Brand personality explained

Brand Personality is Your Way To Success

Let’s go shopping and suppose that you are looking for a jacket. What would you look for before purchasing it? How that jacket would look on you and how comfortable and confident it makes you feel. What else? Now what you’d choose will show and portray your own identity. That would be the brand personality of the product you would buy. New businesses do not focus on creating that brand’s persona when they enter the market and hence, suffer setbacks.

The experts started focusing on making their products better when branding became popular. Hence, the brand personality defines a product in a specific way. It indicates how customers can relate to a product.

The Exact Meaning of Brand Personality

The Exact Meaning of Brand Personality

What exactly is the brand personality? You may have already heard about brand character, brand identity, etc.

A brand is how the public perceives a business or a product. Brand identity includes the style, tone, logo, etc. Brand personality is something entirely different but related.

It is the relationship of the customers with the brands they choose. Brand personality consists of the set of human traits attributed to a product. Is it exciting? Is it sophisticated? Or competent? The answers to such questions provide an outlook.

Brand personality adds value to a product besides the benefits it already provides.

What Makes Brand Personality So Important?

Brand personality provides the blueprint of some specific plans. Those plans enable a business to carve out or change the way people feel about its product and service. It evokes a response in the target audience. The actions taken by potential customers benefit the business. It also provides a better ROI.

Every new business reflects the mission statement and the values of its creator.

That’s why the brand personality may represent the personality of the person who’s heading it. The creativity of the production, marketing, and support teams will affect the brand personality as well.

Hence, to create a brand personality, try developing a few traits in yourself and the people you hire for your business. That will help you understand what your brand personality can be.

Here is how it can help your brand.

Develops Connections on an Emotional Level

A brand personality develops an emotional connection with existing and potential customers. It targets those people who like that product and are looking for solutions.

If the customers like your brand personality, they will incorporate it into their lifestyle. As a result, they will become more loyal to your company.

The connection developed then helps the brand increase its customer base. It generates more leads and builds trust with meaningful marketing strategies.

Targets Real Customers and Makes them Choose You

An accurate and creative brand personality will help a business target the correct customers. Customers will likely go for the product whose brand personality matches their own.

If your brand does not have any specific personality, your potential customers may never know that your products are what they need. You give people a reason to choose your product when you define your product’s brand personality.

Create Effective Communications with the Customers

A brand with a specific personality can effectively communicate with its customers.  That’s because the customers can already relate the brand characteristics with the traits they have.

Improves and Enhances the Image of Your Product

Brand personality and brand image are two different things. A brand image is an impression of a product developed in the mind of the customers. A brand’s personality helps improves its brand image as well.

It answers people’s questions. For example, how is a brand different from its competitors?  How they contribute to the betterment of this world?  What values do they stand for?

Creating brand personalities is useful for developing brand associations. They then extend to branding, brand equity, and brand extensions.

Building a Brand Personality

Brand personality is how a brand is portrayed based on specific characteristics in front of the customers. It includes the voice, traits, tone, associations, and everything that makes a product of that brand unique. It is everything that a brand needs to establish its own specific identity. Developing a brand personality requires information. Get in-depth knowledge and understanding of the customer needs and their common characteristics.

As a business, you will have to develop a personality that attracts your potential customers. That personality must create trust, respect, and comfort with the brand. You have to target the exact audience who like your brand and appreciate what it offers to them.

Your brand personality should also be effective in keeping all those customers at bay that you do not intend to target.

Describe Your Brand Personality with Adjectives

First, make a list of all the adjectives that will describe your product’s personality.

You can include words like ‘passionate’ or ‘energetic’ etc. This practice can help you associate the correct traits with your brands.

Strong words can help you create a good position in the competitive market. That will make a space of your own in the minds of your potential customers.

To define your brand’s personality, keep the preferences and needs of your customers in mind.  Your brand should appeal to them.

Consider Your Brand as A Person

Visualize your brand as a living person while creating a persona and brand personality. Imagine that your brand can answer a few questions like a real person.

How does your product greet you? Warmly and enthusiastically with a hug or just with a formal handshake?

What does your brand act like? Does it look serious or jolly?

Is your brand status-conscious? Does it dress for appearance or comfort?

Categories of Brand Personalities

Categories of Brand Personalities

There are five common categories of brand personalities. This framework was presented by Jennifer Aaker. It is very helpful for businesses as a starting point to create their personalities

  • Competence (for example influential, successful, accomplished, etc.)
  • Sophistication (for example classy, prestigious, elegant, etc.)
  • Sincerity (for example positive family values, friendly, kind, etc.)
  • Excitement (for example youthful, carefree, etc.)
  • Ruggedness (for example athletic, tough, etc.)

