If you’re like us, you know what it’s like to wonder what people say about you when you’re not around. We all want to be liked; some of us so much so that we may go to the extreme. But what about your brand? What are people saying about your company on the regular? How do they connect with your brand? Do they connect with your brand? If you’ve never thought about your business this way, it’s high time you started. Creating and cultivating a brand personality is what many call “the secret sauce” to building a winning brand.
Humans want to connect with humans. To position your company, product or service as an entity that your audience wants to build a relationship with, making your brand “human” is essential.
You do this by creating a personality, or humanizing your brand.
Brand Personality: the personification of a brand by assigning consistent human characteristics and qualities.
While you might think a personality is strictly visual, the need for human connection indicates that a personality must be both visual and emotional to be successful. In fact, most times the emotion informs the visual.
Think of your brand as you would if you were describing a close friend. You wouldn’t describe them using physical characteristics. Instead, you’d focus on personality traits; how they understand you and what they bring into your life. The fact that they dye their hair green or rock a pair of shades is merely a tip off toward an inner, more substantial personality.
And like the personality of a human, if done well, a personality will serve to branch out into every aspect of the brand, resonating in every physical attribute.
As we’ve covered, brands are comparable to people - but more specifically, winning brands are comparable to people we connect with.
Subconsciously, the people we connect with bring things into our lives that we lack or that we want to attract more of. These people bring something we need into our own personal story. It’s why we’re drawn to them. Likewise, if someone is not helping us achieve or progress ourselves, separation from that person always finds a way - whether forced or just with the passing of time.
Brands are no different.
We subconsciously connect with brands that bring something to our lives. They solve a problem for us. They make us better humans. They can even make us feel a particular way or achieve a type of status.
So why is personality so important?
According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of all buying decisions are made in the subconscious. They are gut decisions based on emotions that we don’t recognize or even consciously understand. Human personality traits are a powerful element and a link to those emotions.
We prioritize things we can distinguish and that speak to us directly. Creating a brand personality gives consumers something to grasp onto and differentiate you from your competitors, effectively building brand loyalty. If a consumer is unable to recognize the difference between two companies, they’ll likely fall back on one thing: price.
Example: The grocery store toothpaste aisle. There are so many brands and different types of toothpastes within each brand that, if we’re not already habitually attached to one, we generally buy based on the lowest price or, if you’re like me, the first one you see.
We’re going to make a safe guess that you don’t want to sell toothpaste and you DO want to stand out, and not because of price.
The more saturated and consistent your brand is with your personality, the more defined and therefore, the more visible. Brands that are consistently presented are 3 to 4 more times likely to experience brand visibility.
Once you’ve created your personality, use it to its fullest potential. From your mission to your messaging to employee engagement and all the way down to the type of cardstock used for your business cards, your personality should touch everything about your brand. Reevaluate every piece of material that connects to your employees and your customers and then refresh it to reflect your new or more defined personality.
While it may seem silly to think of your brand as a person or seem a bit awkward to get all mushy gushy with feelings and emotion, the reality is that consumers who perceive a brand as human are 1.6 times more likely to purchase from that brand and 1.8 times more likely to recommend it.
Take the time to dig deep, find out who you are and who you serve and then connect with them, human to human, because at the end of the day, that’s what everyone wants–a personal connection.
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