What is brand personality?
According to Investopedia, Brand personality is a set of human and emotional attributes that are associated with a particular company or brand.
Developing a brand personality allows you to establish a brand identity that your customers and your prospects will find attractive. You need to understand that it is your personality that your target audience are going to associate with. They are not going to associate themselves with your brand or your product or your service.
It is your personality characteristics that are going to humanize your brand to your target audience. And the thing is, you can make your brand appeal to a certain demographic by adopting personality traits that are attractive to that demographic.
Now, as I mentioned, a lot of people tend to use low prices to attract their target audience. But using price to attract customers is not the best sales strategy. For example, if you sell T-shirts that are designed for young people, focus on making your brand personality attractive to young people rather than selling your products at rock bottom prices.
The thing is, young people are attracted to an exciting personality with an attitude that is seen as carefree, fun, breezy, spirited, youthful, cheerful. If you’re able to build your brand around a personality that is seen as exciting and carefree and fun, and you generally post content that appeals to young people, your brand is going to be more attractive to them. They are going to have real conversations with you about the content you’re posting because they are going to feel a natural connection with your brand.
Now, you might be wondering: how are people going to identify your brand personality? What aspects of your social media profile can be used to identify your brand personality?
Well let’s look at the different attributes of your brand that will be used to define your brand personality.
Your tone of voice.
Your tone of voice reveals your personality. This is why it is so important that you communicate in a voice that your target audience can identify with. For example, are you quirky, helpful, sarcastic, professional or playful? Now, a lot of people outsource their social media to different freelancers. Before you outsource your social media, you have to educate them on your brand personality so that there is consistency in the way you communicate.
This is important because consistency builds familiarity. If you are consistent in the way that you communicate, people will become familiar with your brand. This familiarity is what builds trust and credibility. If several people are communicating on your behalf, there will be no consistency in your communications. Everyone is going to be posting in their own unique voice. Your followers are going to be confused about who you are, and that is going to affect your engagement levels.
Your profile picture.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with using your logo in your social media profiles, and a lot of companies prefer do that. But the thing is, you’re going to get much better results if you use a selfie. It doesn’t have to be your selfie. It can be a selfie of anyone in your business. As long as it is a warm, attractive and smiling selfie. That’s the most important thing. I mean, think about it. Who would you rather build a relationship with on social media? A logo or a smiling, human, engaging face?
No matter how beautiful it is, a logo is just a logo. It is impersonal. Cold. Lifeless. Social media is personal. A warm, engaging selfie is personal. Unless you’re Nike, Apple or Amazon, using a logo will not work for your social media profile, especially if you’re a small business. They are perfect for your website and that’s where they need to be. People prefer to deal with people. Not logos. People want to get to know you. They want to build relationships with you. They don’t want to build relationships with inanimate objects like logos.
If you are curating content for your followers, it is really important that you add your own spin. Your own perspectives. Because that is going to make your content unique, and what people are going to identify with. If you’re not saying anything and just posting content, you’re not going to build any real trust no matter how relevant the content is.
The images you use will have an impact on your target audience, so you need to make sure that you’re using images that are consistent with your brand personality. For example, if you’re an educational brand, sharing fashion images is just going to confuse your target audience.
Your brand story will help people understand who you are, what you do and why you do it. It will also give people some perspective. What we want to make sure is that our personality is consistent with the story of our brand.
Whether or not you participate in ongoing discussions and conversations.
Whether you acknowledge your followers when they post comments on your page.
Your colour scheme. Now, your color scheme is going to have a strong impression on the emotions of your target audience, and it is a big part of your brand personality. We’ll talk about this in the next video.
Whether you respond to questions and comments.
All of those things are what people are going to use to define your brand’s personality. The thing is, people are going to form an opinion of you based on your social media presence. And the bottom line is, if your target audience can identify with your brand personality, it will be easy for them to relate to you and to engage with you.
Now, let’s look at an example. Chanel. If you notice, their ads focus mainly on attractive people and dark, sexy and classy images because they want to imply sexy, mystery, glamour, sophistication. That is their brand personality. They want to appeal to an audience that also want to be seen as attractive, sexy, glamourous and sophisticated. So women who are attracted to Chanel are people that want to be seen as glamorous, sophisticated and attractive. Those are the people that identify with Chanel.
Now, thanks to social media, you don’t have to spend the millions that brands like Chanel have spent developing their brand personality. So, you need to leverage social media to develop and cultivate a brand personality that will be attractive to our target audience.
Ok. That’s all for this video. In the next video, we’re going to keep talking about brand personality, and how you can define a brand personality that your target audience identifies with.
