Underlying your brand’s visual elements — meaning the brand’s icons, color, taglines, typography, etc. — there’s a vitally important characteristic that needs to be nurtured and guided in order to establish a sustainable, loyal relationship with your audience.
It’s your brand’s personality.
Branding is about emotions. Yes, FEELINGS.
This is because when people interact with a brand, they create a data point that influences their relationship with that brand and how they feel towards it.
Brand interaction is not much different than when we interact with another human. With a brand, if all we want is a sale, we could tell a customer what they want to hear and give our work away. Yes, maybe we’ll get some work, but it will feel like the equivalent of a one-night stand. If we want a long-term relationship between our brand and customers, we need to act accordingly.
Companies interested in being around for a while are strategically conscientious and genuine about being authentic; this enables development of long-term relationships with their customers, employees, vendors…and pretty much anyone they interact with. These interactions are built on touchpoints that create loyalty and trust.
Think about it. When you, as a person, have a great reputation, you wouldn’t ask your friends what you need to do, or wear, or say to get them to like you better — they’d tell you to just be yourself. It’s the same type of relationship that great brands have.
In the words of Simon Sinek: People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it, and what you do simply proves what you believe.
So…let’s define Brand Personality by what it’s not. Brand Personality is:
- Not ‘brand personas’
- Brand personas are the descriptive labels for your fictional consumers that help you visualize your market segments’ target demographics. A good way to think about a brand persona is to answer the question: “How do you describe the typical consumer in the target market?”
- Not product-related attributes
- Your brand personality is intangible, i.e., your brand exists in the perception of the consumer, rather than in the features of the product itself.
- Not always the same as your target demographic
- Your brand personality does not necessarily add up to your consumer’s personality. Rather, brand personality is aspirational: presenting a lifestyle or personality type that your audience might find attractive by association rather than necessity. Harley-Davidson is a good example.
Managing Your Brand Personality
Just like people, brands can change over time and your market can change over time. In other words, the personality your brand had yesterday could be completely wrong for the audience you serve today, or the market you’re targeting tomorrow.
Defining your brand’s personality is vital to how you operate — inside and out. These powerful insights help you crystallize the kind of customer experience you deliver and influence at every touchpoint — from your marketing communications, to how your staff speaks and behaves, and the type of employee you want to attract and hire.
Your brand personality is a living system and like any living thing, it needs to be purposefully understood, nurtured and managed.
By thinking of your brand as a person and working on building positive relationships internally and externally, it’s easier to observe the small nuances that create those quick connections. It’s the additive nature of these seemingly innocuous touchpoints that can make everyone fall in love with your brand.
Not sure where to start? Call us! We’re ready to help you look into your brand’s mirror and leverage that perception into a fresh marketing campaign to help you achieve your marketing goals.