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Brand Identity Brand Strategy Marketing

What is brand personality and how do you develop it?

By Frances Martin-Isaacs, Creative director



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May 18, 2023 | 7 min read

Relevance’s Frances Martin-Isaacs reveals how brand personality can help position and build your brand in the marketplace while acting as an internal guide for employees.

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Consumers connect more with brands with personality / Image courtesy of Relevance

Consumers buy emotionally – and a strong brand personality can help better foster a connection with a brand’s target audience. Your brand personality must be carefully maintained to complement your audience and adjusted as needed to reflect changing consumer habits.

What is a brand personality?

The term personality is normally used when referring to the characteristics of humans, sometimes animals, but the concept of an inanimate, non-living entity having a personality may at first seem to be a strange notion.

Brand personality, however, is at the very core of a business’s brand. As with people, a brand’s personality describes how a company behaves, what a company believes in, how a company thinks, and how it speaks.

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Why is brand personality important?

A brand’s personality provokes an emotional connection with people, employees and customers, evoking positive emotions. Creating an emotional connection can develop into a loyal bond. Customers are more likely to purchase from a brand if its personality resonates with them.

A brand with a loyal customer base and following is a significant attribute of a brand’s equity which is, in turn, directly related to its profitability and, ultimately, the monetary value of a company – its fiscal worth.

And, since profitability is the ultimate goal of most business shareholders, a company’s brand value will play a valuable role in achieving that.

The increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital automation in business and marketing means that, more than ever, a brand’s personality is a significant differentiator when selecting a company to work with or purchase from. Personal interaction and direct customer services are essential for luxury businesses, and therefore a consistent and irresistible brand personality is a driver for success.

How is brand personality created and defined?

When defining a company’s brand, the pre-branding identity and creative experts at Relevance organize a workshop with company leaders. Before the workshop, we prepare thoughtful and provoking questions designed to dig deep into the soul of the business and its team. This workshop becomes the brainstorming for defining the company’s USPs, ethos, vision, manifesto, values, goals, and tone of voice. The brand’s personality is the sum of these parts.

Those working in the top tiers of the business frequently find the workshops unusually challenging as they have not previously considered looking at their company in this way. They are experts in what they do but not necessarily in ‘how to make people feel.’ As the workshop progresses, it does become animated and collaborative, and we find that by working together to answer the right questions, company leaders find it relatively easy to agree on the brand’s personality now and how it ought to evolve.

This debate and brainstorming uncover a lot about how the company’s leaders see the brand and how they would like it to develop. Like a human, personality is intrinsic but can also be worked on and improved, thus developing company culture internally and for consumers.

Questions that are relatable to real-world situations often ignite the topic: if your company were a car, which car would it be and why? If the company were a celebrity or public figure, who would it be and why? How does the company want to make customers feel? How does the company want to make employees feel?

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How does a company use a brand personality?

The personality of a brand defines what a company believes in and how it should behave, so a successful marketing strategy will be compatible with the brand strategy. Using brand personality as the fundamental building block for all marketing decisions will result in a plan that stays on track to achieve a company’s goals.

Why is brand personality important for marketing?

Firstly, having a well-defined brand personality helps to differentiate a brand from its competitors, enabling it to stand out in a crowded marketplace. A strong brand personality can also help build emotional connections with consumers, especially those with similar personality traits.

By creating a brand personality, marketers can build stronger emotional connections with consumers, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy. Finally, a carefully defined brand personality helps ensure consistent messaging across different marketing channels and touchpoints. This consistency helps to reinforce the brand’s identity and makes it easier for consumers to recognize and remember your brand.

Brand Identity Brand Strategy Marketing

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Relevance is a strategic and creative digital marketing agency specialising in profiling and targeting Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals for the world's most exclusive...

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