What is a brand personality?

A brand personality is made up of a set of human characteristics, qualities, and values that we assign to a business or entity. It may help to think of brand personality as a company’s humanity.

One way to influence the way that people perceive your brand is by establishing your brand personality. This is achieved by assigning human qualities and character traits to your brand and describing it as though it were a person with a unique voice and approach to customer interactions. 

Brand archetypes are incredibly effective marketing tools that have the power to evoke emotions, challenge the status quo, and help you engage with your customers on a personal level.

Some brands create mascots that are representative of that personality. The brand can establish its human personality through intentional visual choices but visual elements are only one part of the equation.

There is one place where brands are able to establish and reinforce their personalities more than any other platform. Social media allows a brand’s audience to get to know them on a more personal level, while the brand is able to act as a human with its own unique personality. Wendy’s is just one example of a brand that has firmly established its personality on social media and is now thought of as having a comedic brand personality.

Brand personality is also a reflection of the brand’s day-to-day behaviors, the nature of its interactions with customers, the messaging it sends out in its marketing activities, and above all, the mission and values that are important to the brand’s history and leadership.

What is the difference between brand identity and brand personality?

While brand identity and brand personality are often lumped together, they aren’t exactly the same thing.

Brand identity is all the different elements that are put together to create a brand’s overall image. Brand personality, on the other hand, is the emotions and characteristics that the audience associates with a brand.

What are the elements of a brand personality?

Brand personality is just one aspect of brand identity and can be used to inform other elements of brand identity. 

For example, while your brand’s color palette is not part of your brand personality, you may choose a color palette that evokes your brand’s personality like using pastels for a nurturing brand personality or a bold palette for a disruptive brand personality. 

So if things like color palette and imagery aren’t elements of brand personality, what are?

Values – Your brand’s values are a key element of your brand personality. Values inform how your brand interacts with the world around it.

Tone of voice – The tone of voice that you choose to use for your brand – whether on social media, web content, TV ads, or even internal emails and business documents – is the main way that your audience gets to know your brand.

Goals – Your brand’s goals are the “why” of your brand. Why pick a pastel color palette? Because your goal is to provide a safe and comforting environment for your audience. Your goals, similar to your brand’s values, inform your brand’s choices and how it interacts with your audience in order to accomplish those goals.

Strategy – If goals are the “why” of your brand, then strategy is the “how.” How do you connect with your audience? How do you entice people to buy your product or service? 

Fears – Like your brand’s goals, fears inform your brand’s choices but in an opposite way. Rather than making choices to accomplish a goal, this aspect of your brand personality is built on avoiding specific negative outcomes.

Why do you need a brand personality?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, seasoned businessperson, startup, or business that’s been around for almost one hundred years, it is essential that you know what your brand personality is and to ensure that your brand strategy and messaging are in alignment with these values. 

Every part of a brand is influenced by its personality, including website design, blog posts, social media strategy, email marketing, logo and brand design, and ad copy. If you provide a service, your branding will influence the way you interact with your customers. If you manufacture a product, your packaging will be influenced by your brand personality. 

For some industries, a brand personality may come naturally. Restaurants, for example, have a brand personality that instantly communicates to the customer what kind of experience they will have when they visit. In general, it will be easier for B2C companies to pinpoint and define their brand personality. However, it is just as important for B2B companies like industrial manufacturers, to establish their brand personality.

Can your brand have a combination of personalities?

Just like people, no two brands are the exact same, so it stands to reason that your brand may not fit perfectly into just one of these personalities. Most brands will have a few dominating characteristics that work together to create the brand’s unique personality.

Whether your brand personality is a clear-cut, specific personality type or a combination of personalities, the most important thing is to stay true to and be consistent with your brand personality. One of the biggest ways to build brand trust is to be genuine and consistent in all aspects of your brand personality and identity.

How to integrate your brand personality into your brand identity

If your brand personality is not in alignment with your brand elements, your customers may feel a disconnect that subconsciously prevents them from fully engaging with your products or services.

As your brand identity grows over time, it is essential to check-in periodically to ensure that your brand elements and messaging evolve with you. You’ll also want to ensure that your brand personality is a part of every marketing activity and brand asset that you create.

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Don’t forget to channel your brand personality in all aspects of your digital marketing!

It can be easy to default to a standard, emotionless style and personality when putting together different aspects of your digital marketing assets because that is what feels “professional.” But, “professional” isn’t a personality.

Your brand personality shouldn’t just be present in your marketing campaigns. Don’t forget to channel your brand personality in your:

  • Website design
  • Logo and style guide
  • Blog content and tone of voice
  • Customer experience
  • Customer service
  • Social media profiles and posts
  • Video marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Events and community outreach

Ready to find out your brand personality? Take the quiz now!

What is My Brand Personality?

Every brand has a unique personality. What is yours?

Take the Brand Personality Quiz to find out!

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Alaina Halsey

Alaina Halsey

Our Projects and Creative Manager, Alaina Halsey, graduated from Ball State University where she studied journalism and telecommunication focusing heavily on advertising design and social media. After building influencer programs and working with social media and branding in a variety of capacities, she brings with her an extensive knowledge of social media, user experience, and design in addition to her brand design and project management expertise.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending hours on Instagram and TikTok, going to baseball games, exploring Chicago, and learning how to cook.