Every business you interact with will have its own unique personality, the background vibe that resonates with you and draws you in. Just like the people you surround yourself with, you will be attracted to some brands more than others. You’re triggered by the brand character.
The world is full of very similar businesses, but no two are ever identical, just like people. Each will have its own unique elements that create the overall experience with them. They have their own personality traits and quirks, that make their customers loyal to them or get them interested in the first place.
If you’re running a business and haven’t yet thought about creating a set of brand words that represent your business and the way it interacts with the world, then I urge you to go through this process.
Why is knowing your brand personality important?
Having a good idea about the personality of your business is a key component in creating a strong brand, with a loyal tribe of followers who truly get what you do. It sets the stage for every interaction that you (your business) makes with the world.
They give you a jumping off point for all your marketing efforts, visuals, products, copy…the whole shebang. So it’s a good idea to have them laid out in the early stages of developing your brand, but if you haven’t done so already, then now is the perfect time to do it!
Brand Personality Model
Research by L. Aaker, social psychologist and Marketing Professor at Stanford University, came up with the Brand Personality Model, in which all businesses fall into one of 5 overall dimensions.
Sincerity: These brands are easy going, thoughtful, down to earth and wholesome at their core. They are open and honest with their customer base.
Excitement: Daring, unique, spirited, and imaginative. Brands fit into this category at their core could be modern and go against the grain.
Competence: These brands are successful, well informed, and reliable. Tech companies, or insurance, a brand you place your trust in to deliver, leaders in their field.
Sophistication: Luxury, exclusive and glamorous. Whether it’s fashion, motoring or travel, there’s no doubt you can think of a few brands that come to mind.
Ruggedness: Tough, outdoorsy or athletic, often more masculine.
Going by those categories alone, your brand will fall into more than one category, as we’re made up of a combination of elements. We can be sincere and daring, there’s no doubt, but one of these dimensions will be your leader, the overriding business model, the core personality.
Apple, for example, their overall trait is competence, they are the leaders in tech, they deliver quality products and are reliable, but another element to their brand is excitement, producing energetic and iconic advertisements, and an undeniable excitement that is created around the release of a new product.
Once you’ve got your overall personality trait, you can expand on it.
If Your Brand Was A Person…
Which 3-5 words would describe them? This is a question I ask all of my clients before we get into designing their brand visuals…and it’s one that really gets you to think about who your brand is at the very core.
Think about how you are different from your competitors, what makes your business unique?
What vibe does your brand radiate? Romantic or edgy? Boho or Corporate?
What do you want to create for your customers? Community, a luxury lifestyle?
Do you want to ease your clients through areas in their lives that they find difficult?
Don’t rush through this exercise, take your time over it. Make a list of words that you want your brand to feel like, emotions you want it to evoke.
What kind of person would your brand be?
When you think you’re done, turn to thesaurus.com, and enter some of your words, to see if you can find words that resonate further.
I’ve created a word sheet to help brainstorm ideas, download it below.
Now It’s Your Turn…
Download the word list if you’re feeling stuck and get to know who your brand really is.
Once you’ve gone through the process, come back and let me know in the comments how you got on. I would love to hear any breakthroughs you have!