PC vs Mac - Brand Personality
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Develop A Brand Personality People Love In 7 Easy Steps

Picture this. You’re at a party, and your friend nudges you to introduce you to someone new.
Now, you have two options:

You can say, “This is Tim. He’s an accountant, likes numbers, and has a dog,” or you can say, “Meet Tim, the guy who could talk to you about the latest NBA game while solving your taxes. Oh, and he has this lovable Golden Retriever, practically his child.”

Which introduction will make a more lasting impression?

Well, brands are no different. They, too, can benefit from a ‘human touch‘ to give them a relatable brand personality. When you describe a friend, you don’t just list their job title and the car they drive. You talk about how they’re the first to call you when you’re down or always have a funny story to lift your spirits. Similarly, your brand marketing also needs an emotional narrative.

This takes you from “They sell X product” to “They get me.”

Key Takeaways (TLDR)

  • Humanizing your brand by giving it an emotional narrative makes it more relatable.
  • Emotional campaigns connect on a deeper level with consumers.
  • Consistency in brand messaging across all platforms is vital to maintain trust.
  • Authenticity is crucial to developing a trustworthy brand personality.
  • Beyond just marketing, showcasing the real people behind a brand, aligning with meaningful causes, and ensuring inclusivity can deepen the relationship with the audience.

Why Humanizing Your Brand is Essential To Developing An Authentic Brand Personality.

While browsing TV channels, you’ve likely stumbled upon commercials that are just a snooze-fest. You know the ones—the ad rattles off features, specs, and prices, but you’ve switched channels by the end.

Contrast that with memorable ads that tell a story or give the brand a personality. For example, the “Get a Mac” campaigns from 2005 to 2009 portrayed PCs as nerdy and Macs as hip and relatable. The genius here? They didn’t just sell computers; they sold characters—personalities people felt connected to.

According to the Harvard Business Review, humans are wired to connect emotionally, sometimes prioritizing emotions over logic when making purchasing decisions.

Apple nailed this with its “Get a Mac” campaigns. Those ads didn’t just tell you to buy a Mac; they showed you why you’d want to. Mac wasn’t just a computer; it was the cool, laid-back guy you’d want to hang out with. On the other hand, PC was a stuffy office type—a guy bogged down by spreadsheets. That campaign alone shifted the perception of Macs and PCs for a generation of buyers.

The Emotional Quotient of Your Brand

Imagine your brand as a person at a dinner party. You would want to be something other than that guy in the corner, droning on about all his achievements without ever asking how the person across the table is doing.

Instead, you’d want your brand to be the life of the party, someone who listens, connects, and adds value to the conversation. That’s where humanizing your brand and crafting an authentic brand personality comes in, and trust me, it’s not just a buzzword; it’s a necessity. But as the saying goes, it’s not only what you say but also what you do.

In 2021, a Sprout Social survey found that 70% of consumers feel connected to brands actively involved in social causes they care about.

With the competition heating up, brands can no longer afford to be faceless corporations. They need personalities, emotions, and values that resonate with their audience. Not only in your marketing and branding messaging but in your actions, from producing high-quality products and services to your activities within and outside your industry.

People Trust People, Not Products

To humanize your brand effectively, you’ve got to be creative and a good storyteller. Use analogies that make complex concepts simple and relatable. Ever wonder why influencer marketing is so effective? It’s because people trust other people way more than they trust a brand.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of people trust what influencers say about brands more than what brands say about themselves. You’re golden if you can make your brand as trustworthy as a good friend.

In fact, when we purchase goods, particularly luxury goods, we aren’t only buying the product for its inherent functionality. That purchasing decision was influenced in some way by our ability to picture the type of people who would also buy that product. That imagined or real person reflects a personality we aspire to become. The product is simply a tool to achieve that.

How to Craft A Brand Personality: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Visualizing Your Brand and Its Brand Personality

The first step towards defining your brand personality will require some imagination. You need to visualize what your brand personality would look like as a person with real human traits and human characteristics.

