I have always tried to understand what is takes to build an effective brand. I have always found people will always value friendship. But, how can you build this emotional value for our business?
The answer is a lot simpler than you may think and it is done through the branding concept called brand personality.
Brand personality is associating your business with traits that appeal to your audience. It is to form something people can connect with on an emotional level. This way people can bond and become friends with your business.
In this article, I will take you through all the components of a brand that form its personality, and how these effect purchasing habits.
What Is Brand Personality?
Brand personality is a forming the a bond with the consumer. What is the impression a consumer has when they hear about your firm?
This in many ways indicates that a business has its own emotional and attitudinal traits for people to like them – just like friendships.
These are a complex blend of none-physical characteristics, which together with a physical appearance form a brand image.
Two competing brands can be very similar in their functions they deliver. Yet they can have very different personalities.
For example, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and the Renault Clio all perform the same in regards to the size, speed and price.
Yet, they all have very different personalities. Moreover, people have and form different bonds with these firms.
Overall, it is having a traits that consumers can relate too.
2. Why Is Brand Personality Important?
It is important because by connecting to a brand as you would people, you get a more personal experience.
This is also a result in reaching the intended brand image.
A good brand personality associates anything positive that the consumer can relate too which is highly condensed into emotional factors.
However, just like Volkswagen, it has a brand personality of quality. It is globally recognised for its long-lasting high-performance cars.
Brand personality ensures a stable brand image over time (Aaker, 1996) and allows consumers to express their own personalities (Aaker, 1997).
The personality traits can be seen as value in the eyes of the consumer.
This is because it is forming an exciting lifestyle. When strongly activated in consumer memory it will also affect consumer behaviours and attitudes toward the brand (Wysong,2000).
Brand personality has a positive effect on loyalty (Das, 2014). Overall, this will increase the likelihood of intent to purchase.
3. The Three Appeals Of Brand Personality
A brand personality comes in three forms. The three forms are known as personality appeals. These are parts of the brand personality that we are able to bond with.
Lets look at these three appeals below:
3.1 Sensual appeal
This is part of the personality that is created by the way it looks, sounds and feel like. For example, Mercedes is know for its sensual appeal by being know for the comfort it provides during the ride.
It can also include the characteristics on the packaging and the design and functionality of the store and website.
3.2 Rational appeal
this is how the product performs.
Does it meet the brand promise of a high quality for high price?
Or does it just do the job for a lower price?
3.3 Emotional appeal
This is the most powerful element of the brand personality as it focuses on the psychological rewards it offers.
This focused on the mood a person feels when interacting with your business.
For example, Apple has a status emotional appeal and it is embedded into its personality by sophistication. As well as some brand image factors such as, price, simplicity and smooth design.
4. Brand Personality Traits
Consumers view retail brands as having distinct personalities such as excitement and sincerity (Zentes, Morschett, & Schramm-Klein, 2008) that are similar to the set of human personality characteristics (Ailawadi & Keller, 2004).
4.1 Traits Of Brand Personality
Sincerity is being seriousness, open and honest. If you do things with sincerity, you will gain peoples trust. The #NO 1 goal for businesses is to transition people from furst liking your business to knowing your business.
If you apply Sincerity people will be more willing to make a purchase and more willing to accept your apology if you make a mistake.
Excitement is having a feeling of joy, exhilaration, or upheaval. We all want to have fun and enjoy our lives, and excitement is what brings us that happiness.
A competent business, or a competent person someone that can carry out a task efficiently. A competent business has the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to manage value given to the consumer. In addition, in an ethical and safe way.
An effective business is the best in the industry and people have the confidence that you can deliver. Especially in a B2B setting.
Sophistication is being comfortable in social situations. This includes being confident, cultural with a favourable appeal.
Moreover, in business in is demonstrating you believe in the great importance of things that are socially important.
You may feel it is being classy and elegant. However, I like to think sophistication as having an appeal of status by doing things in the right manner. It is equally important to point out that in business it is to deliver new and create ways of solving problems.
In business I like to think of sophistication as a more feminist trait. This is because it is being sensitive and understanding of the world around you.
Ruggedness is the ability of being strong or powerful.
Moreover, it is dealing with though situations in a direct way, being assertive and without hesitation. This essence of power is usually being attentive to the surrounding environment.
However, this does mean it reduces the appeal of being delicate.
Overall, I like to think of this trait in business as the more masculine trait of the your brands personality.
5. Trait Theory In Marketing
Trait theory in psychology shows us that people subconsciously judge people by their patterns of behaviour.
More importantly, these patterns of behaviour are consistent.
This is important in business because it explains that if a person has consistent behaviour, it means they are predictable.
If this person has favourable traits that are predicable such as, reliable or honest, then they will be perceived as likeable and trustworthy.
If a person has a set of negative traits such as not reliable and dishonest then they will be perceived not likeable and not trust worthy.
This is the same for business, and is the direct link to the know like and trust factor customer branding journey.
By having predictable traits, are known more professionally as stable traits (Tsu Wee, 2004).
Favourable traits that are stable is good when building relationships as it leads to people liking you and then if you prove you are trust worthy enough they trust you.
6. Personality Theory In Marketing
The best known and most widely used personality theory and measure is the model known as “The Big-Five”, which was developed over many years with contributions by several researchers (see John & Srivastava,1999) and comprises the dimensions of neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
- Extroversion which is made up by assertiveness and enthusiasm
- Neuroticism – withdrawal and validity
- Agreeable – politeness and compassion
- Conscientious – industriousness and orderliness
- Openness to experience – openness and intellect
7. Construct Personality Theory
In marketing, because of the intensifying competition, branding innovation has be proven critical. The known effects of personality on behaviour stimulates attachment into the symbolic meaning of human traits that people have.
This is a direct link to the creation of customer having an emotional attachment with your brand.
In turn, this led to applying the Big-Five in branding research and strategy to study consumer behaviour, perceptions and intentions.
In contrast to the human personality context, where individuals report on their beliefs or ideas, in brand personality consumers metaphorically associate human personality traits to a brand based on their perceptions (Zentes, Morschett, & Schramm-Klein, 2008).
So lets say we are on going a branding exercise and we want to brand a camping shop. We think the brand image outdoorsy will benefits us.
As looking as the personality traits outdoorsy is a trait of Ruggedness.
We can use the big five to help us. But, its down to a judgement call.
Me personally, would try a leverage two of the big five to build my brand personality.
The first would be assertiveness, industriousness and openness. These would then be developed further by using the brand personality appeals.
Brand personality is the impression a person gets when they interact with your business. These are formed in a persons mind by combination of characteristics and qualities within a person behaviour. These characteristics become the dominant qualities when they lead to consistent patterns of behaviour and they can be further developed by the big five personality characteristics.