The importance of brand personality

Every business has a personality. The unique traits that describe who you are, how you are seen and how you interact with your audience.  

But why is knowing this stuff important?

Understanding your brand personality helps you to be cohesive. It helps you to create a vibe, a feeling, a way of being, that your audience resonates with.  Your brand personality can embody your brand values, and create a really strong identity, that your soul clients are drawn to. Brand personality sets the tone.  It reinforces your message. It helps to connect with your audience.

It is the reason why people will choose you over your competitor.

Brand personality is not just important for the visuals. It can be weaved throughout your business.  

When done right it influences your brand visuals, brand voice and overall brand experience.  

In 1997 branding and marketing expert Jennifer Aaker, wrote an article about the dimensions that make up a brand personality.  In this article, that is now used and  referred to widely, Jennifer came up with the The Brand Personality Framework, 5 distinct characteristics, with all brand personas falling into one of the categories.

The categories included in the framework are Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication and Ruggedness.

Your brand personality goes so much deeper than this though, incorporating your values, unique brand story, and other personality traits to create a strong identity.  But this framework gives a starting point.

You can find out where your brand sits by taking the Brand Personality Quiz

Other than taking the Brand Personality Quiz, which other steps can you take to discover your brand personality?

The first step always starts with clarity!  I know I may go on about this a lot, but it honestly is where everything stems from.

Getting really clear on your vision for what you’re creating, the bigger why around what you do, who you are helping, and the values that are core to the work you do.  Doing this first helps you to be really intentional and aligned when it comes to understanding your brand personality.  We don’t want to just randomly pick a few descriptors, to create a brand that has depth, it needs to be backed up by informed choices, that help to reinforce the brand foundations.

How do you want your brand to feel?

When people interact with your brand, when they first come across you on social, or they’re revisiting your website, what are the feelings you want them to have?  Is it excitement and energy? Welcoming and gentle?

Understanding the feelings you want your brand to embody is a really good exercise to go through, to start to understand your brand personality, and how you can embody that.

If your brand was a person, how would you describe them?

Imagine two photographers, using descriptive words, they pick these words to describe their brand personality. 

Photographer A picks: edgy, bold and feminine.

Photographer B picks: spiritual, gentle and feminine

Both are photographers, both use the descriptive word feminine, but you can see how they could both look and feel very different.

This is the power of brand personality.

Get to know your Brand Archetypes

Carl Jung’s 12 archetypes are instantly recognisable and relatable. They’re seen in movies, and books, but can also be used as incredible tool when thinking about your brand personality.  

Here’s a quick overview of their attributes

Sage: Guide, expertise, wisdom

Explorer: Create freedom, life is an adventure

Outlaw: To rebel, disruptive, revolutionary

Magician: Transform, make dreams a reality

Hero: Mastery, determined

Lover: Intimacy, desire, indulgent

Jester: To bring fun and play to the world

Everyman: community, welcoming

Caregiver: Supportive, nurture, reassure

Ruler: Authority, prosperous, refined, articulate

Creator: Imagination, expressing themselves through creativity

Innocent: Wholesome, honest, pure

When going through the Brand Clarity sessions, I pick two dominant archetypes, we’re made up of so many different elements, so this helps to create a brand persona that has depth, and isn’t one dimensional.

So how can you use this information to bring your brand personality to life?

Set aside some time to get clarity (it’s that magic word again 😉 ) on how this personality could look.  To start off with create a Pinterest board, saving images that are taken from your brand descriptive words and also the brand feelings words, pin as many as you can, and then go deeper, think about what other words could reinforce those personality traits.  

When going through this exercise, try not to think about it too much, just pin images that you’re instantly drawn to, it should be quite a fluid process. Also don’t pick images that are too word heavy, like blog post images. If you include the word aesthetic after the descriptive word, it can sometimes bring up better results.

Pin as many images as you can, the more the better.

Do the same with the Brand Archetype traits.  

Notice the colours, and styles, you should start to see a visual theme emerging.

Once you’ve gone through the visuals, next think about your brand voice.

The words, and tone of voice that would reinforce the personality of your brand. Think about the words and manner of talking that will help to create the right feeling within your audience. 

You can then use these as a guide, for when you choose colours, fonts, images and when writing copy for your website and social media posts.

I hope you find this article helpful! 

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels

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