Are they good-looking business people in a suit? Are they a fun young adult casually dressed in jeans with a hoodie? Or it could be a rock star socialite in a leather jacket with diamond studs wearing sunglasses at night.

Apple vs Mac Band Personality

Whatever it is, how they dress often gives us questions about how they will act and speak to others. The businessman’s brand personality could be calm and collected, or they could be aggressive and loud.

If your visualized brand walked into an elevator, how do you want people to perceive them? How would they answer if someone asked them what they did for a living?

Don’t leave out the details either; everything from their hairstyle to their accessories all help to develop a more detailed and complete picture. Visualizing your brand’s physical attributes also gives you a glimpse into your target customer and market. After all, birds of a feather, right?

It also helps you begin to develop a voice for your brand personality. The language, tone, and even the words they use would be reflected in how your other marketing materials and advertisements speak to customers.

When combined with all these things, physical appearance, personality traits, how they carry themselves, and how they communicate with others represent how your brand acts and how you want customers to see your brand.

Of course, how you and the public see your brand could be very different. However, the goal is to create a path from which you can begin narrowing that gap to where you see your brand, which is how people see your brand.

2. Analogies and Narratives

Analogies and narratives are to brand communication what spices are to grandma’s secret stew—essential for adding character and flavor. Think back to the stories you heard as a kid, complete with heroes and life lessons. Your website and brand should do the same: tell stories that captivate and resonate.

Take Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ campaign from earlier. It wasn’t about computers; it was a sitcom mini-series contrasting a cool Mac with a stuffy PC. So, whether crafting the next viral marketing campaign or figuring out your brand’s voice, remember: A sprinkle of narrative and a dash of analogy can make your brand unforgettable.

3. Emotion-Driven Campaigns

Ah, the power of emotion-driven campaigns, the marketing world’s answer to reality TV. Take Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. Instead of pushing soap, they sold self-confidence, challenging society’s beauty norms. It wasn’t just advertising; it was Dove standing beside you like that friend who boosts your self-esteem without needing a ‘pep-talk script.’

Dove Real Beauty Campaign - Brand Personality Example

Then there’s Nike’s “Just Do It,” more than just a tagline for athletic gear. It’s like your best buddy telling you to take that leap—literally or metaphorically. Nike doesn’t just sell shoes; they sell a life philosophy, tapping into our deeper drives to overcome and succeed.

Nike Brand Personality through brand philosophy

Nike’s brand personality of confidence, strength, and determination to overcome challenges is so broad that it can apply to abstract ideas instead of just products.

Nike brand personality products relationship

In fact, even when Nike changes their tagline for specific ads, you can still hear the whisper of Nike’s brand personality in your ear saying, “Just Do It.”

Nike brand personality beyond products - emotional connections

By using brand loyalty and employing these emotion-driven strategies, brands like Dove and Nike go beyond just hawking products; they enter a long-term relationship with their consumers. This emotional dimension adds a human touch to their brand identity, making them memorable and lovable.

4. Consistency is Key

Consistency is key, but many brands fumble it. Imagine if a friend suddenly switched from casual to speaking like Shakespeare—you’d be confused, right? The same holds for brands. For example, suppose a brand you know for its playful tone suddenly sends a formal email. In that case, it disrupts the emotional connection you’ve built.

Take McDonald’s as a counterpoint. They’ve stuck with their “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan for over 18 years, keeping their tone light and family-friendly across all platforms.

McDonalds Consistency in brand personality

This consistency has cemented them as a cultural staple, making them feel less like a corporation and more like a reliable buddy.

So, when building your brand’s personality, think of it as setting expectations. If you’re the life of the party, be that consistently. If you’re the trusted advisor, maintain that persona. Keep the brand experience uniform so your audience knows what to expect and feels comfortable engaging with you.

