How to easily stand out with a strong brand personality

In a previous post, we talked about finding your target audience and the importance of finding them. Once you find your target audience, now comes the hard part: increasing brand awareness to get yourself in front of the people you want to work with most. One of the major components of your brand’s identity is it’s personality. You may not think that brands have a personality or it may sound silly, but brands spend major time and effort in crafting their personality and making sure that their imagery and marketing positions their brand in a way that conveys the right message and attracts the right people.

 

Just like we all know that people with strong and bold personalities don’t always vibe with very passive aggressive and shy people, same thing with brands.

 

What is a brand personality:

Just like you’ve got your own uniquely bad ass personality, your brand has to have one to stick out in this crowded marketplace. Your brand personality is a set of characteristics that are attributed to the brand to help shape how your audience feels about your brand and how they interact with it.

Your audience is way more likely to connect with a brand whose personality is similar to their own, and there are roughly 5 types of brand “dimensions”: excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence, and sophistication.

 
branding-dimensions2.jpg

Brand Personality Dimensions? What are those?

Back in 1997, Jennifer Aaker did a scientific study on brand personality and how consumers describe common brands. After looking at the data, it was discovered that most brands are placed into the Big 5 dimensions, and with each personality comes a typical set of traits:

  • Sincerity (down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful)
  • Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date)
  • Competence (reliable, intelligent, successful)
  • Sophistication (upper class, charming)
  • Ruggedness (outdoorsy, tough)

 

Why is a brand personality important?

The combination of characteristics that your brand has will be pivotal in connecting with your target audience and establishing an emotional connection with them.

In the end, these connections can lead to a lasting relationships that goes beyond them just buying from you or hiring you.

Having a strong brand (one with personality) is intensely important for success and it can help you in all sorts of ways: helps guide your decisions on graphics, taking risks, collaborations, new business ventures, and more.

Keeping how you want your brand to be perceived in mind when you do these things will keep everything consistent and consistency helps make your brand even stronger!  

Also, a strong brand personality will help separate you from others in your market.

Not everyone is going to vibe with the big dogs in your industry if that’s not the personality that matches with them.

For example, Absolut Vodka vs Stoli Vodka. Absolut has the personality of a hip and super cool 25 year old, while Stoli gives the vibe of sophistication and wisdom.

Both are big players in the vodka arena, but they both speak to different types of consumers.

A saturated market is never a reason to not follow through on your dreams, and one way to push your voice in front of the people that you want to work with is to take what makes you unique and run with it.

Hell Yea! How do I get started?

Let’s get into the steps that you can do TODAY to define your brand personality:

 If I had to choose a celebrity that represents my brand the best, it would be singer Lianne La Havas.

If I had to choose a celebrity that represents my brand the best, it would be singer Lianne La Havas.

  • Defining your target audience: Finding your target audience is instrumental to creating a brand personality that is successful and accurate to who you are and how you want people to feel when they interact with your business. You HAVE to know who you’re talking to, before you can begin to shape the personality that would resonate positively with them. I wrote more in depth about finding your target audience here.

  • Nailing down what you stand for AKA your mission statement: Once you define your target audience, you then need to define what you stand for. Just like your brand should have a personality, it should also have a set of values that make it unique. In this statement you incorporate what you do, how you do it, who do you serve, and how you serve your audience.  

  • Establish your role in your customer’s life: Now that you know your customers and how your brand helps them, it’s time to think about the role that you want your brand to play in their lives. For example, if your ideal client is seeking business advice or guidance, then your role is one of a counselor or mentor.

  • Determine the traits and create a character: Scroll back up to the graphic you saw earlier and think about where your brand fits right now. Is your brand an outdoorsy brand targeting an active audience? Then the ruggedness dimension probably fits you. If you’re selling kids close, the sincerity dimension may fit you: honest and down to earth.

    To personify your brand even more, think of a celebrity that you think personifies your brand. Think of how they dress, what they do, how they act, places they’re seen in their personal life, their relationships, etc. Most, if not all, brands can be personified as a person and there’s a reason for this. Brands focus on making sure they convey a certain type of character to help consumers connect easier. They want you to immediately think of a certain type of person when you think of their brand.
  • Emotional Connections: A strong brand is rooted in emotional connections and relationships. To get your wheels turning, answer these questions:
  • If someone was discussing your brand with a friend, what is the first word that comes to mind?
  • What action do you want them to be inspired to take? Do you want them to be internally motivated or externally?
  • If they could describe a feeling as they look through your website or your social media, how would they describe it?
  • What do you want someone to think about your brand after they leave your website?

 

Strong Brand Personality Examples

Click through these links to these popular brands and see how their personality speaks out to you. What does it say? What type of language do they use to interact with you? What do their images say? If you had to put them into a category based on the graphic below, which would it be?

 

Anthropologie   /   Squarespace   /   Dove  /  Urban Outfitters  /  Brit & Co

 


How to use your new found knowledge

Now it’s time to take your new knowledge and put it to use! Your brand’s personality should shine in all of its touchpoints so your audience remembers your brand and type of business on sight. Touchpoints are any point in time when someone comes in contact with your brand: seeing your image on Pinterest, seeing your tweets, your email signature, etc.

Here are some easy places to insert your brand personality into some common touch points to better connect with your brand:

  • Social Media
  • Website Copy
  • Captions
  • Emails sent to clients and inquiries
  • Blog posts
  • Graphics


You made it! Discovering your brand’s personality shouldn’t take you long, but it isn’t something that you should take lightly. Strong brands have people behind them that carefully craft an emotional message that connects with the right people. That’s how you’ll stand out in any market: genuinely connecting with your audience.


BrandingAshleigh KeithComment