Loading the player...

What is 'Brand Personality'

Brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name. A brand personality is something to which the consumer can relate; an effective brand increases its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits that a specific consumer segment enjoys. This personality is a qualitative value-add that a brand gains in addition to its functional benefits.

BREAKING DOWN 'Brand Personality'

Brand personality is a framework that helps a company or organization shape the way people feel about its product, service or mission. A company's brand personality elicits an emotional response in a specific consumer segment, with the intention of inciting positive actions that benefits the firm.

Examples of Brand Personalities 

There are five main types of brand personalities: excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence and sophistication. Customers are more likely to purchase a brand if its personality is similar to their own. Examples of traits for the different types of brand personalities are as follows. Excitement is synonymous with a carefree, spirited and youthful attitude. Sincerity is highlighted by a feeling of kindness, thoughtfulness, and an orientation toward family values. Ruggedness is thought of as rough, tough, outdoorsy and athletic. Competence, in the mind of a consumer, is considered to be successful, accomplished and influential, highlighted by leadership. Finally, sophistication makes a brand seem elegant, prestigious and sometimes even pretentious.

Dove, for example, chooses sincerity as its brand personality, allowing the company to attract feminine consumers. Luxury brands, such as Michael Kors and Chanel, lean towards sophistication. Their brand personality focuses on an upper-class, glamorous and trendy lifestyle, which attracts a high-spending consumer base. REI, the outdoor recreation retail store, has a rugged brand personality; they focus on inspiring their audience (who are typically outdoorsy, adventurous people) to be strong and resilient. 

Choosing Brand Personality

A company's brand personality should not be confused with its imagery. A company's imagery is a series of creative assets that communicates the tangible benefits of its brand. Conversely, a firm's brand personality directly creates an emotional association in the mind of an ideal consumer group.

It is extremely important for a company to accurately define its brand personality so it resonates with the correct consumer. This is because brand personality results in increased brand equity and defines the brand's attitude in the marketplace. It is also the key factor of any successful marketing campaign. In order to choose a brand's personality, companies consider the five personality types and select the one the company wishes to convey.

If, for example, a new outdoor apparel company wants to resonate with consumers, the natural inclination is to create a brand personality that is rugged. However, it is possible that the company's competitor may have already positioned itself as the rugged outdoor apparel brand. Instead, the new apparel company can position itself uniquely in the mind of the customer by adopting a brand personality of sophistication. This differentiates the brand as an upscale, high-end option to outdoor apparel, which attracts a specific type of consumer.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Brand Equity

    Brand equity refers to a value premium that a company generates ...
  2. Brand Extension

    Brand extension, also known as brand stretching, is the use of ...
  3. Brand Identity

    Brand identity is how a business presents itself to, and wants ...
  4. Brand Recognition

    Brand recognition is the extent to which the general public (or ...
  5. Private Brand

    A private brand is a good that is manufactured for and sold under ...
  6. Brand Potential Index (BPI)

    The brand potential index (BPI) is the correlation between a ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    Well-Established Brands Worth Billions

    We look at the most valuable brands in the world, and explain what makes them successful.
  2. Insights

    Apple Named Most Valuable Brand on Steve Jobs's Death Anniversary (AAPL, TSLA)

    Interbrands released this year's ranking of the hundred most valuable brands in the world, and U.S. companies Apple, Google and Coca Cola hold the top three spots.
  3. Investing

    Brand Value Comes to Life in an ETF

    Investors that like big brands might just like this new ETF.
  4. Personal Finance

    5 Dead Auto Brands And Why They Died

    These auto brands had their run, and have been sent off to rust.
  5. Insights

    7 Iconic Brands That No Longer Exist

    Understand the value of branding and what makes good brands great. Learn about seven iconic brands that failed and no longer exist.
  6. Insights

    4 Addictive Brands Consumers Crave

    Many product brands breed loyalty and obsession. Discover which ones people can't seem to live without.
  7. Insights

    Top 4 Companies Owned by L Brands, Including Victoria's Secret (LB)

    L Brands, owner of lingerie giant Victoria's Secret, holds a majority ownership in three other popular brands that have allowed the company to expand.
  8. Investing

    Top 5 Positions in Charles Brandes' Portfolio (ERJ, MSFT)

    Learn about Charles Brandes' investment philosophy and largest positions. To which industries is Brandes exposed and how has his fund performed?
  9. Managing Wealth

    Why the Ultra Rich Stopped Being Obsessed with Brands

    Good-bye, bling; hello, quiet luxe. The spending habits of the wealthy are changing, and luxury brands must change with them.
  10. Investing

    Amazon Struggles to Sell Apparel, Shoes in Europe

    Amazon is having a tougher time selling apparel and footwear in Western Europe.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some of the benefits of positive brand equity?

    Learn how having positive brand equity enables companies to make a higher margin on sales and spend less money on marketing ... Read Answer >>
  2. What impact does brand equity have on profit margins?

    Learn how both positive and negative brand equity affects profit margins by influencing profit per customer, sales volume ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are some examples of companies or products that have outstanding brand equity?

    Brand equity is the heart of reputation building for companies and products. With solid equity, the quality of a service ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do tangible and intangible assets differ?

    Tangible assets are physical assets that are used in a company's operations. Intangible assets are nonphysical, long-term ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Margin

    A company's total sales revenue minus its cost of goods sold, divided by the total sales revenue, expressed as a percentage. ...
  2. Inflation

    Inflation is the rate at which prices for goods and services is rising and the worth of currency is dropping.
  3. Discount Rate

    Discount rate is the interest rate charged to commercial banks and other depository institutions for loans received from ...
  4. Economies of Scale

    Economies of scale refer to reduced costs per unit that arise from increased total output of a product. For example, a larger ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.
  6. Leverage

    Leverage results from using borrowed capital as a source of funding when investing to expand the firm's asset base and generate ...
Trading Center