Photo Credit: www.vox.com – EJ Dickson
If you were to use one word to describe the personality of your brand, what would it be? Once you come up with the perfect fit, consider it from the view of your audience. Would they categorize your brand under the same or a similar trait? Striving to portray a specific personality trait and actually conveying that to your target audience are two very different things.
There are generally 5 categories of brand personalities. Under those categories are several more specific traits used to identify a brand and their messaging. Do you pursue SINCERITY by coming across as friendly or family-oriented? Maybe your brand lives a life of EXCITEMENT with its cool and daring actions. Then again, your technical reliability and confidence may lead you down the road of COMPETENCE. But wait, the charming glamour of SOPHISTICATION sounds quite nice. If you’re too tough for that, you might belong in the RUGGEDNESS of the outdoors.
You might have read through my very clever descriptions of each of these categories and realized you don’t really fall into one or the other. If that is the case, your audience is placing you in one of those categories for you. A wise individual once said “If you don’t tell your story, someone else will”. I don’t know who originally got the credit for that, but it is a solid quote to live by in business. More specifically in branding and marketing.
In the preferred scenario, you as a business and a brand have identified your personality trait and the general category you belong to. In addition, your customers or target audience agree with you and are able to identify that on their own based on the messages and actions of your company. Mission accomplished! On the contrary, you may think that you know which category you fall under and which personality traits you convey, but your audience disagrees. This is not a great situation to be in. It means that you are putting in effort to get a message across, but the message is not being received how you intended.
Brand personality decisions can shape many aspects of a business from operations to marketing efforts. Similar to personal relationships, the recognition of personality traits will attract your audience to your brand and influence purchasing and continued use. Not only will your audience be buying and interacting with a company that they feel understands them, but they will also gain comfort in knowing they are part of a like-minded community.