Humans are wired to feel connected to others when they find interests, traits or experiences in common to which they can relate – and brands can capture attention and earn loyalty when they exude personality traits that consumers identify with or aspire to.
In a WARC Best Practice paper, How to create a consistent yet dynamic brand personality, brand strategist Liane Koh notes that consumers tend to prefer brands they perceive to be compatible with their own personality or self-image.
It’s rare for them to choose brands that portray personalities opposite to their own and understanding this relationship between self-congruity and consumer behaviour can help brand builders in a number of ways.
“A well-developed brand persona effectively steers strategic decisions in messaging, marketing, company culture, voice, experiential factors and many more key aspects of business with clarity and a human touch,” Koh says.
Having such a persona may be especially important for all the new and young brands that are challenging incumbents in numerous categories: it helps brand builders to define and agree on who they are.
But it is also a valuable exercise for established teams, Koh adds: by identifying disparities and discovering new facets of their brand, they can keep it up-to-date and relevant.
In practical terms, this means thinking of a brand as a character (human, animal, plant or even an object assigned human qualities) and then building out the core dimensions of this individual’s life and personality consistent with the product or service.
By spelling out the personality of the brand explicitly and concisely, “everyone in the company can have the same concrete base understanding and reference point,” Koh advises.
“This gives immediate value as it presents to marketers, PR practitioners, creatives and strategists a defined yet flexible space in which to be creative and respond on their feet.”
The best-developed brand personalities maintain a consistency that helps build trust, while also being able to evolve and respond to the world around them, so giving teams “autonomy to mix genres, inspiration and references in their work, all while colouring within the brand’s lines”.
This article first appeared in www.warc.com
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