In Brief

This Is Brand Personality Defined 

One of the main goals of any business is to connect with its customers. Having a connection leads to growth, and brand personality is part of this equation. So, whether a business is large or small, it needs to have a unique voice in the marketplace. 

Brand personality is an important factor in any business strategy. It is what holds the entire thing together when it comes to the business’s image. Read on to find out what brand personality is specifically, how it can be implemented successfully, and more.

How Do You Describe Brand Personality?

Generally, brand personality is how your business communicates with its customers. Many factors go into how this is done. The best way to think about it is that your business is like a person, not an entity. 

Consider this: every person has a unique personality. When you meet someone, you get to learn about them, and you begin to understand who they are by how they talk and how they act. Imagine a person without a personality. The resulting image is probably quite boring.

Your business acts the same way. Customers come across a business and need to get to know it. This is done through how a business talks and presents itself. A brand personality, in essence, is the identity of the company. It is how it will resonate with potential customers. 

A company wants to be “human” to its clientele. It wants its customers to relate to them in a way that will drive business. There are several ways to achieve this. With a little research, a company’s brand personality can elevate them to new heights. 

Why is Your Brand Personality Important?

A brand personality is how people see your company. They want to connect with you on several levels, including:

  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Goals

Your brand personality is important because it is the element that makes people see your company as more than just another business trying to get their business. They see it as someone who can help them. 

A brand personality is also important because it is what will differentiate a company from the competition. In today’s marketplace, there are a multitude of companies all vying for people’s attention. If a business wants to stand out, they need to have a great brand personality. 

Here is a case study you might find interesting about how we helped Instanda define its brand personality to foster a culture of innovation within a team.

A Great Brand Personality Will Solidify a Business’ Core Values

The brand personality of a business is important for solidifying the core values of the company. 

Every company has a story to tell, but how does it effectively tell that story? The brand personality is what conveys that story to people. 

You have to ask yourself why people should want to do business with you. Your brand personality should answer that question, and if it does not, you should consider reworking it a bit. 

The core values of a company are one of the main elements that customers connect with. They want to know that the company with which they do business shares the same ideals as they do. Brand personality, in a sense, begins a communicative relationship between business and client. 

Creating a Brand Personality

Creating a brand personality is a multi-step process, but it is a process that has huge dividends if done properly. You already know the importance of a brand personality, but how do you implement one?

You may be starting from scratch, or you may be reworking an existing brand personality. In either case, the process is the same. 

Every company needs to take a long, hard look at itself. One needs to be objective during this process. A business cannot excel at a brand personality unless they are honest with themselves. 

A brand personality is the image and the identity of the company. It is how others will see you. So, understanding what your company is all about goes a long way in beginning the process.

Assessing What Your Business Is All About

To begin a brand personality, or to rework one, you have to assess your business. You need to know what image you want to convey to the marketplace. 

This is done by looking closely at the goals of the company. Goals can take various forms. Start by asking some of the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of the company?
  2. What are the values of the company, and why should people care?
  3. What is the story of the business? Is it being told the way it should?
  4. What is the visual story of the company? Are the colours and the images conveying the right message?
  5. Who is the primary target for the business? Who is the customer?
  6. What are the strengths and weaknesses? How can they be used to the advantage of the marketing outreach?

You may find you do not have complete answers to these questions, and that is okay. If you have a general idea, you will be moving in the right direction. Think of these questions and their answers as an outline for your brand personality. 

Delve into our riveting case study that unveils the secrets behind how we captured the vibrant culture within Ellex’s remarkable firm.

Define Your Business With a Brand Personality Framework

Over two decades ago, Jennifer Aaker created a brand personality framework that is still relevant today. Every company uses it when creating or reworking its brand personality. 

The brand personality framework she created breaks down businesses into one of five categories. They include:

  1. Sincerity
  2. Excitement
  3. Competence
  4. Sophistication
  5. Ruggedness

When devising your brand personality, you should familiarise yourself with these categories. Every company can define itself as one of them, though many may find they have traits from multiple categories, which is fine. The key is discovering which one matches the most. 

A Breakdown of the Five Brand Personality Traits

Each of the five personality traits of a business is unique. They each convey a different message. Take a look at your business and cross-check them with the traits. Which ones make the most sense?

To do this, it is important to know what each trait entails and how they can apply to your business. 

Sincerity Personality Trait

The sincerity personality trait signifies a company that is relatable and honest. They are upfront about what they are and what they are not. Usually, the brand personality has an upbeat feel to it. 

As with all the personality traits, the words with which a company describes itself will fall into one of these categories. For example, if you would describe your company as “credible,” then you would file that under “sincerity.”

Excitement Personality Trait

The excitement personality trait is linked with outgoing companies. This means that you would most likely describe your company as:

  • Lively
  • Bold
  • Ambitious 

If a company defines its brand personality as exciting, then its image should reflect that. For example, a company like Twinings is not a company that would be considered in this category. They would fall most likely under sincerity or competence. 

A company that falls in this category will have an outgoing website and bright, colourful marketing campaigns.

