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 Identity

    Brand identity is how a business presents itself to, and wants ...
  2. Brand Loyalty

    Brand loyalty is a consumer's dedication and commitment to a ...
  3. Cult Brand

    A cult brand refers to a product or service that has a loyal ...
  4. Personal Income

    Personal income is the total compensation from several sources ...
  5. Personal Representative

    A personal representative is the executor or administrator for ...
  6. Halo Effect

    The halo effect describes a consumer's bias toward a maker's ...
Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    Why These Are the Most Valuable Brands of 2018

    A company's brand can be worth billions of dollars. Here are the most valuable global brands in 2018.
  2. Small Business

    The Power of Branding

    Power of branding is the ultimate economic moat, and we look at the approaches and effects of good and bad branding.
  3. Small Business

    How Companies Create A Brand

    We take a hands-on approach to creating a brand, and see what it can mean as an investor.
  4. Small Business

    Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2016

    A look at the BrandZ 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Report
  5. 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.
  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. Personal Finance

    Costly Personality Traits In Financial Planning

    For people to be successful with their finances they must plan effectively. However, sometimes negative personality traits can hold people back.
  9. 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?
  10. Personal Finance

    Amazon's Big Branding Problem (AMZN)

    Amazon can be inconsistent with its branding policies which can alienate confused customers. The company should simplify or strengthen its four core brands.
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. What are the most popular companies in the automotive sector right now?

    Learn about the largest global automobile manufacturers, including the most popular automakers by sales volume and companies ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center