According to a study by Germany’s Leuphana University, consumers perceive brands in the same way they perceive people. They are looking for the same realities and the same information when they relate to a brand as they do to a person.

What is brand personality?

Just as people’s characteristics and qualities determine how others feel about them, the personality traits assigned to a brand determine how its audience feels about it. Brand personality refers directly to the human characteristics associated with that brand. These attributes are expressed as adjectives that convey how the brand relates to its environment, conditioning how it wants to be perceived.

Every brand has a personality, whether it has developed it strategically or not, in which case it will also emerge although organically and uncontrollably.

Why is brand personality important?

Brand personality is a critical component of positioning and leads to differentiation and preference. An effective brand personality humanizes the brand, bringing depth and nuance, and making it relatable to its target audience. As such, it plays a huge role in attracting customers, increasing loyalty, and creating brand value.

How to find the personality of the brand?

Unlike human beings, who have personality by assimilating and learning from the cultural models of our environment (parents, relatives, friends, idols, etc.), brand personality is acquired through introspection and through the distillation of the very essence of the brand.

To build the brand personality, we can start by identifying its character through Carl Jung’s theory of the 12 archetypes, which argues that throughout humanity there are a series of ideas and patterns of behavior that function as universal models. You can discover them in detail here.

For my part, I prefer the following approach, which sets up a strategic methodology for brand personality coding:

Brand Personality Palette

The character of the brand alone is not enough and should be reinforced with a more exhaustive detail that involves defining the attributes associated with each of the 6 key concepts that make up the Brand Personality Palette: traits, characteristics, emotions, behaviors, relationships and framework of action.

  • Features: These are the distinctive properties that allow the brand to be identified by its gender or age.
    They can be: Masculine, feminine, neutral, reflected age…
  • Characteristics: Referring to the qualities that allow the brand to be identified by distinguishing it from its peers by issues related to temperament or character.
    They could be: Simple, intelligent, aspirational, reliable…
  • Emotions: They are the brand’s way of participating in what is happening. They allow you to set a certain position in front of the environment.
    They could be: Funny, enthusiastic, cheerful, passionate…
  • Behaviors: They shape the way they proceed in the face of stimuli and in the relationship with the environment, influenced by their beliefs and values.
    They could be: Respectful, determined, outgoing, stable…
  • Relations: They define the connection between the brand and its stakeholders in their interaction in a specific environment. It is developed through communication.
    They could be: Approachable, inspiring, friendly, authoritative…
  • Frame: It refers to a given context according to a set of specific circumstances and conditions that favor relationships.
    We could define: Appearance, styles, colors…

It will be enough for you to identify two or three adjectives for each of the concepts mentioned and it is recommended that you describe well what you understand by each of them to avoid unwanted interpretations. In this way, it will be much easier to understand the brand’s DNA and thus improve its competitive advantage in the market, making it much easier for it to acquire the human attributes necessary to connect with people.

It is clear that all these traits are parallel to those observed and constitute the nature of human relationships. They configure in themselves the conditions that define interpersonal relationships, based on the personal characteristics of the other; and always based on trust.

Where does the brand’s personality come to life?

Just like with people, a brand’s place in the world is largely determined by its personality. There are three main areas where we can look for markers of brand personality: how it looks, how it sounds, and how it acts.

  1. Appearance: The look and feel of a brand is its visual identity. It comprises your logo, color palette, typography, photography, advertising material, etc. It refers to the overall aesthetic that is instantly recognizable in a strong brand.
  2. The Sound: The sound of a brand is captured directly in your voice. The style of verbal language you use to convey your message and the tone with which that message is conveyed are the main attributes that define the brand’s voice. Another parallel chapter is audio-branding.
  3. Action: The way a brand acts is the way it behaves in the context of the world at large. Everything you do contributes to your customers perceiving you in one way or another, make sure your actions are intentional and in line with the personality you define.

Concluding: Tell me what you’re like and I’ll tell you who you connect with!


Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward

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