect the market to spit you back out as such.

Show up with traits and characteristics your audience is attracted to however, and you’ll be welcomed in with open arms, a cup of tea and a pair of slippers.

Brand Personality Definition

When it comes to defining brand personality, this is what Investopedia has to say.

While I agree with some of the above, I would define brand personality in the following way

Brand personality is the collection of traits and characteristics used consistently throughout the entire brand experience to better appeal to and resonate with its intended audience.

Brand personality is about familiarity.

If you can display characteristics that feel familiar or attractive to your audience, you’ll make a connection.

It will warm their stance to your brand message and open up an opportunity to connect with them on a human level.

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What Is Brand Personality?

Well, it’s a strategic tool used to bring a brand and its intended audience closer together.

It’s developed within the brand strategy from an intimate understanding of who the brand’s target audience is, the personality traits they display more importantly, the characteristics they’re attracted to.

As this study by the University Of Cambridge found, by understanding your audience’s personality and then tailoring your messaging to resonate, brands are more likely to drive actions and thus make connections.

As people we‘re all individuals with individual personalities, characteristics and traits.

But we can also be categorised into groups of people that share the same or similar traits, which can lead to similar behaviours.

According to Science Today

“Personality traits can serve as relatively stable predictors of success”

Essentially, if we understand our audience’s personality traits and how they behave, we can understand characteristics likely to shape their behaviour.

Modern brands are now beginning to understand the influence of personality in shaping their audience’s perceptions.

Brand Authenticity And Personality

We can’t dive deep into developing a personality until we discuss the important role of authenticity.

Without authenticity, any characteristics or personality trait will work against us as a brand or as a person.

This infographic by Marketing Week, ranks brands based on their level of authenticity.

The existence or absence of authenticity is based on “how we feel” about the information that’s coming our way.

This innate feeling is very primitive and instinctual but it’s also highly effective as it stems from our primitive survival instinct.

If we feel that someone is “genuine” or “authentic”, we believe they’re not hiding anything from us, therefore pose no threat.

If on the other hand we sense an absence of authenticity, our instinct for danger kicks into overdrive and our “fight or flight” instinct takes over.

So, what does this mean?

Well, the easiest way to put it is

“be genuine, honest and as real as you can possibly be”.

If you take the time to develop a personality for your brand, then ensure that the messages that personality carries are truthful, transparent and sincere.

Personality Is For Humans And Brands

When we connect with our friends and colleagues, we do that though our personality,

But what exactly is our personality?

Well it’s defined as

The combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinct character.

In other words, it’s the make up characteristics, traits and qualities that all come together in how we behave.

Let’s take a look at some characteristics a person might display.

Loyalty

Patience

Optimism

Pessimism

Generosity

Greed

Charm

Confidence

Efficiency

Decisiveness

Motivation

Passiveness

These characteristics are just a drop in the ocean.

Some will represent you more than others, but across the board, the characteristics that represent who you are, all come together to make up your unique personality.

Let’s put this into context for a second.

Have you ever met someone who you just “clicked” with?

Well chances are, you had some characteristics they were attracted to and vice versa.

This is an “alignment of personalities” and it’s how we connect as people.

We subconsciously analyse behaviours and actions and through our experience, we decide whether or not we like a person or a brand.

For the most part, this happens on a subconscious level but the decision has a lasting impact on how we see them.

According to a fella by the name of Sigmund Freud, there are three levels to our consciousness, which are the following:

He surmised that the conscious mind only makes up 10%.

The subconscious and unconscious mind make up 90% and this is where we store our memories and experiences and it’s also where we make the lions share of our decisions.

How To Develop A Brand Personality [6-Step Framework]

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Brand Personality Is An Ancient Strategy

Applying a personality to a brand is not new.

In fact, since the days of business in Babylon, it played a major role on the success of businesses and their competitors.

Back then they didn’t call it “brand personality”, they simply called it “relationship building”.

You see, long before the internet and globalisation, most business was done face to face and how a person “behaved” and the “characteristics” they displayed, played an influential role on the success of their business.

Back then the most “likeable” business owners and the ones with the biggest “personalities” also had the most successful businesses.

When the world became globalised, conversations moved to the phone and when the Internet came along, business changed forever.

The art of face-to-face relationship building from business owner to customer was lost.

Consumer Power Evoked Personality

When the Millennial generation came of age, they were armed with something no consumer that came before them could ever compete with.

They had a powerful platform through the internet and social media and they had a voice that demanded attention.

Their power in numbers had brands standing to attention.

Brands that lagged behind or didn’t adjust to this shift in power quick enough, were left behind for brands that listened.