Brand Personality: The What, Why & How

Brand Personality: The What, Why & How

Patrik Michalicka

  • You've probably heard the term 'brand 'personality', but what does it actually mean and how do you build one for your brand?
  • A brand personality humanises a brand by giving it characteristics that customers can relate to.
  • If customers can relate to your brand, they are more likely to trust you and engage with your business.
  • In this article, we take a look at what brand personality is, why it's important and how to define your brand's personality.

Alexa, what is brand personality? Hey Siri, what’s the difference between brand and brand personality?

Brand personality is something that you’ve probably heard by now as a business owner. And the questions you’ve asked Alexa and Siri may not have given you a clear understanding of what it is exactly. And if you’ve searched online, you’ve probably found more information than you bargained for.

If you’ve had trouble wrapping your brain around brand personality, why it's crucial for your business, how to create one and introduce it to your audience, keep reading to find all the answers you’ve been looking for.

What Is Brand Personality?

Just as a person's personality defines who they are, a brand personality defines who or what a brand is. The term "brand personality" is a clever one coined by marketers and ad execs in order to humanize brands with easily relatable characteristics. Brands can then use those characteristics to differentiate their business from others in their niche industry and connect with their target audience.

For example, a business that sells outdoor gear to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts should have a brand personality that is adventurous but also serious. Adventurous to show relatability to their audience, and serious when providing the education and knowledge that their audience is looking for when it comes to learning about products and how to do more of what they love.

This type of brand personality signals to customers that their business is one that customers can relate to and trust. Customers that relate to a brand are more likely to feel comfortable with them and choose them to fulfil specific needs. This ultimately leads to customers developing a long-term relationship with that brand.

Why Is Brand Personality Important?

As previously mentioned, building a solid brand personality leads to your business being relatable, trustworthy and forming long-term relationships with your audience. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the importance of having a brand personality.

To follow-up on the adventurous brand that sells outdoor gear to hikers and outdoor adventurists, having a brand personality also leads to:

  • Effectively communicating with your target audience
  • Connecting with your target audience through relatable brand traits
  • Meeting your target audience where they are when it comes to their wants and needs
  • Establishing your business as unique in the industry, thereby further attracting customers

Before we move onto how to build a brand personality, it's important to note that brand personality and brand identity, while closely related, are not the same thing.

What Is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is the logo, the font, and other visual attributes that are used to illustrate your brand. In contrast, brand personality is the more emotional association that you want people to make with your brand. That said, the two are related, acting symbiotically, and so it's important to keep your business's brand identity in mind while building a brand personality.

How Do You Build a Brand Personality?

The goal of brand personality is to shape the public perception of your business. But in order to achieve that goal, you can't just choose any brand personality to take on. You have to develop a brand personality that will be well-received by your audience. You can build a brand personality by following these core steps:

  1. Research your competitors and target audience 
  2. Find a focus 
  3. Create marketing materials that capture your brand personality

1. Research Your Competitors and Target Audience

Research your biggest competitors and your target audience. You can't just start from scratch. Look first at what your competitors are doing and what they aren't doing. Talk to your target audience and get an idea of brand traits they most identify with.

2. Find a Focus

Find a focus. Ideally, you should find a focus and personality that is not fully being met by your biggest competitors. Ask yourself what personality traits are other companies in your industry missing and how you can craft a brand personality that takes those traits on, while still being authentic.

3. Create Marketing Materials that Capture Your Brand Personality

Start crafting marketing materials to showcase your brand personality—now is the time when brand personality meets brand identity. Work with an experienced designer and/or marketing team to craft a business logo, typography and marketing materials that best accentuate your brand personality. Then, continue implementing your marketing and advertising strategies using your brand personality traits as the inspiration for all new materials.

How Do You Roll Out Brand Personality?

You can roll out your brand personality with your next batch of advertising and marketing materials. In fact, the very best time to roll out a brand personality is when you are getting ready to launch a new product or service.

For example, if you are coming out with a new product, you will naturally need new everything for it—new packaging, new advertising, etc. Use this as an opportunity to roll out your new brand personality by crafting everything around your new traits.

If you don't have any new products coming out, don't fret! You can still change up your brand personality by simply shifting how you interact with customers and by changing up any new and upcoming promotional materials. Focus on your social media avenues and encourage new conversations with customers, with your new and emerging brand personality at the forefront.

Creating a brand personality can feel like a daunting task, but it is vital to your overall business success. With so much information at consumers' fingertips and the increasing demand for brand authenticity and transparency, creating a brand personality that connects and resonates with your audience can provide huge rewards when done correctly.

Now that you understand the meaning, importance, and what it takes to define and create your brand personality, your journey to success can begin.

Dawn Foster

Marketing Strategist at D. Foster Marketing

Dawn Foster a marketing strategist, brand guru, and owner of D. Foster Marketing, a consulting firm that also functions as a full service agency for solopreneurs, small business owners and BIPOC business owners. Dawn has worked with budgets that range from non-existent to multi-million dollars and everywhere in between. Her experience, creativity, and analytical skills are helping solopreneurs, C-Suite operations, e-commerce and online retailers create original branding and marketing strategies that are exceeding revenue goals and standing out from their competitors.