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brand personality

Brand personality is the association of human characteristics with a brand name to which consumers can relate. Brand personality traits – such as uniqueness, sincerity, intellectualism, competence, excitement, ruggedness and sophistication – evoke emotion and shape how people feel about a company’s product, service or mission.

The concept of brand personality is relevant to companies of all sizes and stems from the tendency of people to personify things. Brand personality is less tangible than other matters concerning businesses – such as financial results and product features.

Understanding the human factors involved in brand personality can have an impact on a company’s success. Customers are more apt to buy a brand if its personality is similar to theirs.

While brand personality involves emotions and human traits, brand essence reflects the image a company cultivates and employs to relate to consumers – involving, for example, logos or colors. Meanwhile, brand equity refers to the perceived value of a name, logo or another identifier. The personification of a brand works hand-in-hand with building a solid brand image and brand equity.

To help companies clarify the customer experience they provide, marketing experts stress the importance of companies strategically engineering their brand personalities. Branding experts use various techniques to identify a brand’s personality. For example, they might compare an organization to a car, celebrity or animal. Another technique is choosing a spokesperson, such as a public figure or fictional character, to represent the brand.

Marketing experts recommend that companies seeking to build their brand personalities assess the audiences they address, the industries on which they focus and where they are headed for the future. This will help staff understand how to speak and act and help HR determine what to look for in prospective employees. It will also influence marketing communications and the brand’s visual style.

This was last updated in July 2017

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