What Is a Brand Personality? (With Definition and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies that want to grow their business often develop a brand that represents their identity. A powerful brand conveys a company's values and purpose so it may connect better with its customers. Learning more about brand personality can help you create more effective marketing strategies to differentiate a company from competitors. In this article, we define a brand personality, explain the benefits, describe the various personality traits of a brand, and list the steps to implement a brand personality in a company's marketing strategy.

What is a brand personality?

A brand personality refers to the way a company personifies its brand. Using personality traits to describe a brand can trigger positive feelings for customers that may increase their emotional connection with a company. A company's brand persona can also represent an image or lifestyle to which customers aspire. This connection may motivate them to engage with a company's products, which can lead to more sales.

A company can project its personality through traditional advertising channels, such as television or print media. The company can also show its personality by producing social media content that uses the language and tone of its brand. It may also choose to sponsor an event or support a charitable cause that aligns with the image it's trying to convey. Conducting market research to understand the target audience and its perceptions of a brand can help a company refine its personality.

Read more: What Are Branding Strategies? (With Definition and Benefits)

What are the benefits of having a brand personality?

Understanding a company's brand persona can help the company plan effective marketing strategies that may resonate with its target audience. Below is a list of reasons why the personality of a brand is important:

Defines the way a company engages with its target audience

Knowing more about what's important to an audience, and understanding its behaviours is useful when creating content that engages customers. Understanding the tone and language of the customers a company is trying to reach can help define a brand's voice. This also helps determine the best way to reach an audience, whether it's through a particular social media platform or through other targeted marketing methods.

Related: How to Do an Empathy Map (And Why They're Important)

Increases brand loyalty

If a customer makes an emotional connection to a brand, this may increase their loyalty to the company. Customers who associate positive feelings and experiences with a company's brand may continue to buy its products. A loyal customer base can also help if a company wants to expand its business. Having an established customer base to market new products to allows a company to test new ideas that can help inform the future of the business.

Related: 7 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty (Plus Tips and Methods)

Increases brand value

Defining a brand's personality can help a company create a distinct identity that sets it apart from competitors. Conveying the quality and specific traits of a brand influences how consumers perceive it. This unique identity is useful if a company is in a market with multiple competitors offering the same product. A customer who believes that a brand's values match their own may be more likely to select that company's product over others.

Related: What Is Brand Competition? (Definition and Examples)

Personality types

Here are the five most common personality types for a brand:

Sincerity and honesty

A company can demonstrate sincerity and honesty by being transparent in all aspects of its business, including how it communicates, operates its business, and creates its product. It can project traits that align with ethical and sustainable values and emphasize these traits when marketing its products. It may support philanthropic activities to demonstrate its commitment to these ideals. Brands that portray themselves with sincerity cultivate feelings of trust in their customers.

Excitement

Excitement can evoke feelings of a fun, carefree lifestyle to people who want to be daring or are looking for a thrilling experience. A company that wants to demonstrate this trait shows its audience ways to escape the regular daily routines with adventurous activities. A business that portrays excitement conveys messaging that encourages a more spirited attitude to life. Companies that might use this personality trait in their messaging include amusement parks and businesses in tourism or entertainment.

Competence

Companies that want to emphasize competence in their brand's persona try to position themselves as top experts in their field. They present themselves as innovators and demonstrate deep knowledge in their industry. One example of the use of this trait in marketing materials is a business that tells the story of its history of making a particular product. The trait of competence may increase a customer's confidence in a product.

Sophistication

Sophistication refers to companies that appeal to consumers willing to spend large sums of money on high-quality products. Their messages convey ideas of luxury and prestige, which the consumer may connect with wealth. Their products are lavish and their advertisements offer glimpses of a wealthy lifestyle. The sophistication trait can appeal to consumers who aspire to be in this demographic.

Ruggedness

Customers often associate the trait of ruggedness with images of outdoor activities. This trait can appeal to customers who see themselves as tough, athletic, and looking for a new challenge. Companies that promote outdoor equipment or clothing are examples of businesses that emphasize this personality trait. If a company has an association with the outdoors, it can also align itself with environmental and sustainability messaging.

Read more: What Is a Company Profile? (With Tips to Write One)

How to implement a personality for a brand

Below are steps to create and implement a brand's persona:

1. Identify the brand's mission, vision, and values

Identifying which values a company represents can help it establish its purpose and how it wants customers to perceive it. This step can also help identify the personality traits that best reflect a company's image. Once a company has identified its values, it's a good idea to write a succinct statement that it can refer to and share with customers on its website and in any other marketing materials.

Read more: Mission, Vision, and Values Statement Examples and Benefits

2. Identify the target audience

Companies can conduct in-depth research, using surveys, interviews, or reviewing market data, to determine the demographics of their audiences. They can collect details such as age, income level, family status, values, likes, and dislikes of their customer bases. This information can help define customers' buying behaviours, which can assist businesses in determining the best communication tactics to reach different groups.

Read more: What Is a Target Market? (Plus 5 Steps to Help You Identify One)

3. Refine the brand persona

As a company becomes familiar with its market and target audience, it can focus on the key personality characteristics of its brand. In this step, the company can consider how its brand might behave if it were a person. It may think about the social situations in which its brand might participate and seek to understand what motivates and excites the brand. Refining a brand's persona can help a company identify ways to distinguish itself from competitors and connect with its target market.

Related: What Makes Good Branding? (With Tips to Develop a Brand)

4. Create a brand style guide

A style guide provides details on how a company presents its brand externally. The guide also ensures everyone consistently represents the brand everywhere it appears to build brand awareness. Components of a brand style guide include a company's vision, mission, values, and brand story. It also outlines visual elements, such as a company's logo, colour palette, and font style.

Read more: How to Create a Brand Style Guide in 6 Simple Steps

5. Review and revise as necessary

As a company matures and trends change, it may wish to update and revise its brand style guide. This can be an opportunity to review the company's vision, mission, and values. This can also be a time to review the company's target audience and update any additional details. Revising a brand design also shows that a company is growing and that it wants to stay relevant in its market.

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