The Psychology of Brand Personality

The Psychology of Brand Personality

Guest Post written by: Alicia Croci of The Wildly Creative Studio

Our personalities are what make us unique – it’s what also makes us likable or annoying, inspiring or bland, loveable or off-putting. The same goes for our brand.

A compelling brand personality puts a human face on your brand, making it relatable and unique in an oversaturated competitive landscape. 

A brand’s personality signals whether your brand is adventurous or safe, masculine or feminine, serious, trustworthy, spontaneous, or bold.

So what is brand personality and why does it matter? 

In this blog post, we take a deeper dive into all things personality so you can effectively put a face on your brand and won’t get lost in the crowd.

What is Brand Personality?

Brand personality is the collection of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral patterns unique to a brand and steady over time.

It’s how you would describe your brand if it were a person. 

Just like people, brands have key traits that stem from the way they think and feel about the world. The authenticity and consistency of these traits are what separate a strong successful brand from a weak one.

Brand personality helps make decisions in brand design and in the brand’s messaging. The best brand personalities are instantly recognizable and deeply relatable. Think of brands like Starbucks, Nike, Dove, or Target. 

So Why Does Brand Personality Matter?

Well, much like a human’s personality, we interpret brand personalities through the following lenses, is your brand:

  • Authentic
  • Reliable
  • Emotional
  • Consistent

If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’re off to a great start!

The goal of establishing a brand personality is to stimulate an emotional bond with your ideal client. The purpose is to win their loyalty by securing their trust. If your brand personality is considered trustworthy, and your product or service delivers accordingly, then you are in a great position to grow brand equity between you and your ideal client.

How to Define Your Brand Personality Traits

Since personality traits are ultimately human traits, the best way to define your brand’s personality is to think of it as if it were a person.

Businesses that wish to understand the role of psychology in creating a strong brand must look into the five core dimensions:

  • sincerity
  • excitement
  • competence
  • sophistication

Each of these shapes the brand’s personality depending on the image projected onto the public.

For instance, those who want to project sincerity must come across as honest and genuine in their marketing campaigns to obtain trust.

Excitement can be created through daring tactics, imaginative ads, and up-to-date technologies.

Competence may be established by providing an image of reliability and efficiency.

Sophistication can be communicated through glamorous events and charming ambassadors.

Where Does Brand Personality Come to Life?

Just like people, a brand’s place in the world is defined by its personality. There are three primary areas we can look to for markers of brand personality: how a brand looks, sounds, and acts.

1. Look:
A brand’s look is its visual identity, which includes logo, colors, typography, photography, etc. It’s the aesthetics that become instantly recognizable in a strong brand.

For example, when you read Coca-Cola, what color comes to mind? Which typeface? More so than perhaps any other brand, Coca-Cola has a look that is recognizable from miles away.

2. Sound:
A brand’s sound is embodied in things like its voice and music. The style of the verbal language it uses in sending its message and the tone in which that message is conveyed are the primary attributes that define brand voice.

Think of Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones – think about how when you hear their voice you instantly know who they are.

3. Action:
Lastly, a brand’s action is the way it behaves in the context of the broader world. It’s the unique way it engages with customers to cultivate a feeling of identity and special connection.

Think of Dove and their self-esteem project. They took action by creating a campaign that promotes people reaching their full potential.

Brand Personality Examples

Some of the world’s top brands have some of the best well-executed brand personalities. Below are a few brand personality examples from both the B2C and B2B spaces to help give you a sense of how brand personality drives customer engagement in the real world.

The brand personality of Dove is elegant, innocent, and pure. Its brand voice speaks to customers about beauty and femininity in a way that’s more than just skin deep. Dove is a perfect great example of a personality born from purpose, as it evokes honesty and positivity in its campaigns, promoting self-confidence and beauty in all shapes and sizes.

Starbucks is outgoing, youthful, personable, and friendly. It’s a refreshing escape, freshness, warmth, and comfort. Its essence is to be the top meeting place for friends to gather.

Target has positioned its brand to be “design for all.” Although Target never says this directly, it communicates it consistently through its personality, which is cool, fun, trendy, and fresh.

Your Key Takeaway

We may not be able to physically shake a brand’s hand or hug it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t relate to the brands in our lives as if they were people themselves. The connections we forge with our preferred brands define who we are. 

Its mannerisms and characteristics are what make your brand relatable and differentiate it from the competition on a deep and meaningful level. 

How it looks, sounds, and acts as an agent in the world should be purposefully aligned with your brand positioning.

Understanding the psychology of brand personality will help you craft an authentic, captivating, and, above all, a consistent brand personality that keeps your ideal client coming back, again and again.

About the Author

Picture of Alicia Croci of Wildly Creative Studio

Alicia Croci of Wildly Creative Studio

Alicia is a brand designer & social media manager that inspires confidence and clarity in her clients. She helps her clients build a brand that they feel confident in, want to show off but most importantly, gains the attention of their ideal client.

She has helped many business owners level up their business by building a powerful brand and online presence through brand design, website design, and/or by implementing a social media strategy. To do this, she uses a lot of psychology in her designs and is huge on strategy, and intentional design.

Alicia has been a designer for over nine years and a social media manager for the past five. She has extensive industry knowledge and works hard to create a beautiful but powerful brand for her clients.

When she's not working, she's usually spending time with her fiance and two corgis. Her favorite place in the world is at her family's lake house where she can disconnect from society and reset.

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