Red Bull has it. So does Apple – in spades. And so do countless other less well-known but very successful brands. The marketers amongst you will already know what I’m talking about, but if you’re curious, the common theme here is the concept of brand personality and corporate identity. So Apple (for its devotees, at least) is trendy. Lovers of the Victoria Beckham brand will buy into her brand personality: elegance.
The point of having a brand personality is this: people don’t merely buy products. They buy into their aspirations; or as described in this great article by Fast Company, they buy “better versions of themselves”. Your brand’s personality is the lead character in a story that ‘speaks’ to their desires and aspirations and most brands fall into one or a mix of the 12 main character types highlighted below.
Based on an infographic from Visual.ly, here are 12 examples of ‘brand personality’ types to inspire you, together with examples of companies of each brand personality. If any of the brand personalities resonate with you, why not research the companies - how they express their brand’s personality across different mediums and social media channels, for example, and use them to develop your career?
Purist personality: Julie Andrews
A purist brand champions values such as wholesomeness, ethics, simplicity and purity. Examples of purist brands are Dove, Disney and Sesame Street.
Pioneer personality: Stephen Hawking
Pioneer brands champion values such as freedom, adventure, self-discovery, self-reliance and ambition. Good examples of pioneer brands are The Discovery Channel and Jeep.
Source personality: Dr Phil
Source brands embrace knowledge and enlightenment. They champion values such as truth, objectivity, education, discipline, clarity and commitment. They are the brands that we look to for information, advice and insights. Examples of source brands include Bloomberg, eMarketer, Forrester and Mckinsey.
Conqueror personality: Michael Jordan
Conqueror brands are those that are associated with performance, resilience, steadfastness, character and endurance. Good examples of conqueror brands are Nike and Weight Watchers.
Rebel personality: Madonna
Rebel brands champion values such as independence, controversy, freedom and nonconformity. For these brands, rules are meant to be broken. Examples of rebel brands include Harley Davidson, Red Bull and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
Wizard personality: Steve Jobs
Wizard brands specialise in taking the ordinary and transforming it into the extraordinary. Wizard brands champion values such as imagination, surprise and curiosity. Good examples of wizard brands are Apple and Pixar.
7. Straight Shooter
Straight shooter personality: Simon Cowell
Straight shooter brands value authenticity (keeping it real), honesty and frankness. They also prioritise function over appearance; examples include Easy Jet and Southwest Airlines.
Seducer personality: Marilyn Monroe
Seducer brands are associated with values such as beauty, pleasure, passion, desire, sensuality and intimacy. Good examples of seducer brands are Victoria’s Secrets and DeBeers.
Entertainer personality: Jerry Seinfeld
Entertainer brands champion values such as spontaneity, charm and humour. These brands seem to enjoy helping their customers discover the fun side of life. Examples of entertainer brands include Dr Pepper and M&M’s.
Protector personality: Mother Theresa
Protector brands embody and promote values such as compassion, kindness, care, and love. Examples of protector brands are Campbell’s Soup and Johnson & Johnson.
Imagineer personality: Michael Jackson
Original thinking, vision, artistry and creativity are values embodied by imagineer brands. These brands help their customers to create; examples include Lego, YouTube and Photoshop.
Emperor personality: Warren Buffet
Leadership, determination, respect, dominance, influence and wealth are values that are associated with emperor brands. Good examples of emperor brands are American Express, Porsche and Rolex.
Having a brand personality is important because it makes it easier for people to identify with your product or service. If people like what your brand stands for, the chances are that they will like your products. So take the time to create the right personality and persona for your brand – it is the foundation upon which your brand’s success will be built.
It is also important as part of your wider personal branding strategy, if you truly understand yourself enough to create a brand personality then you have the foundation to build a strong personal brand.