Brand Personality is a mental model that marketing, branding and PR people use in order to explain to their clients that well-defined brands develop some traits that are “human-like” in the way they behave in the marketplace.
It is, however, very tempting to fall in love with these models, and take them literally when they only are an approximation of the truth.
The savannah and the marketplace
Multiple, independent and replicable studies have identified that human personality revolves around five axes: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism. Each of us is a mix of different quantities of these.
The personality traits are common ot all of us, precisely because they helped us survive in the savannah for hundreds of thousands of years.
Brands however, live in a different environment. There little benefit to an introvert brand, when reach is a precious commodity in the market.
The five Brand Personality traits
At Symbolon Branding we have identified five Brand Personality axes as a result of these evolutionary differences:
Extravagant - Utilitarian
Is the brand focused on excess and beauty? Or function and effectiveness?
Friend - Authority
Is the brand capitalising on being close to the consumer? Or on its expertise?
Serious - Fun
Is the brand discreet and serious? Or gregarious and fun?
Traditional - Rebel
Is the brand the result of a long tradition? Or is it zigging where others zag?
Elite - Mass Appeal
Is the brand aiming for the everyman? Or is it satisfied only with the best?