5. Speak Your Audience’s Language

Have a buddy who can fit into any group like he’s been there for years? That’s because he speaks their language, literally. The same goes for brands. If you’re after Gen Z, sounding like a corporate robot won’t cut it. You’ve got to be fluent in emojis and memes, just like Wendy’s nailed with their snarky Twitter persona.

But fitting in isn’t just about slang; it’s about getting your target audience across to have a normal conversation with you. If you’re a fitness brand aimed at busy parents, skip the gym jargon. Focus on quick workouts and kid-friendly meals. Share real-life tips on juggling health and parenting.

By doing this, you’re not just selling the customer a product but becoming a trusted friend with shared experiences and solutions. You become a part of their world, and that’s the first step in making them a part of yours.

6. Don’t Fake It

You know that awkward moment when someone’s trying too hard to be your friend? Laughing a bit too much, nodding like a bobblehead? Feels weird, right? Brands can make the same mistake.

Take Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad. They tried to ride the social justice wave and ended up wiping out, damaging their credibility. People can spot fake faster than a cat pounces on a laser dot.

Soon after, they did everything they could to sweep it under the rug, but the public wouldn’t let them forget it. You know it’s terrible when SNL cements your failure in a skit to last forever.

On the flip side, consider Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Sure, it was a lightning rod, but it was true to Nike’s core values. They took a risk, shot up sales, and nailed the trust game with their audience.

Nike Brand Personality authenticity and principles

Being authentic means standing by your principles, even when it’s risky. Like in any relationship, honesty might not win you universal approval, but it will earn you respect and loyalty from the people who matter most.

7. Show the People Behind the Brand

Want to make your brand more relatable? Think of it like your favorite TV show; people love characters. Take Ben & Jerry’s. They put their faces and causes right on the carton. They invite you to chat about sustainable farming over a scoop of Chunky Monkey. It adds depth to their brand, making them about more than just ice cream.

Ben and Jerry's brand personality through social causes

In our social media age, the sophistication of this concept has leveled up. Companies like Buffer use Instagram to spotlight team members with hobbies and pets in their #BufferLove series.

Buffer Brand Personality - BufferLove Series

It’s like hanging the chef’s portrait in a restaurant; you get to know the person behind the experience. This adds a human touch that makes the brand a character in your daily scroll, just like your friends or favorite TV characters.

Considerations for Successful Humanization

  • Genuine Emotion: Don’t fake it. People can smell insincerity from a mile away.
  • Balance: While getting emotional is important, remember you’re still a business. So, a dash of professionalism is essential.
  • Inclusivity: In the attempt to be relatable, ensure you’re not alienating a part of your audience. Your brand should be a welcoming party everyone wants to join.

Going Beyond the Basics

Once you’ve humanized your brand, consider taking it further by creating meaningful connections and aligning with causes that matter to your audience. It’s like befriending your friend’s friends; it strengthens the relationship.

Additionally, leverage technology like chatbots but ensure they have a conversational tone. Make them an extension of your company or brand’s personality, not just a robotic FAQ section.

Wrapping It Up

Humanizing your brand isn’t about a one-off campaign or a clever tweet. It’s about consistently showing your audience that behind the logo, tagline, and products, a heart beats similarly to theirs.

Brands like Apple and Coca-Cola have successfully turned their products into icons by focusing on stories, not specs.

Suppose you master this art of humanization. Not only will your products sell, but they’ll also be loved. In that case, that’s a marketer’s happily ever after. Just remember that brand personality matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a brand personality example?

A brand personality example is Apple’s portrayal as innovative, sleek, and user-friendly, fostering a sense of modern sophistication and forward-thinking among its consumers.

What are the 5 brand personalities?

The 5 brand personalities are: Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness.

What are the brand personalities of a company?

The brand personalities of a company refer to the set of human characteristics attributed to the brand, shaping how consumers perceive and relate to it, such as being reliable, playful, luxurious, or adventurous.

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