In recent years “Brand Personality” became a buzz word in the marketing world. Find out what it means and why it is important for your business.
It all began in the late 1970s. At that time the main advertising agencies realized that the abundance of similar products in the market no longer allowed to differentiate a brand only for its performances. The merely physical characteristics of a brand were no longer enough, it was necessary to consider other attributes as well.
The intangible elements that compose a brand – such as an image, the reputation, and the personality – become more and more essential for its success.
Generally speaking, marketing researchers define brand personality as “the set of human characteristics associated with a brand”.
The perceptions of these characteristics can be influenced by any direct or indirect contact that the consumer has with the brand.
The direct way comprehends:
- the company’s employees
- the company CEO;
- the brand ambassadors
Usually, the personality traits that characterize the people associated with the brand are transferred directly to the brand itself. For this reason, is crucial to choose employees that are compatible with the communicative style of your brand.
The indirect way comprehends:
- the category
- the name
- The symbol or logo
- The advertising style
- The price
- The distribution channels
Numerous studies have shown that consumers tend to prefer brands which have similar personality traits as themselves; so, it’s important for you to deeply understand your target’s social and psychological characteristics.
In the end, building a brand with a clear personality allows it to be differentiated from its competitors and to build a long-term relationship with the customers, who – in today’s market – are pretty unfaithful to brands.
Carl G. Jung, a famous psychologist, analyzed the stories and dreams of many cultures from around the world and identified some recurring themes and myths. He calls them “Archetypes” and describes them as 12 characters with particular traits. Each of us can easily recognize these Archetypes because they are part of our traditions and social imaginary.
The 12 Archetypes described by Jung can be easily applied to famous brands:
The Innocent (Nintendo, World Wide Fund for Nature):
This character is disinterested, idealistic and without malice. This Archetype symbolizes virtue, joy, optimism, and purity.
The Sage (Harvard, The Wall Street Journal):
The wise elder who uses knowledge and experience to offer guidance to others.
The explorer (SpaceX, GoPro):
Independent by nature, this figure challenges the rules for the infinite desire for adventure and new experiences. The explorer symbolizes discovery.
The Outlaw (Diesel, Harley Davidson):
The outsider who breaks the rules. This figure fights bravely against injustices.
The magician (Disney, Absolut):
The one who mysteriously transforms the world and delights others with creative gifts. This figure symbolizes transformation.
The Hero (Tesla, Nike):
The brave and devoted to action, who fight for what is right. This archetype leads others to innovation and changes the world.
The Lover (Chanel, Ferrari):
This figure is deeply emotional. The Lover lives life in fullness and symbolizes passion, beauty, and luxury.
The Jester (Red Bull, M&M’s):
The irreverent who rebels against authority ridicules power and laughs at everything. This figure is secretly smart, witty and intelligent.
The Everyman (Ikea, P&G):
The friend who simply wants to be in touch and empathize with others. This figure is honest, loyal and extremely useful.
The Caregiver (Volvo, Dove):
The organized, disciplined guardian who protects the things, the people and the planet. The Ruler (Rolex, IBM):
The leader who has responsibility and authority. This archetype dictates the rules that others will follow. The goal is to create prosperity and harmony.
The Artist (Apple, Lego):
The creator who wants to build new things, use imagination and create something that will last over time.
Find out more:
Jennifer L. Aaker, Dimensions of brand personality. Journal of Marketing Research, August 1997, 34(3), pg. 347.
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