In today’s modern world, the development of brand personalities has led to the creation of communities. They are driven by the values that those brand personalities represent.

The establishment of the personality helps with clarity in communications. That promotes effective brand positioning and marketing strategies, hence increasing brand awareness. Let’s go through the mentioned traits one by one.

1. Competence

Competence includes traits like reliability, hard-working or smartness, etc.

It associates with technology or brands that need to convey complex ideas and a wide appeal. The target audience of this category is intellectual and no-nonsense. The product or the idea has to be very effective and the solutions provided should be to the point.

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company, has established itself as an aerospace transportation service company. SpaceX had to make a name for itself in a sector that was dominated by government entities on a national level. Slowly and steadily, SpaceX is getting trusted by more and more professionals.

As another example, let’s consider Six Sigma on one hand. It is a data-driven and disciplined approach. It provides a blueprint for improvement or for removing the shortcomings or defects in a product. Six Sigma can be effective on a large scale instantly.

On the other hand, we have Kaizen. It relates to a process of continuous improvement over time. Kaizen includes a step-by-step improvement of the process of the service. It may not help in drastic improvements at once but may lead to huge and positive changes in an organization or the product. Continuous improvement results in a highly efficient and defect-free product.

Now Kaizen and Six Sigma methodologies conflict with each other. But they both invoke competency among the competitors to improve their products. The improvements would help capture more of the market shares.

Companies follow these processes and see which one’s right for their business Improving quality requires competence, and that’s what those two methods do.

Hence, competent brands have the edge over others and are more reliable and successful in the market. Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows, for example.

2. Sophistication

It includes traits like expensive, glamorous, masculine, etc.

The luxury market is the perfect example of sophisticated brand personalities. It has inspirational and evocative feels and is charming to the casual audience.

Sophistication is the toughest brand personality characteristic to achieve. It is also difficult to retain all the five characteristics. To achieve it, a business or a product would require a lot of patience, perseverance, and charm. It may take decades for sophisticated brands to establish themselves as it cannot happen over a few years. This kind of ideology needs to be conveyed to the customers and the target audience again and again. This helps the brands to portray their image as premium or sophisticated.

All of the high-end clothing and wardrobe brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc. are examples. Luxury vehicle brands like Rolls Royce depict this kind of brand personality.

Another among the luxury brands is Dolce & Gabbana. That brand maintains its brand personality by offering top-quality products at premium pricing.

This is also being achieved through proper and effective communication and marketing strategies.

3. Sincerity

A good example of products and services with such a brand personality is food-related brands. Such businesses portray honesty, care, and authenticity. They build their trust with the audience. If they are good in their marketing department, their audience can also become their brand advocates. It would be due to their good conduct and positive attitude.

Let’s take the example of Propercorn. It has established itself as a family-oriented product. It makes popcorn with different and likable flavors.

Coca-Cola shows happy events and gatherings in most of its ads which depicts happiness, affection, and trust among each other. Hence, it has established itself as a brand that can be used on every happy occasion.

Another example would be our politicians. Why do we not hold all of the politicians in the world in high regard? That’s because everyone has or had a different level of sincerity. There are only a handful of great leaders known for this kind of personality trait. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mohammad Ali Jinnah were well-known for their sincerity, right? They were dedicated. Those personal traits constituted their specific brand personality.

Honesty and dedication are the most observable traits of a sincere brand personality.

4. Excitement

They are often related to the traits of products or services that are trendy, high-spirited, daring, and imaginative. All of the beauty and fashion brands take up exciting brand personalities. They reflect enthusiasm and positivity and emotionally connect with their customers.

Such brands induce excitement in the people. You would love to go to Disney World or even a Ride Park near your home, right? Does that thought make you excited? There you go. That’s how these brands create their brand personality, around excitement. The same goes for the TV channels or services that provide us with entertaining programs or updates, like Netflix. Or Buzz Feed.

Football is the most played sport in the world. People are always excited to watch the matches held on an international level. FIFA World Cup has a record number of viewers every edition. Why’s that? Cause it gets people excited enough to watch it in large numbers. And that generates hundreds of millions of revenue for the organizing bodies.

5. Ruggedness

Ruggedness portrays the traits of masculinity, toughness, and outdoor nature. Brands with rugged brand personalities have a very strong identity and are driven by good performances. They directly communicate with their audience without being rude or emotionless.

