June 6, 2016
The perfect match – Create a brand personality your customers love!
When we hear the term ‘brand’, we often think of the logo – the visual representation of a brand. But what about everything else that makes up that brand? Such as the value proposition, the tone of voice, the customer promise… the brand personality.
Every brand has a personality, whether unintended or planned. Either way, it’s a key element in communicating intangible benefits to consumers.
A brand’s personality impacts on preference and usage, as consumers develop an emotional bond with brands that resonate with them. Consumers often feel connected to brands that have similar traits to themselves, making their purchase decision feel like second nature. Appealing to customers’ emotions and cultivating a bond encourages loyalty, making customers more likely to advocate a brand.
For example, a teenager might prefer a shoe brand that exemplifies a cool image that is accessible (i.e. Converse). A professional woman, however, might prefer a shoe brand that symbolises sophistication and exclusivity (i.e. Louis Vuitton).
The intention behind a brand’s personality significantly increases the likelihood that the brand will resonate with the desired target market. It can, however, often be unclear as to where to start in doing so.
Where do I start?
There are numerous methods you can use to determine and develop your brand’s personality, however, the following resources and tips may help you get started
Discover your Brand Archetype
The book The Hero and The Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes, by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson, outlines a system consisting of two dimensions: self-focused vs. group-oriented, and order vs. change. This system helps brands determine their personality and create a model that can then guide other brand elements.
The Brand Personality Spectrum
The ‘Brand Personality Spectrum’ shown below can be used to develop a quick snapshot of your brand’s personality. Simply place a dot along each horizontal line, wherever you feel your brand falls on that spectrum, or where you would like it to be. If more dots fall to the left, your brand is more contemporary, fast-moving and energetic. If there are more dots on the right, your brand is more traditional and planned in its approach with set processes in place. If you fall in the middle, then you must make a decision as to which side of the spectrum is most appropriate for your brand, as being in the middle leaves a brand forgettable.
The ‘car analogy’ and the ‘celebrity analogy’ are both commonly used to identify brand characteristics. That said, many analogies would work. Essentially, this method is about considering if your brand was, for example, a car, what car would it be? Whichever analogy you use, this is about considering your brand as something more tangible with more easily identifiable personality traits. This will help you to then translate any similarities over to brand attributes.
Your brand’s personality has the power to influence purchase decisions, based on how well it resonates with your target market’s characteristics and values. Understanding your target market, their characteristics, motivators and demotivators, will mean you can create a brand personality that aligns.