Your brand personality is basically just what it sounds like. Not unlike a person’s personality, it refers to the traits, manner, and style your business or organization shows the world. It includes elements like your brand voice, it should be crafted to appeal to your target audience, and it’s used to convey your brand promise.
And just like with people personalities, brand personalities have the natural ability to draw people in and to put them off for countless reasons. The most successful brand personalities are developed with three crucial characteristics.
Your brand’s personality should be built on the traits that most appeal to your target market, which usually means the same characteristics they believe are their own best traits and that they value in other people.
If you offer products or services for laid-back, informal, outdoorsy youth, your brand should probably convey similar attitudes. But if you target highly educated, middle-aged, upper class urban sophisticates, that same personality is unlikely to be likeable, persuasive, or trustworthy.
Though it may sound contradictory, standing out is just as important as fitting in. While your brand personality should reflect the values and characteristics of your target audience, it also has to be different from them and your competition. Without something unique, there’s no compelling reason to pay attention to your brand, no point of interest where loyalty develops.
Lots of brands work to convey an easygoing, fun-loving image, for example. It’s a fairly obvious personality to go to, and it’s not all that difficult to pull off. To be successful, it needs another less obvious trait that takes a little more effort. Bitingly sarcastic, neurotic, hopelessly romantic… find that one key element that distinguishes your brand from all the others.
If you fill out a profile on an online dating site and exaggerate or lie about who you are (and maybe post a fake picture), you may got lots of initial contact, but what happens when you meet for dinner? It quickly becomes obvious that you misrepresented yourself. Even if you fake it well, personality finds a way to come through.
It’s not all that different for brands. While there are obviously artificial elements to deciding on and implementing a brand personality, branding is much easier in the long run if it’s based on some truth.
But beyond that, it’s important to consistently apply the same brand personality to everything you do to reinforce authenticity. And you can’t just tell everyone you’re funny or smart; you have to actually be funny or smart for people to consider you these things. Your personality must come to life through your brand.