The best example we have of this kind of character is the company “Caterpillar”. They manufacture shows and heavy machinery. Their personality is based on how tough, productive and long-lasting their products are. Another example is Old Spice that, at one time, didn’t have any personality at all. It took a long time for them to establish themselves with a rugged brand personality. Their marketing strategies reflected masculinity and toughness.

Such brands may not take price as a major marketing factor in making their products according to their brand personality. Some other examples include Land Rover, KTM bike manufacturer, etc.

The brand “KTM” personality is based upon the nature and usage of the products.

The marketing strategies are generally based on the brand personality. So any brand or service can be put under any of these brand personality categories.

How Can a Brand Personality Become Successful

A brand personality can differ from product to product. Even two identical products may have different brand personalities. Not only do the personalities differ among the products, but they can also vary from company to company. But the goals to achieve remain the same for almost all the brands.

Get your brand personality to become more successful.  Make sure that your brand personality fulfills the below criteria.

Value of Your Product

It consists of the substance of your product or service. You should be able to know what value your product is going to provide to your potential customers. Your business model should help you craft your brand personality. Will your product fulfill their needs? What does it provide that your competitor products can’t’? Is there any specific quality, price, or way to identify your product? Have your personality draft answer such questions.

Authority Of Your Product

A brand personality that has authority over the characteristics will attract more customers. It will help the business get more confident in the market. That’s because the customers love to associate themselves with the brand that has established itself as an expert in its field.

Authenticity Of Your Product

Your brand personality should be authentic and be able to follow the trends. The younger generations tend to associate themselves with the brands that are following the ongoing trends. Your brand personality should not copy anything from your competitors. It should reflect your own business culture and goals.

Trust Level That You’re Product Creates

Make sure that the brand personality that you are making creates a level of trust between you and your targeted audience. For example, every anti-virus company claims that its anti-virus software is the best. But only one or two maybe that good. Your brand personality should be such that your potential customers should be able to trust you more than your competitors.

Positive & Negative Traits of Brand Personality

People experience a wide range of emotions in different situations. Human behavior is hard-wired to have its emotions fluctuate from time to time depending upon the personality traits. In the same way, the brand personalities can also suffer from both positive and negative effects. It is based on the emotional affectivity of the customers with the product.

To understand the effectiveness of the brand personalities, you’d also need to consider their negative aspects as well.

There are a few studies on the negative aspects of brand personalities.  That’s even when they exist in so many personalities in real.

Here are a few personality traits associated with humans which affect their opinions. It may alter the decision-making process of buying any specific product.

·       High Positive Effects

Active, Elated, Enthusiastic, etc.

·       Low Positive Effects

Drowsy, Dull, etc.

·       High Negative Effects

Distressed, Fearful, Hostile

·       Low Negative Effects

Calm, At Rest, etc.

The negative effects evoked in the potential customers may make a brand personality unfavorable. Let’s take a few examples of positive and negative brand personalities to make it easier for you to understand.

Positive Brand Personality

Here are a few products with positive brand personalities with corresponding traits.

Marlboro: Masculine, All-American, Stable, Secure, and Tough.

Tiffany: Glamorous, Sophisticated, and Prestigious.

Nike: Athletic, Intense, and Exciting.

Negative Brand Personality

Here are a few products with negative brand personalities with corresponding traits.

Marlboro: Unhealthy, Destructive, and Deceptive.

K-Mart: Cheap, Indifferent, Uncool (because of low prices of the low-quality products).

Apple: Overbearing, Expensive

A positive brand personality may not always be the preferred brand personality because the personality traits depend on the underlying motives of the customers (like control, security, power, price, etc.). However, the advertising strategies of the negative images of the brand personalities may be used, at times.  This makes the potential customers pay attention to the advertisements.

Before going to the archetypes if you want to learn about Branding- the first step of a successful business then this is your time.

Different Archetypes of Brand Personalities

The best way to communicate with the audience is to personify your brand engagingly. Your brand personality should be able to project a positive image.  That image should be in the minds of your existing and potential customers for your brand’s name.

This would show that there is a strong relationship between your customers and your brand. There are many types of brand personalities that your brand could make use of. Let’s discuss a few.

1.     The Hero Brand – Goal: Mastery

Such brands tend to attract customers who appreciate the quality, value, and endurance of the product. Such customers tend to try some new things to get ahead. They want to use products that appreciate the feeling of progressing quicker than their competitors.

The customers of such products are inspiring, courageous, and honorable and want perfection in every aspect of their life. Some examples of such products are Gold Gym and Duracell.

