Your brand’s personality (also known as brand identity) is very similar to your own personality, in the sense that it is made up of a variety of different elements. For example, your own personality consists of your tone of voice, your facial expressions, your choice of words and your body language (just to name a few).
In the same way that you can’t attribute one single element of your personality to being the thing that makes you ‘you’, neither can your brand. However, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t important. The only thing that is really necessary, is to realise the true function of your brand’s personality, which is this:
A brand’s personality defines what we feel about its communication with us - which is the key to our purchasing choices.
Exploring Its Importance
Have you ever had to buy something you’ve never had to buy before? Okay, silly question, literally everything you buy was, at one time, bought for the first time. But lets just go down this line of thinking for a minute.
Take toilet paper for example.
Assuming that you didn’t do a bunch of exhaustive research before making your first purchase, you most likely would’ve found yourself in the isle, looking at a bunch of different toilet paper brands and trying to make the choice before the old lady behind you got impatient with your stalling. After scanning for a little bit, you settled on one brand and put it in your cart.
You probably didn’t give it a second thought at the time, but ask yourself this - why did you settle on that brand in particular?
Was it the soft dog on the front?
Was it the pretty colours?
Or was it that you just panicked because the old woman was staring daggers into your head and just grabbed one at random?
Whatever the reason was, it can all be boiled down to the fact that one of them just felt right to you.
This ‘feeling’ was the brand’s personality.
The Building Blocks
So, what actually makes up a brand’s personality?
Firstly, there’s the visual look of your brand. This is made up by the colours, the design style and other visual elements of your brand. The visual look is important because you can convey a lot aesthetically. Certain colours evoke certain emotions and certain stylistic choices can do the same.
The next element is your brand’s tone. While the tone of your brand is certainly influenced by the visual look, it is also highly influenced by the writing style. If packaging, ads and website copy are written in a certain tone of voice, it will affect the feeling that customers get when they see it. For example, look at the tone used in apple commercials. The writing is very minimalistic. This tone is very clean and easy to understand, which reflects what Apple tries to achieve with its products.
The third element to brand personality is its relationship with its customers. Thanks to social media, it is now more important for brands to have relationships with their customers than ever before. The best brands are able to respond to queries quickly, reward their customers frequently and are open to input constantly.
Defining Your Brand Personality
The first and most important step in defining your brand personality is to decide what sort of personality you want it to have. The way to do this is to ask some questions about your target audience.
Essentially what you’re trying to do is determine what traits your customers are looking for in your brand. Once you have the answers to these questions, the process of defining your brand personality becomes a lot clearer.
The next step comes down to ensuring that the specific elements of your brand’s personality embody you chosen traits. We go into much deeper detail how to go about this in our free eBook Understanding Branding below.
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