A brand personality is the set of human characteristics or traits associated with a brand, which can include attributes like company values, tone of voice, and visual identity. This is usually made clear within marketing campaigns, which reflect and support a company’s brand personality. When a business has a well-defined brand personality, it can attract and retain clients and customers who identify with its values and perceive it as trustworthy and relatable.
IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A STRONG BRAND PERSONALITY
In today’s highly competitive market, having a distinct and consistent brand personality is essential if you’re looking to succeed and stand out in the minds of your consumers.
It is crucial that your business has a strong brand personality, as it helps differentiate you from your competitors and creates a lasting impression on your clients and customers. A strong brand personality also enables businesses to establish an emotional connection with their clients and customers, which can increase loyalty and advocacy.
WHAT IS THE BRAND PERSONALITY FRAMEWORK?
In 1997, Jennifer Aaker developed a brand personality framework, which is widely used as a model for understanding and defining brand personality. Aaker identified five core dimensions of brand personality.
Brands with sincere brand personas are perceived as honest, genuine, and down-to-earth. They emphasise a sense of family, community, and social responsibility.
Brands with exciting brand personas are perceived as daring, imaginative, and adventurous. They offer a sense of excitement and challenge, and they are often associated with innovation and risk-taking.
Brands with rugged brand personas are perceived as tough, outdoorsy, and resilient. They emphasise strength, durability, and ruggedness, and they are often associated with rugged outdoor activities and adventure.
Brands with competent brand personas are perceived as reliable, efficient, and successful. They emphasise quality, dependability, and expertise, and they are often associated with industry leaders.
Brands with sophisticated brand personas are perceived as cultured, refined, and elegant. They emphasise aesthetics, style, and exclusivity and are often associated with luxury and high-end products.
By identifying which of these core dimensions best aligns with your brand, you can create consistent content, and resonate better with your target audience.
Unsure where your brand resides? No worries, to help you identify where your company’s brand persona fits within Jennifer Aaker’s framework, we have analysed five well-known companies that sum up each core dimension perfectly!
FAIRY’S BRAND PERSONALITY
Fairy is an international brand which champions the household cleaning industry. It has built a strong sincerity brand persona. Fairy is a family-orientated brand, with strong links to the kitchen and mealtimes with family. The brand has consistently positioned itself as a household cleaning company that is reliable, efficient, and genuinely cares about the well-being of families.
Their marketing campaigns often feature heart-warming scenes of families and children, emphasising the brand’s values of cleanliness and hygiene. Fairy often leans on the fact they are a long-standing, trusted brand that has supported families for generations – it achieved this perfectly with its 2011 advertisement.
Fairy Liquid also promotes eco-friendly initiatives, such as using 100% recycled and recyclable plastic bottles and reducing its carbon footprint. This emphasis on social responsibility and community aligns with the sincerity brand persona, which is all about creating a sense of honesty and genuineness.
By positioning itself as a brand that embodies this personality framework, Fairy has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors and appeal to customers who value products that are honest, trustworthy, and have a positive social impact.
NIKE’S BRAND PERSONALITY
Everyone has heard of Nike, right? The brand seems timeless.
Nike is a multinational corporation that designs and creates footwear, clothing, sports equipment, and accessories. It is often associated with having an excitement brand persona, as it embodies daringness, imagination, and adventure, with campaigns that feature high-profile athletes engaging in extreme sports.
Nike’s marketing campaigns regularly encourage its customers to push their limits and pursue their dreams. Nike’s 2022 ‘Never Settle, Never Done’ campaign embodied this; the campaign tapped into topical discussions surrounding the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament and promotes football as an inclusive sport for all.
The advertisement is high energy and shows women playing football at all levels – from professional players to young women playing in their local park. There is a clear emphasis on challenging the status quo that aligns with the excitement brand persona, which is all about creating a sense of thrill and daringness.
By positioning itself as a brand that embodies this personality framework, Nike has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors and appeal to customers who value risk-taking and adventure.
THE NORTH FACE’S BRAND PERSONALITY
The North Face is a brand that embodies the ruggedness brand persona, the brand has positioned itself as a leader in outdoor apparel and gear that is tough, durable, and resilient. It began as a climbing equipment retail store in San Francisco in 1966 but became more commercial in the early 2000s.
In its marketing campaigns, The North Face regularly emphasises the durability and quality of its products, which are designed to withstand the elements and endure long-term use. Though, over recent years, customers began wearing their products for fashion rather than durability.
The North Face seemed to have lost its connection to the great outdoors. However, its 2023 marketing campaign, ‘We Always Have Your Back’ sought to remind everyone of its true roots.
This marketing campaign reminds us that, although you can wear their brand for fashion purposes, their clothing is made for adventuring in the great outdoors. They feature adventurers tackling extreme outdoor environments, such as mountain climbers, skiers, and hikers. This emphasis on strength and toughness aligns with the ruggedness brand persona, which is all about creating a sense of resilience and hardiness.
By positioning itself as a brand that embodies this personality framework, The North Face has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors and appeal to customers who value products that are rugged, reliable, and can withstand extreme conditions.
GOOGLE’S BRAND PERSONALITY
Have you ever seen a Google advertisement for Google?
No? Me either…
Google is a brand that embodies the competence brand persona. It is effortlessly influential and consistently positions itself as a leader in technology and innovation, with a focus on creating efficient and reliable products and services.
Google’s name is synonymous with expertise and leadership in the search engine industry. It is committed to delivering high-quality, accurate results to its users. Google is built on a foundation of trust between the company and its clients and customers.
The company has also expanded into other areas, such as Cloud Computing and AI, further demonstrating its competence and expertise in these fields. This emphasis on reliability and expertise aligns with the competence brand persona, which is all about creating a sense of efficiency and dependability.
By positioning itself as a brand that embodies this personality framework, Google has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors and appeal to customers who value quality, accuracy, and expertise.
APPLE’S BRAND PERSONALITY
Apple is a brand that embodies the sophistication brand persona, it has positioned itself as a leader in design and aesthetics, with a focus on creating elegant and stylish products.
Apple’s focus has always been the beauty and simplicity of its products, as well as its exclusivity and premium quality. The company has also been at the forefront of innovation in technology and has a reputation for setting industry trends – the iPod, iPad, Apple iMac and iPhone have all played their part in revolutionising the technology sector.
Their marketing campaigns are often specification based, with clear distinctions between the newer editions and older models of their products. This is summarised perfectly by their 2019 ‘Introducing iPhone 11’ campaign.
The campaign emphasises the style and exclusivity of the product; it is sleek, and simple but effective. There is a simple design, but lots of useful internal features, which align with the sophistication brand persona, which is all about creating a sense of refinement and elegance.
By positioning itself as a brand that embodies this personality framework, Apple has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors and appeal to customers who value style, beauty, and exclusivity in its products.
Hiring new creative talent or training an existing team member to take control of your brand personality means you can create powerful marketing campaigns that humanise your business and create an overall sense of relatability.
What are you waiting for? Download our Level 3 Content Creator Apprenticeship programme guide and get started!