{/*
*/}

5 Strategies to Define Your Brand Personality (+ Examples)

5 Strategies to Define Your Brand Personality (+ Examples)

Check out this post for proven strategies to define your brand personality that connects and drives loyalty, building a memorable customer journey.

When you think of Apple, you likely think of innovation, sleek devices, and the timeless Apple logo.

Also, if I were to ask you, ‘What brand’s message focuses on women, real beauty, and self-acceptance?’ You would likely answer Dove. 

What’s happening here is that you associate specific personalities with certain brands. This is a testament to how distinct brand personalities, when effectively defined, can play a powerful role in building a great business. Consider the success of Apple and Dove, whose brand personalities have not only connected with their audiences but also driven loyalty and built a memorable customer journey. 

A well-defined brand personality helps you stand out in crowded markets, connect with your target audiences, and build loyalty and trust. It makes your business more memorable, relatable, and human. It shapes how customers perceive and interact with your business.

So, how do you build a brand personality? In this post, we'll explain it so you can better connect with your audience. 

What is a brand personality?

A brand personality refers to human traits and characteristics associated with a brand. Like people, brands can have ‘fun,’ ‘serious,’ or ‘chaotic’ personalities along with others.

The Dollar Shave Club, Burger King, Kylie Cosmetics, and The Rock are distinct and memorable brand personalities. 

A brand personality shapes how customers perceive and experience our business, and it can influence their emotional connection and loyalty. 

Brands can cultivate recognizable personalities through tone of voice, visual identity, core values, and behaviors. Now, let’s look at how you can build a distinctive brand personality. 

How to define your brand personality (5 strategies)

The following practical tips should help you develop your business’s distinct and meaningful personality. Follow these ideas to ensure you build something that makes sense to your customers and industry. 

1. Research your target audience

Understanding your target audience is not just a step, it's the foundation for defining a brand personality. By doing so, you empower your business to create a brand image that truly resonates with them. 

By analyzing your audience’s values, interests, and aspirations, you can create a personality that aligns with their preferences and fosters a stronger connection.

Start by conducting thorough market research to gain insights into your target customer's demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and pain points. You can do this in several ways: 

  • Check your Google Analytics for demographics and interest data.
  • Check the insights from your ad campaigns.
  • Use helpdesk tickets, social media posts, and reviews online to inform your knowledge of your customers.
  • Create surveys and polls and directly ask your customers about their needs and pain points.

In this way, you can uncover their interests, aspirations, and the language they use. This will help you develop a brand personality that speaks their language and reflects their values.

For example, look at how singer Rihanna’s cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, understands its audience. The brand values inclusion, self-confidence, and boldness, and this is reflected in its messaging, visual art direction, and themes. 

Image source: Fenty Beauty

While you’re researching your target audience, ensure you segment them too based on their loyalty to your brand. Loyal customers, occasional buyers, and new prospects have different expectations and preferences. 

Tailoring your brand personality to resonate with each segment will foster stronger connections and loyalty.

2. Define your brand's core values

Picking a brand personality is not a random choice. Your audience’s demographics and interests will help define it, but your core values should, too. 

Values inform the world of who you are and what you stand for. It can also shape your brand's actions, decisions, and overall identity. 

To uncover your brand's authentic values, try this practical exercise (some of which is informed by Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why’):

  1. Make a list of the top ‘stories’ revolving around your business. Ask your leaders and employees to contribute to this exercise. Stories can be significant events, milestones, values, positive customer experiences, and times you overcame hardships. Also, think about what drove you or your business founder when your business first started. 
  2. Figure out what stands out from these stories. Why did you succeed in difficult situations? What customer stories resonate with your people the most? Find the core values within these stories and use them as your reference list. 
  3. Additionally, list 5-10 brands you admire and respect. Note what you appreciate about each one. What are their values? Also, look at your competition’s brand values. You might want to adopt some of them or even avoid a few to distinguish your business from theirs. 
  4. Narrow down  3-5 core values that resonate most with your brand. 

Once defined, your brand's core values will inform its personality traits, tone of voice, and overall brand expression. This ensures consistency and authenticity as you develop your brand persona.

3. Develop brand personality traits

One of the most widely used frameworks for defining brand personality traits is the Brand Personality Scale developed by Jennifer Aaker

This is one framework that categorizes personality traits into five core dimensions: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. While this isn’t the only framework to work with, it can offer valuable insights. 

To develop your brand's personality traits, identify which of the five dimensions best aligns with your brand's core values and target audience. For example, a brand targeting outdoor enthusiasts might lean towards the ruggedness dimension with traits like tough, spirited, and outdoorsy. Think about Patagonia and how its products and messaging reflect a clear personality trait that matches its users' interests. 

Following Aaker’s framework, you can select 3-5 specific traits from the relevant dimension that you want your brand to embody. For Patagonia, ruggedness would translate to adventurous, durable, and independent traits. 

Once you have established your brand's personality traits, it is crucial to maintain them over time. This means consistently incorporating them into all aspects of your branding strategy and monitoring their effectiveness. By doing so, you take on the responsibility of ensuring your brand remains true to its personality, which is key to building a strong and consistent brand image. 

