Nowadays, with so many brands present in the market trying to attract the attention of a consumer desensitized to impacts, it is essential to understand that it is not only what to say, but how to say it. For effective brand communication, relevant content that provides added value or differentiating value is crucial. But it is also necessary that this content is built on premises that are adapted to the brand with respect to its stakeholders. That its structure and construction are in line with what the brand is and represents. To achieve this, we give brands a patina of personality that gives them the ability to relate as if they were a human being. Personality, as the word itself suggests, refers to the state of the person. To the defining features that determine the key elements with which it is expressed.

We know that a brand is made up of people. We also know that a brand is not itself a person. However, it is an irrefutable fact that when it is expressed, it does so under the typical conversational structure of a personality. Well built, it does so in such a way that it is individual, unique and distinguishable from the rest of its competitors. We call this construct brand personality.

In it, as part of the process, we could endow a brand with all the complexities of a human personality. Add all the nuances you want, even the contradictions. But given the need to circumscribe that personality to be heard and perceived in a certain sense and with the intention of generating a guided response, we limit these traits to those that represent a defining attribute in the discursive aspect:

It might be interesting to ask whether Coca-Cola and its appropriation of happiness would not be accompanied by traits of melancholy or histrionics. If we imagined Coca-Cola as a flesh-and-blood person, maybe. But for the purposes that interests her, that is, to be perceived as a brand that appropriates the concept of happiness and tries to express it on every occasion, that would be unnecessary and counterproductive. At the end of the day, Coca-Cola’s reason for developing its campaigns is a corporate philosophy and a strategy of differentiation, consolidation and appropriation of conceptual territories. So much so, that consumers agree on the statement that Coca-Cola is synonymous with happiness. Because it has found the right constituents to make that impression accurate, truthful and credible.

Brand Spokespeople & Mascots

Sometimes brands decide to use an interposed figure that speaks for them or represents them: they are the spokespersons and the mascots. A spokesperson differs from a prescriber (or “talking head”) in that the former is anonymous and does not contribute with his or her own fame or personality to generate a favorable opinion of the brand, but is a faithful representation of it. A classic case is that of Tenn’s butler, the one whose cotton doesn’t deceive. The butler was the resource used by the brand to give it a voice and a presence with personality. As a result, Tenn was able to represent himself and hoped that his consumers would agree. In this way, the brand was able to express its serious and formal brand personality, obsessed with cleaning and disinfection, meticulous and, above all, effective.

The creation of brand spokespersons or mascots fulfills that function: to give a brand a human representation with which it is easier to perceive those personality traits through the action of empathy.

In the absence of butlers, pets are also useful: anthropomorphic beings with faces and attitudes typical of the brand they represent and with which to approach their potential consumers in a more charismatic way than if they did not. There are multiple examples of branded mascots, which, depending on the sector or the use they are given, have a greater or lesser relative weight. A case that reflects well how brand personality works can be seen in Rizo el Erizo, the mascot of the insurance company Genesis. Over the years, she went from having a very proactive and dynamic, electrifying personality to a more thoughtful and rational one that seeks to choose intelligently and sensibly. Not forgetting the halfway point where it was just a stuffed animal that the drivers raised to the sky shouting “Asumbawé”. But Genesis didn’t change the mascot despite the evolution of its identity as a brand. Because it is part of the insurer’s personality. Genesis sees herself as a hedgehog. Protector. Nice. Small but strong.

A brand doesn’t have to rely on spokespeople or mascots to express itself with a distinguishable personality. They only affect it and highlight it, making it more evident or perceptible by making it visible. But any brand with an interest in being perceived according to its philosophy and vision must understand which traits are appropriate and those that best fit the criteria necessary to develop an efficient and differential conversation. And to achieve this, it is necessary for him to reveal his personality.

How do you build a brand personality?

Unlike human beings, who have personality by assimilation and by learning from models of behavior from our environment AD Extra (parents, relatives, friends, idols and role models, etc.), the personality of a brand is acquired ad intra: it is through introspection and the search for its most representative values and benefits, through the distillation of the essence of the brand, that effectively shape its personality.

Identification of benefits

When we talk about benefits , we are referring to the tangible and intangible aspects that a brand can offer to its consumers and stakeholders. Having better prices than the competition, offering an exclusive or unique product, paying close attention to CRM or after-sales service, a flexible policy of conditions…

Identifying Values

Values, on the other hand, refer to the brand’s way of being. These are intangible traits that provide added value and a commitment that the brand gives itself and are not necessarily linked to the product/service it offers. Felix Baumgartner didn’t use a can of Red Bull to go up into the stratosphere and launch himself from there, nor was it a selling point for Red Bull to send a man so far to break a record. However, given the brand’s commitment to being and demonstrating that they are innovative, the event was a resounding success and provided the brand with an impact and a perception that benefited that value, consolidating it in the collective imagination.

Prioritization of benefits and values

With the benefits and values of the brand listed, it is necessary to order and prioritize those that place a greater emphasis on what the brand wants to express and convey. In this sense, we are committed to starting from
the essence of the brand
and selecting the most interesting, relevant and differentiating; or by those who are considered critical or fundamental to understanding the meaning of the brand. When it comes to forming a brand personality, it is different if, for example, in the order of priorities, the satisfaction of the consumer and their needs comes before the commitment to sustainability. The same would happen with respect to values, order is important to mold the personality that best fits the profile of the brand and makes it feel comfortable and truthful.

Classification and Distribution of Benefits and Values: Personality Traits

It doesn’t end there. With these wickers we have outlined the basic attributes of the personality and the notions of its configuration. The next step is to classify and distribute them based on the type of trait it represents and the action or reaction it generates. Thus, we can distinguish personality traits:

  • Rational, expressing measurable and tangible concepts.
  • Emotional, which leans towards moods, sensations, or abstract ideas that trigger states of opinion.
  • Internal relations, which are more useful if they are used internally (both to the brand’s employees and to its stakeholders)
  • External relations are more necessary or more useful externally, as a way of generating a favorable opinion or a positive perception in stakeholders.

Once the pertinent decisions have been made and the personality has been formed, it is translated and expressed through
verbal identity: Brand Voice, Brand Tone and Brand Style



Borja Molina

Branward® Brand Consultant

Photos: Shutterstock