How to Develop an Attractive Brand Personality
Now, it is really important that you understand what type of personality is going to be attractive to your target audience so that you can create a brand personality around that personality. Social media is a very personal thing. And you want to make sure that you cultivate an identity that appeals to your target audience.
If you don’t have a personality, you’re not going to be able to connect with your target audience. And that is because your brand personality is what people are going to connect with. Not with your brand, not with your product, not with your service.
And this happens a lot in social media. You’ll find companies with thousands of followers and they are sharing a lot of content, but they don’t get any engagement. In that type of situation, what you’ll have is a one-way relationship where you’re just providing a lot of content, and your audience is consuming that content but they not engaged with your brand because they don’t get you.
And that is why you need to define your brand personality as a key part of defining your brand.
So, let’s look at words that can be used to describe the personality of your business. Think about what you are and think about what type of personality would appeal to your target audience. Your personality can attract a certain demographic if you have traits that your target audience can connect with on an emotional level.
So, let’s look at a few examples of how personality traits can be categorized:
Now, when determining what type of personality to adopt, what you need to consider is this. If your brand were a human being, what type of personality would they have?
Now, there are five main types of brand personalities. These are excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence and sophistication. Your target audience is more likely to engage with your brand and become customers if your personality is attractive to them.
So, I’m going to give you examples of different types of companies, and the personality that is going to resonate with their audience.
- If you’re an athletic company, you’ll want to appeal to people who are athletic and sporty. You’ll want to adopt a rugged personality so that you come across as having energetic, athletic, rugged, tough, outdoorsy and sporty personality traits. You’ll want to have a social media presence that is designed around physical skills or athletic abilities. Generally, your content, color scheme, keywords, images, comments, posts and status updates will be athletic related. In your conversations, you’ll talk a lot about things like strength training, agility, stamina, fitness, health, training. Of course you’ll want to share other types of content that have nothing to do with being sporty or athletic. And that is because you want to come across as a well-rounded human being. But the majority of the content that you share is going to be sports related and your entire social media presence will be created around a rugged, tough, energetic and athletic personality.
- Stiletto brand: you’ll want to adopt a glamourous, elegant, sophisticated and sexy brand personality. You’ll want to attract people who want to be identified with glamourous, elegant, sophisticated, sexy and attractive characteristics. So your entire social media presence will be built around this brand. You’ll share a lot of glamour related content and you’ll use very sexy images of attractive and elegant people. This will strongly influence the people that are following you.
- If you’re an IT company, your aim should be to educate and inform your target audience, and you will be expected to have a competent personality. You’ll want to be seen as having a personality that is associated with being successful, responsible, reliable, efficient, helpful, hands-on, and professional. Now, as an IT company, you’ll want to avoid using language that contains a lot of jargon because you don’t want to come across as having a sense of superiority or an arrogant personality.
- If you sell T-shirts and your target audience is young people, you’ll want to create an exciting personality with an attitude that is seen as breezy, carefree, imaginative, relevant, spirited, vibrant and youthful.
- If you sell educational courses, you’ll want your social media personality to be associated with words like authoritative, knowledgeable, reliable, competent, successful and influential. You’ll appeal to people who are looking to identify with an authoritative brand that they can learn from, so your entire social media presence will be built on this.
- If you’re selling things like life insurance, you’ll want to be seen as having a sincere personality that is associated with an attitude that is wholesome, honest, thoughtful, professional, reliable, conservative and dependable, with an orientation towards family values. You don’t want to be seen as trendy or fun, because that is not what your target audience expects you to be.
Now, before you settle on a specific brand personality, you need to understand what tone of voice would best relate to your target audience, and that is the tone that you’ll want to communicate in. This means you need to identify keywords that are most commonly used in your target community and incorporate those keywords into your content strategy.
For example, if you are cosmetic surgeon, when you communicate, you’ll want to use words like nose job or facelift rather than medical terms like rhinoplasty. This means you need to identify the jargon and keywords that your target audience tend to use in their conversations. Every time your target audience hears from you, you want them to associate your brand with those keywords and jargon that they use when they communicate with each other.
How can identify these keywords?
Listen to your target community. To get the insights you need, you need to research your target audience. Take part in discussions on sites like Reddit. You need to identify the language, the attributes and the keywords that are most familiar to them so that you can associate your brand with those attributes. This is really important if you want your brand to relate to that specific audience.
Identify your most successful competitors. How do they communicate with their audience? Essentially, you have the same audience, so you can get some deep insights that you can apply to your own audience. You need to mirror the way your competitors communicate with the target audience.
