How to Work With Brand Personality for Maximum Impact

Maximize your brand's impact by mastering the art of working with brand personality. Learn effective strategies to leave a lasting impression.

How to Work With Brand Personality - Clay

To create a brand personality that resonates with customers, marketers need to understand the psychological impact of their brand on consumers. This article will explore how understanding brand personality can help you leverage its power for maximum impact in your designs.

Understanding Brand Personality: What Is It?

Brand personality is the set of characteristics and attributes associated with a brand. One can use it to create an emotional connection between the user and the brand, which helps shape the user's perception of the company. Brand personality traits are critical to brand positioning.

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Supreme logo

A well-known unique brand personality makes a business unique and recognizable to its target market. A brand persona is identifying a brand to customers that build and develop relationships with them. It helps in the growth of brand loyalty as well as brand equity.

The persona explains why Starbucks customers feel comfortable in their cafes and why BMW clients cannot drive anything else. An efficient and clearly defined brand identity.

The visual aspects of UX design, such as color palette and font selection, can communicate brand personality in a subtle yet powerful manner.

The Psychology of Brand Personalities

The Brand Archetypes: Connecting Psychology and Brand

Recognized psychologist Carl Jung proposed that humans employ symbolism to comprehend complex ideas more easily.

Carl Jung theorized that there were certain established paths to a deeper level of understanding which could be classified according to their personality traits, making it easier for customers and companies alike to recognize the customer avatar they seek. He referred to these classifications as 'archetypes'.

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Establishing precise brand archetypes will mirror the essence of your brands and help to accurately match brand personality types with individual Customer Personas. This approach is widely accepted for any branding strategy, making it an ideal way for managers to sharpen their team's objective. By recognizing these archetypes, brand managers can capitalize on their effectiveness and direct actions accordingly.

With twelve distinct brand archetypes to choose from, the possibilities are endless. You can become an Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, and Ruler; or delve further into Magician territory. Alternatively, you may opt for a Lover persona as well as Caregiver-like traits - don't forget about Jester or Sage!

To provide some perspective, here are a few examples of common brand archetypes:

  • The Innocent radiates joy, optimism, and faith; brands like Coca-Cola, Nintendo Wii, and Dove often embody this persona.
  • The Everyman strives to connect with others - expect traits such as supportiveness and affability from IKEA, Home Depot, or eBay.
  • The Hero who is daring and determined to make positive changes in society - think Nike's 'Just Do It' campaign or BMW's bold advertisements.
  • For the rule-breaker, The Rebel looks to push boundaries and challenge norms. Think of brands like Virgin, Harley-Davidson, and Diesel.
  • For those seeking exploration and excitement, meet the Explorer that finds motivation in travel, risk-taking and fresh experiences such as Jeep, or Red Bull.
  • Meanwhile for those who seek invention through building something special of long-lasting importance – enter the Creator with iconic brands Lego, Crayola, or Adobe!
  • The Ruler: bringing structure and sanity to the world, Rulers are often seen as authoritative yet responsible. Think of Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, or British Airways.
  • The Magician: with a mission to make dreams come true, Magicians have an air of spirituality about them - Apple, Disney, and Absolut could be fine examples.
  • The Lover: awakens intimate emotions, and motivates love, ardor, romance, and dedication. Brands such as Victoria's Secret, Chanel, and Haagen Dazs exemplify this archetype.
  • The Caregiver: safeguards others with tenderness and kindness while being compassionate, nourishing, and beneficent. Johnson & Johnson, Campbell’s Soup, and UNICEF are good examples of this type of brand character.
  • The Jester: brings joy to the world by means of hilarity. Having fun in a playful way but sometimes even mischievously! Old Spice, Ben & Jerry’s, or M&Ms provide us with perfect instances for this category of personality branding archetypes.
  • The Sage: The Sage is devoted to aiding the world uncover greater knowledge and wisdom. As insightful advisors or mentors, brands such as Google, PBS, and Philips represent this archetype.

The Brand Personality Framework

Has anyone felt an affinity for certain brands? Social psychologist Jennifer Aaker says we can measure branding personality in five dimensions: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness.

Let’s take a more detailed look at these brand personality dimensions:

  • Sincerity: genuine, genuine, pure-hearted, joyful
  • Excitement: adventurous, vibrant, creative, modern
  • Competence: trustworthy, smart, accomplished
  • Sophistication: high-class, delightful
  • Ruggedness: outdoorsy, resilient

Each of these dimensions consists of several types of facets:

  • Down-to-earth: grounded, family-oriented, small-town
  • Honest: genuine, sincere, authentic
  • Wholesome: pure, genuine
  • Cheerful: joyful, warm, friendly
  • Daring: adventurous, trendy, thrilling
  • Spirited: lively, hip, youthful
  • Imaginative: creative, one-of-a-kind
  • Up-to-date: modern, independent, contemporary
  • Reliable: dependable, diligent, secure
  • Intelligent: smart, technical, corporate
  • Successful: accomplished, leader, confident
  • Upper class: affluent, glamorous, attractive
  • Charming: alluring, feminine, suave
  • Outdoorsy: nature-loving, masculine, western
  • Tough: resilient, rugged

Constructing a brand's personality traits requires careful consideration and measurement of various facets, with each trait being assigned a value between one-to-five. One representing the least amount of alignment to the brand and five exhibiting full adherence to its values.

Once you have determined your brand's individual qualities, it is imperative to instill those values into everything from the words you write on your social media channels and newsletters to what you say in press conferences or when communicating with customers. How well a company displays its branding also plays an integral role. It may include customer loyalty programs, logos, typography, product design, and visuals. All of these elements combined create an effective representation of your organization that can be seen at every touchpoint.