Competence Personality Trait

A brand that defines itself as competent will regard itself as a reliable company. This personality trait is most suited toward companies that take pride in their hard work and their consistency to quality. 

Of course, these traits are present in many companies, as they should be. However, companies in this category make it a point to convey this message specifically to their clientele. 

If a company has been around for a very long time, such as Twinings, it is more likely to lean toward its reliability because longevity is seen as an indicator of hard work and dedication. 

Sophistication Personality Trait

The sophistication personality trait is associated with higher-end stores, such as Burberry. Common traits of a sophisticated brand personality would include:

  • Luxury
  • Glamour
  • Expensive
  • Elite
  • High quality

If a company decides it wants to be a luxury brand, then it will fall under this category. Burberry is a great example of a high-end company whose image directly reflects who they are.

Ruggedness Personality Trait

A company that is focused on outdoorsy equipment and clothing will most likely fall into this category. They define themselves as rugged, tough and are generally more geared toward these traits. Often, their marketing revolves around the outdoors and the durability of their products.

A great example of a company that falls into the ruggedness category is Millets, a company that makes outdoor equipment and clothing. Their whole image is dedicated to the person who loves the outdoors. They have assessed who their primary customer is and have geared their image toward that person. 

Components of a Successful Brand Personality

You have defined your brand personality using the adjectives that you believe others would use to describe your company. Now what? A brand personality is defined by the components therein. 

A brand personality can only be as successful as the individual parts that make the whole. This is true of any enterprise. 

Five elements should be present in your brand personality. They include:

  1. A good brand story
  2. The company’s core values 
  3. Consistent messaging across all platforms
  4. Design elements that are in harmony with the brand personality
  5. The customer’s wants and needs are at the forefront

Having a Good Brand Story for Your Brand Personality

Behind your brand personality is your brand story. This component is crucial. It is the story that you will use to connect with your customers. Every successful company has a good story. 

All the elements of a brand personality accentuate the brand story. They are the pillars that support it. Everyone loves a great story, so having one that will resonate with your core audience is vital. 

Consider your buyer’s persona. Who is the person you are selling to? What is their life like? Why do they need to do business with you? Answering these questions will help guide you with your brand story. 

You want your story to connect with the person you have created. This buyer persona is the typical customer you are communicating with. Having this person in mind will guide all the components of your buyer’s personality. 

The Company’s Core Values Should Inform the Brand Personality

Every company has a set of core values. These are the elements that bind together the message of the business. Core values should align with the core values of your primary customer. 

Having a set of core values will inform your brand personality. The benefits of including your core values (your goals and beliefs that are harmonious with your company) include:

  • Creating a relationship between the company and the client
  • Strengthening the brand story
  • Making the messaging more relevant for your customers

People want to have a human connection with the companies they do business with. It is part of human nature. The core values of the company help, when paired with all the other elements, create this connection. 

Having Consistent and Clear Messaging Across All Platforms Is Key

A lot of work has been done with the brand personality of your company, but it will not mean a thing if it is not consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to brand personality.

A brand personality that is all over the place and uneven will not track well. The reason is that there is no clear direction. There is no clear message. People like clarity. They want to easily understand what a company is all about. If the message is uneven, that creates more work for the customer.

Most people will not take the extra time to clarify your message for you. Be consistent and clear. Consistency across all platforms will ensure that your customers are not getting mixed signals. 

For example, if you use one colour scheme on your website, make sure to use the same colour scheme on social media, print advertising, and, well, everywhere. The same goes for your copy. Use the same phrasing everywhere. This is what it means to be consistent. 

Brand Personality Has Design Elements That Bring Everything Together

The brand personality of a company is not just the words they use to describe their story. A story can be told in many ways. When each element of the story works in harmony, then the overall message is strong.

Every company uses design elements to create its brand identity. These design elements can include:

  • Logos
  • Colour schemes
  • Photographs
  • Minor design elements on the website

What do these elements have to do with the story? They are the glue that further solidifies the personality of the company. The design elements should work in tandem with the other elements. It should elevate the story.

Design Elements Can Tell a Story

The design elements of a company tell a story. For example, if a company wanted to portray a modern, minimalistic personality, then the design elements should reflect that. Soft colours would pair well with this story.

Sometimes the less you do, the bigger the reward. You do not need to inundate your website and advertising with copious amounts of text. In fact, you should not. People do not want to read walls of text. 

Instead, carefully choose design elements that match your brand to help tell the story. This can also include designs in the text in different and innovative ways. Look at any successful company, and you will see how they use aesthetics to their advantage.  

Keep Your Customer’s Wants and Needs at the Forefront 

As mentioned earlier, a good brand personality is cognizant of its core audience. Your customer’s wants and needs should always remain at the forefront. It is one of the guiding principles of a good brand personality. 

Think about relationships between people. Consider how personalities mesh better when they think of the other person. The same principle is at play here. When a company is thinking about their customers, they are more likely to “reach” them where it matters. 