Now, one thing you need to be seen as on social media is authentic. This is really important. Don’t pretend that you have values that you don’t have just because you want to appeal to a particular audience. For example, if you’re appealing to a young or laid-back audience, trying to be identify with young people may backfire and come across as cheesy and inauthentic. You don’t want to come off as fake because that is only going to turn people off, and you’re just going to lose followers.
Now, let’s talk a bit about emojis.
Now, most of us know what emojis are, they have actually skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. If you’re not familiar with emojis, they are small images that are used to express emotions like happiness, love, sadness and anger. The thing about emojis is they can add a visual element to your content and make you come across as having a fun and engaging personality.
And the thing is, studies have shown that users respond better to brands that use emojis in their content.
Now, if you’re considering how to incorporate emojis into your content marketing strategy, the question is whether they make sense for your brand. You don’t want to blindly copy what everyone else is doing. If it doesn’t make sense for your brand, using emojis will come off as desperately trying to get down with the kids.
Furthermore, using emojis depend on the social media channel you’re posting on. Emojis are heavily used on Twitter and Instagram but hardly used on Reddit. Basically, you’ll want to go with the flow of each platform you’re posting on.
So, here are examples of words that you can use to effectively define your brand’s personality and they can all be categorized into one of the top 5 personalities that brands are associated with.
Sophisticated, Sarcastic, Witty, Fun, Rugged, Humorous, Breezy, Witty, Detached, Enthusiastic, Engaging, Playful, Laid back, Trustworthy, Credible, Chatty, Warm, Wacky, Humorous, Lively, Masculine, Formal, Feminine, Flexible, Genuine, Authentic, Young, Mature, Witty, Funny, Happy, Exciting, Unique, Original, Stylish, Cheap, Helpful, Cynical, Friendly, Helpful, Funny, Trendy, Politically Correct, Outspoken, Vibrant, Professional, Happy, Serious, Innovative, Eccentric, Quiet, Loud, Practical, Knowledgeable, Reliable, Proactive, Principled, Honest, Cost effective, Relaxing, Motivating, Sincere, Adventurous, Amusing, Charming, Chummy, Decisive, Kind, Quirky, Passionate, Imaginative, Proactive, Intuitive, Loving, Trustworthy, Extrovert, Vibrant, Transparent, Intelligent, Creative, Dynamic, Resourceful.
Now, there are certain ways that you want to avoid coming across as. These include:
Boring, arrogant, cold, unfriendly, idiotic, unknowledgeable, fake, unreliable, antisocial, cheesy, corny, inauthentic.
Now, let’s look at the visual elements of your brand’s personality.
Your brand’s identity needs to be part of its personality. What I mean is, your brand’s personality needs to match your brand’s image. Every aspect of your brand from your color scheme to your logo will have an impact on the way your brand personality is interpreted.
You cannot have a fun voice if your logo and images are all formal. It’s not going to work. You won’t come off as authentic. o you’ll want to be very clear on the image you’re going to portray on social media. You need to create both a personality and visuals that work together. You cannot have a conservative logo and a fun and active voice. That would be a disaster.
Now, let’s talk about color
Now, the color scheme you use for your brand is a critically important aspect of your brand identity because color is known to have a powerful psychological effect on people’s emotions. This is important because emotions are what drive the decisions that we make. The actual color you use is the first thing that your target audience will associate with your brand.
This is why you need to look beyond personal preferences when choosing a color to represent your brand. The actual color you use should really depend on your target audience. What you need to consider is, what color would be appeal to your customer avatar, based on what you know about them? You need to consider things like the age of your customer avatar and their gender.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet for what type of personalities are generally associated with colors.
- Red — passionate, active, bold, exciting, aggressive
- Orange — playful, friendly, confident, exciting
- Yellow — happy, optimistic, confident, fun
- Green — natural, stable, peaceful, healthy, calm
- Light Blue — Transparent, serene, trustworthy, open
- Dark Blue — professional, formal, dependable, reliable
- Purple — regal, creative, flamboyant, smart
- Pink — feminine, youthful, innocent
- Brown — rugged, earthy, old-fashioned
- White — clean, virtuous, healthy
- Gray — neutral, gloom, subdued
- Black — powerful, sophisticated, edgy
Probably the best thing you can do is to work with an experienced graphic designer that knows about these things. But you need to make sure that you select colors that are primarily going to resonate with your target audience. Your brand personality is all about your target audience, and the colors you choose are going to be a big part of your brand personality.
Now, just a quick word about the images you use for your brand. Every image you use needs to be in line with the personality you have chosen for your brand. In addition, everyone who will communicate on behalf of your brand on social media needs to be on board with the personality that you have chosen your brand.
So, I hope you can appreciate the importance of brand personality, and why you need to give it so much priority.