How to Define Your Brand Personality

Just like a person's identity, a brand can be divided into four sections: sentimentality, intellect, attributes, and conduct. By understanding each of these components separately and collectively, we can significantly elevate our brand archetype and the success of our products or services.

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Coca-Cola can
  • Intellect and emotion. Every brand exudes a certain level of emotional or intellectual energy; some are driven by passion, others by rational analysis and logical insight. An emotion-driven brand has a distinct look and feels compared to its intelligence-driven counterpart. By understanding where your own brand falls on the EQ versus IQ spectrum, you can define more concrete attributes like characteristics and behaviors that correspond with it.
  • Characteristics and behavior. Characteristics are how a brand is perceived by its consumers. They represent the outward and most visible aspects of that brand, such as Harley Davidson being seen as rugged and masculine. On the other hand, behaviors involve how a brand acts in relation to its surroundings. For instance, Red Bull sponsors events around the world involving extreme performances that illustrate their adventurous spirit and courage.

The psychology of brand personality is an invaluable asset for a business. By carefully considering the brand personality spectrum, companies can craft a brand identity that stands out from their competitors and helps foster strong relationships between brands and their users.

Brand Personality Examples

One example of a famous brand personality in a major company is that of the tech giant Apple. Apple's sophisticated brand personality is often described as "friendly, competent, and reliable." These three qualities create a cohesive experience that resonates with users. Apple emphasizes simplicity in its UX design, which helps to ensure an intuitive understanding that matches its distinctive brand personality.

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Apple devices

Among other brand personality examples, Tesla defines its brand personality as innovative, disruptive, and trailblazing. It reflects the company's mission to revolutionize the automotive industry with its cutting-edge electric vehicles, autopilot technology, and renewable energy solutions. Tesla has a strong culture of innovation that drives its success. They always look for ways to push the boundaries and create meaningful experiences. In its UX design, Tesla supports their brand personality by emphasizing sleek and modern visual elements aligned with its mission.

Since personality traits can be considered human traits, one can try defining brand personality by comparing your company's personality with that of an individual. It enables us to apply psychology in brand promotion.

Developing a Brand’s Personality Strategy: Tips and Key Benefits

When creating a brand personality strategy, there are several steps marketers can take to ensure success. Here are some tips:

  1. 1.

    Identify Your Target Audience. It is essential to identify your target audience and understand its preferences and values to create an influential brand personality.
  2. 2.

    Focus on Emotion. To optimize brand loyalty, focus on creating an emotional connection with your target audience.
  3. 3.

    Leverage Color Psychology. Use color psychology to create visual elements that support brand personality in UX design and marketing campaigns.
  4. 4.

    Monitor Brand Perception. Pay attention to how customers perceive your brand and make changes if necessary.
  5. 5.

    Establish a Unified Brand Image. Ensure brand consistency across all marketing materials to create a consistent tone and a unified brand image.

Creating an effective brand personality strategy is essential for businesses looking to build strong relationships with their customers and establish great brand loyalty.

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Incorporating your own brand personality provides several key benefits, including:

  • Improved user experience. By creating a layout based on the target audience's needs and brand personality, users are likely to have an enjoyable experience on the company's website or in the app.
  • Increased loyalty and engagement. Customers who emotionally connect to a company's brand are more likely to become loyal customers. This loyalty can help boost the company's bottom line and ensure continued success, which leads to increased engagement and higher conversion rates.
  • Improved brand recognition. When users can recognize a company's brand personality, it helps create a memorable experience that leaves an impression. All of this leads to greater brand recognition and awareness.

Using Psychology Aspects in the Design of Brand Identity

Color is a powerful tool that can help to create an emotional connection with users. Color psychology can provide insight into how different colors evoke certain emotions and feelings in users. Here are a few tips on using color psychology for maximum impact:

  1. 1.

    Choose Colors that Represent Your Brand's Personality. Use colors that fit your brand's core values, and help communicate its personality to your target audience.
  2. 2.

    Use Color Contrast to Enhance UX Design. Incorporate color contrast in your brand visual identity and design to help guide user attention and create aesthetically pleasing visual elements.
  3. 3.

    Consider Color Meaning. Different colors can evoke different reactions from users, so consider the meaning of each color and how it might affect user experience. For instance, blue conveys trustworthiness, while yellow invokes energy and optimism.
  4. 4.

    Imagery is another element to include in brand personality. Designers can create an emotional bond with users by choosing the right images. For example, photos of people or a particular setting that reflects the brand's values can foster a stronger bond between the user and the company.
  5. 5.

    Finally, language should also reflect the brand personality to resonate with the user. By using language that aligns with the brand's tone and personality, one can craft a unique experience that engages users in a meaningful way.
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Bloom products

By implementing psychology in brand identity design, marketers can create visual elements that support brand personality and help foster strong relationships between brands and their users.

Bottom Line

Although we may not be able to physically interact with the brands that shape our lives, it doesn't take away from the emotional connection we have formed. Our preferred brands become an integral part of who we are and their unique traits help define us in comparison to others.

Building a consistent personality will help your company. Defining a brand personality is an excellent way of creating brand value. However, you have to be able to understand your audience before you decide on your chosen brand personality.

Psychology can create an emotional bridge between the user and the brand. Understanding the target users' needs, values, and goals can create an enjoyable experience that leaves a lasting impression.

About Clay

Clay is a UI/UX design & branding agency in San Francisco. We team up with startups and leading brands to create transformative digital experience. Clients: Facebook, Slack, Google, Amazon, Credit Karma, Zenefits, etc.

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About Clay

Clay is a UI/UX design & branding agency in San Francisco. We team up with startups and leading brands to create transformative digital experience. Clients: Facebook, Slack, Google, Amazon, Credit Karma, Zenefits, etc.

Learn more

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