For example, a company like Millets will look at its customers’ wants and needs each season of the year. When it is winter, they will change their messaging accordingly, but they will still adhere to their overall story. 

The same is true for a company such as Burberry. Different times of the year bring different products. What will their customer want to buy in the summer? Why? They ask themselves this and change accordingly.

Researching Your Competitors to Guide Your Brand Personality

Your competitors are also creating their brand personalities. It is important to know what they are. One of the main purposes of a strong brand personality is to stand out from the competition. You want people to see your company and your story and choose you over anyone else. 

Research is a major part of brand personality. It guides how you see your own company. Knowing what other companies are doing also helps you see your company in a new way. 

What are you looking for when you are researching your competition? You are looking for a few things, such as:

  • What is their message? Is it clear?
  • How are their website and social media accounts set up?
  • What is their reputation? If it is good, why do you think this is?
  • What makes them different?

Your Competitors Tell You About Yourself

Look at your own company’s message. Now, compare it to your competitors. Is there any crossover? If you find that your message is different from your competitors, then you may need to go back to the drawing board. The reason is that, perhaps, you are not hitting the right points that resonate with your consumer base. 

Your competitors will tell you about yourself. They will let you know if you are on the right track or if you are off the mark. Take a look at successful competitors and ask yourself, “Why are they successful?”

Let Your Competitors Guide You

Define your competitors. What brand personality are they? Sincere? Rugged? Whatever the answer is, jot it down. Does it match the brand personality you have defined for yourself? It does not have to match up. However, it is valuable information because it gives you a bigger-picture view of the marketplace.

Perhaps you find that most of your competitors are one type of personality. This is good to know. You can actively choose not to be the same as them, which will help you stand out from the crowd. 

Additionally, look at their stories. There will probably be some overlap in values and other elements, but what about your story is different? Or, another way to look at it, what can you change about your business to differentiate yourself from them?

Having a view of the marketplace will better help your company find a place within it. It is a necessary part of the brand personality process.

Marketing Your Brand Personality

Marketing and advertising are huge components of brand personality. It will not mean a thing if no one can see it or hear about it. Marketing is all about spreading your message to as many channels as possible. 

Your brand personality also applies to your marketing. Your marketing should be consistent with your brand personality. It should stay focused and concise and tell your story in the clearest way possible. You want people to choose you and no one else. Consider these tips for marketing your brand personality:

  • Use the same messaging. Whatever you are saying in your marketing should align with what is being said elsewhere. You want a sense of unity that customers can see and appreciate.
  • Use the same design elements. As long as the designs of your marketing are on brand, then it is good to go. Use the same colour schemes and design elements as elsewhere. Remember, this is a relationship with the consumer, and you want them to trust you and to count on you. 
  • Market as much as you can. If you have the budget for it, you need to market in as many places as you can. Each place you market your brand personality is another opportunity for discovery and growth. 

Marketing will cost money, so keep that in mind. But it will be money well spent. You have put a lot of work into cultivating your brand personality, and you want as many people as possible to get to know it. 

How to Protect Your Brand Personality

You have created, or reworked, your brand personality. This has involved creating new logos, photographs, and other creative assets to help tell your story. These are vital components of your brand personality and elements that will help people connect with you.

The last thing you want is for someone else to take them away from you. You need to protect your assets to protect your brand personality. In the United Kingdom, this comes down to trademarks. 

Trademarking Your Assets in the UK

Trademarking your assets will protect them and secure them for your use. This is not the same as copyright laws. In the UK, as elsewhere, copyright does not need to be filed. It exists where an asset is created.

However, a trademark needs to be registered for it to have legal status. In the United Kingdom, you need to be the first to file a trademark application. If your asset is similar to someone else’s, do not panic. This is legal, and your trademark will be reviewed regardless.

So, what does a trademark in the United Kingdom do for your brand personality? It helps you in several ways:

  • It protects your logos from being stolen or used by other businesses. This ensures that when someone sees your logo design, they know it is you. You do not have to worry about others stealing it from you. Remember, your creative assets are intrinsically tied to your brand personality. 
  • It helps your business thrive in the UK. When you have exclusive use of a name or design element, then you will be able to grow with it. Consistency, as mentioned, is crucial when it comes to success. A logo or design that is always changing will confuse customers. 
  • Gives you rights to your property. This is important. If someone were to steal your logo, name, or any other asset, then you can take legal action against them because you have the trademark under your name. A cease-and-desist letter is sufficient in most cases. 

As mentioned, copyright is assumed upon the creation of a creative asset. However, you may want to have a written record of the copyright in case you need it further down the line.

This is an extra precaution that is not entirely necessary in the United Kingdom, but it is a good step, nevertheless if you want to make sure your brand personality is fully protected to the best of your ability.

You may apply for copyright with the UK Copyright Office. It is a fairly quick and easy process, and it provides you with that extra peace of mind. 

Remember, your brand personality is the identity of your business. It is the element that will make people want to do business with you. It is important to protect it so that you do not ever have to worry about losing it. 

This is brand personality defined by Peek Creative Limited

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