2.     The Rebel – Goal: Liberation

The brand personalities of such products aren’t dull and intend to change and revolutionize the industry they are in. Such products target to change the ongoing trends and try to oppose the authority of other established competitor brands.

These products and their brand personalities appeal to those customers who have a rebellious nature and want to take what they want. Take the example of the fizzy drink ‘Mountain Dew’. They have a tagline of “Do The Dew”. The company shows professionals attempting & completing difficult physical challenges or doing something thrilling. Hence, such a product will always invoke feelings of thrill and mutiny.

3.     The Creator – Goal: To Innovate

Such a brand personality takes care of the people who want to see themselves as trend-setters and innovative. Such products attract those who are creative and different from the rest. These brands are built on customer loyalty because those products are seen as an essential part of life. The brands in question inspire artistic expressions and create things that are beautiful to the rest of the world.

Lego is an example of such a brand personality.

4.     The Everyman Brand – Goal: Belonging to Everyone

The main purpose of such brands is to get the things done in the daily life of their customers without being dandy or hip hop. These brands are always looking to improve their levels of being practical and create ease in the life of the target audience.

Such brand personalities target the common man instead of only targeting the upper class of society. To them, everyone is equal and needs to get the job done without creating much of a fuss. An example of such a brand is “Nutella” which is consumed by everyone in every country without any discrimination.

5.     The Caregiver – Goal: To Provide Service

These brands promise a sense of security and safety to their customers. People who need something tender and refined go for such brands. Staying away from negativity and harshness is the prime goal of such brands.

These brands assist people in their daily life or whenever the need arises and are positioned in the market in such a way that people trust them a lot.

The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and the Red Cross are examples of such caretaker brands.

These brands want to be at the top of their game for the products they make. They appeal to those customers who want to be supreme and dominant in their society. The brand personalities of these brands want themselves to be noticed and get attraction from the upper strata of society.

The people who own these brands reflect success in their life and opt for a higher level of comfort than the common man. The possession of these brands shows financial stability. The top examples of such brands are Rolex and Rolls Royce.

7.     The Jester – Goal: Enjoyment

Such brand personalities have a dominant nature of cheerfulness. They attract fun-loving people and only reflect positivity.

Being funny or silly is what defines these brands and that is exactly what appeals to the customers. The main purpose of such brands is to provide entertainment and joy to their target audience.

Disney World is a prime example of such a brand personality.

8.     The Explorer – Goal: Freedom

These brand personalities portray thrilling and adventurous nature. Such products appeal to customers who want to come out of their comfort zone. They would go out on exciting new ventures. They either seek pleasure or find something new about themselves.

Take “Shimano” for example. It is a brand that makes fishing equipment and invokes a feeling of adventure and fun in its users.

9.     The Innocent – Goal: Safety

Such personalities attract people just because of their class and beauty. They possess charm and the customer feels more attractive after using them. These products mostly help in self-grooming.

“Nivea” is an example of such a brand.

A Few Brands & Their Personalities

Let’s see how some of the major brands portray their brand personalities.


Nike is all about Excitement. If you think about Nike as a person, you’d find them to be cool, energetic, innovative, aggressive, and highly motivational.

Nike tagline “Just Do It” oozes inspiration and encouragement to do whatever you want to do. It offers you to increase your self-confidence.


It’s an automobile company that focuses and specializes in 4×4 off-road vehicles. Jeep has a clear personality trait of Ruggedness. They show themselves to be adventurous, tough, and durable.


Rolex portrays Sophistication. It is among the manufacturers of the world’s finest watches. If Rolex was a person, they would have a punctual, organized, stable, responsible, and solemn attitude.

Rolex also reflects Competence. The customers of Rolex are usually those people who are financially secure and belong to the executive class.


Brand personalities are paramount to creating an attractive brand resonance. They create affinity with your customers through emotions and specific traits. That way, they increase their engagement and loyalty to your brand.

An effective brand profile also amplifies the brand’s variance from its competitors. It sets it apart from all the other similar products competing for market share.

Remember one thing. That is, customers LOVE consistency and reliability. Your brand personality is what would make your brand recognizable. Make sure that your marketing strategies follow your set brand personality. Then the product information you will convey will stay in the minds of your customers. Why is that important? Because 95% of our decisions to buy anything take place in the subconscious part of the mind.

To conclude it all, define your brand personality. It will make it easier for everyone to know exactly what your brand stands for.

This is your next step: The top 10 branding Strategies that work

About The Author

In the digital era, where everything is in constant movement, there is a magazine that also chooses to be fluid and evolve. Starting to Know is an e-magazine that wants to pass on knowledge and show a new way of consuming media.

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