How giving your brand a personality solves (almost) all your problems

Providing a good service or product is not enough anymore. Think of Nike. Active, motivational, high-performance. Immediately a characteristic comes to mind after only reading the name, doesn´t it? Because the brand has personality. Find out how a brand personality can benefit your company in the long run.

What makes you you?

The relationship between us humans is not far away from the one we have with certain successful brands. Take a look at influencers. They are their own brand with a distinct target group – their followers. Their success is based on the trust their followers have in them because they have gotten to know them over time.

Can companies develop trust and a relationship like this with their target group, too? Yes, by treating their brand more like it was a person and giving it a personality.

Kevin Keller and Keith Richey say in an article from 2006 that due to the fact that markets continue to mature and competition grows fiercer, companies will not succeed only on the basis of what products or services they sell, but much more on who they are.

At the end of the day a brand without a personality is like a person with a bad character – dull, shallow and not trustworthy. We don’t like them.

“People don’t like companies. Companies are faceless buildings and autonomous machines. […] That’s why people like other people. We can relate to them, we can associate positive traits to them, and we resonate with the personality attributes we give them.” – Steve Harvey, Fabrik

Give your brand a personality

Brand Strategist Emily van Vught says on Medium that there are still people who believe that having a logo is enough to have a brand, when in reality it is a certain personality and character that define who they are, what they believe in and how they go through life.

That is what a brand personality is all about. But what is it exactly? Keller & Richey defined it as the set of human characteristics you attribute to a brand. Caroline Forsey goes further on Hubspot, explaining that this shows in brand messaging, images, and overarching marketing campaigns.

“We’re answering our own questions as to whether a brand is suitable for us, by attributing specific characteristics to it, and figuring out how we reflect the traits of particular companies.”

– Steve Harvey, Fabrik

Forsey has a good example of what Steve Harvey is talking about and defines it as the power of brand personality: “If I could go out to dinner with any brand, I think I’d have to choose Trader Joe’s. […] By comparison, Trader Joe’s is unique, earthy, and a little playful. We could discuss its fantastic seasonal selections, like its Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce or Butternut Mac & Cheese Bites, and I would thank TJ (because we’re at the nickname level by now) for its generous cheese prices.”

Brand personality averts problems

The answer is simple: It helps people to classify you. They get to know who you are but also who you are not, which can make the company more resistant to PR disasters.

Imagine a bad, devastating review on Google for the whole world to see. With a sophisticated brand personality people will rather give you the benefit of the doubt because they already have a good conception of you.

It can also increase brand awareness among new customers and loyalty among existing ones because you share the same values or inspire them.

It’s like the difference between meeting a friend or a stranger at a party. You always turn to the friend first because you know how she reacts and that you have a lot in common.

Key findings about brand personality

  • Reach a broader following by presenting a comprehensive view of your company and its values
  • Strengthen trust in your brand by making it assessable and reliable
  • Build a strong connection with your target audience based on common ground
  • Be better protected from PR disasters and other adversities by establishing a foundation of trust
  • Build brand equity and create value by differentiating your brand from the competition

We humans are simple: We do not like the unknown. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we have a deep-seated need to assess things and situations in order to be able to classify them. A brand’s personality is helping us do that in the corporate world.

Image: Jose Francisco Fernandez Saura / Pexels

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How giving your brand a personality solves (almost) all your problems