4. Create a brand persona

Once you have defined the core personality traits of your brand, it can be helpful to bring them to life through a fictionalized brand persona. This brand represents your brand as if it were an actual person, complete with a name, backstory, and visual representation.

By creating a distinct persona, you make the intangible idea of your brand personality more tangible and relatable. 

Get creative and find a name for your persona that fits the personality traits you've defined. Then, craft a short biography or background story that captures the persona's history, motivations, and defining characteristics. Use your research material to support this and make it more realistic. 

Finally, create a visual representation, such as an illustration or stock photo, that embodies the persona's look and feel.

 A brand mascot by WPForms

For example, the WordPress form plugin, WPForms, has a brand persona named ‘Sullie’ - a cute bear with a form graphic embedded in the mascot. 

Having a well-defined brand persona makes it easier for your team to consistently apply your brand's personality across all marketing materials, messaging, and customer interactions. It provides a clear reference point for how your brand should look, sound, and behave in any given situation.

5. Apply your brand personality consistently

Consistently expressing your brand personality across all touchpoints is crucial for building a solid and recognizable brand. 

Your brand personality should be reflected in every aspect of your business, from visuals and copy to customer interactions and product experiences.

Visuals like your logo, color palette, and imagery should align with your brand personality. For example, if your brand personality is elegant and luxurious, your visuals should incorporate tasteful color schemes, high-quality images, and a sophisticated typography style.

Cartier maintains a consistent brand image across platforms. Image source 

Copywriting, including website content, social media posts, and marketing materials, should also embody your brand personality. 

The tone, language, and messaging should consistently reflect the personality traits you've defined. A brand with a sophisticated personality might use more formal language, while a friendly brand would employ a more conversational tone.

Customer interactions are another critical touchpoint through which your brand personality should shine. Train your employees to embody the brand personality in their communication and service delivery. A brand with a helpful and caring personality should prioritize empathetic and attentive customer service.

Consistency is vital when it comes to brand personality. Inconsistencies can confuse and alienate your audience, undermining the strong brand identity you've worked to establish. By applying your brand personality consistently across all touchpoints, you'll create a cohesive and memorable brand experience that resonates with your target audience. 

Examples of brand personalities in action

Here are some inspiring examples of businesses that have built interesting brand personalities. 

MrBeast’s Feastables

MrBeast’s Feastables brand is an excellent example of knowing one’s audience. Image source

Most successful YouTubers have a distinct brand personality. And MrBeast is no exception.

His audience mainly consists of the younger generation whose interests intersect with gaming, technology, and social causes. 

His brand is fun, casual, and often tongue-in-cheek. It focuses on exciting experiences and helping people. His chocolate brand, Feastables, also reflects his overall personality, making for a consistent experience for his fans. 

Fevicol

Indian brand Fevicol is a household name despite being an adhesive brand initially targeting woodworkers and carpenters. 

The company rose to prominence thanks to its humorous advertisements, which often featured everyday (or extraordinary) scenarios from Indian lives.

It’s worth checking out Fevicol’s ads to see how humor can catapult a brand personality to become wildly popular. 

Fevicol ads are worth a watch as they showcase a humorous brand personality. Image source

Lancôme

Our final example is Lancôme. This luxury cosmetics and perfume brand highlights quality, luxury, and glamour through its visuals, language, and typography.

The brand reinforced its appeal by working with actress Zendaya for a perfume marketing campaign. Image source

Watch its advertisements, especially its popular perfume campaign launched with actress Zendaya, and see how it resonates with younger audiences while showcasing beauty, spirit, and luxury. 

A consistent brand image with specific personalities representing it can make a marked impact on your audience. 

Pitfalls to Avoid When Defining Brand Personality

When defining your brand personality, it's crucial to avoid common pitfalls that can undermine your efforts. Inconsistency, taking shortcuts, and lack of commitment can all lead to an inauthentic brand persona that fails to resonate with your target audience.

One major pitfall is inconsistency in how your brand personality is applied across different channels and touchpoints. A disjointed brand experience can confuse and alienate customers, eroding trust and credibility.

Another mistake to avoid is trying to appeal to an audience that is too broad by diluting your brand personality. 

A well-defined brand personality should speak directly to your ideal customers, not attempt to be all things to all people. Authenticity and focus are crucial to building a robust and relatable brand identity.

The Power of Brand Personality

A well-defined brand personality is a powerful asset that can significantly impact your business's success. By crafting a distinct and relatable persona, you establish an emotional connection with your target audience, fostering brand loyalty and advocacy. 

Beyond just attracting customers, a cohesive brand personality can streamline your marketing efforts, ensuring consistency across all touchpoints and channels. It serves as a guiding force for your brand's messaging, visual identity, and overall customer experience, creating a seamless and memorable journey for your audience.

The journey to crafting a compelling brand personality begins now – are you ready to unleash the power of your brand's unique identity?

Icon credit to Freepik

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

11 Business Software Tools to Enhance Your Business Processes Instantly

The software can help businesses to level up in...

5 mins read

Prepare for that Next Big Sales Pitch

More often than not, people assume that the most...

3 mins read

How To Deliver Personalized Customer Experiences In BFSI World

India is a global fintech superpower with more than...

8 mins read