How To Determine Your Brand Personality

12 Nov How To Determine Your Brand Personality

According to Stanford psychology prof Jennifer Aaker, the idea of simplicity should be addressed when considering your brand personality. Brand personalities come in five different flavours; think of which best describes your company…

Sincerity – your brand’s personality is domestic, honest, genuine, cheerful

Excitement – meaning daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date

Competence – reliable, responsible, dependable, efficient

Sophistication – glamorous, charming, romantic, presentation

Ruggedness – tough, strong, outdoorsy, rugged

So how is your brand presented? For instance, a bar with a western theme makes sense and allows us to clearly define what it is. But amorphous branding, the combining of too many disparate elements, leaves folks wondering who you are and what you stand for.

Digging into your brand’s personality a little deeper, we can use the Johari Window to see your brand for what it really is. The Johari window was developed in the 50s as a model for mapping ‘personality awareness’. It was invented so you can discover more about yourself – and how others see you – by describing yourself from a list of adjectives, and then asking your friends to describe you from the same list. As you get input, you see more clearly the difference between how you see yourself and how others see you.

Performing the same exercise on your business will help unveil how your prospects and customers think about your brand, and more importantly, how their perceptions differ from your reality.

Let’s look at the Johari Window in terms of your brand: the four quadrants include:

  1. all attributes of your brand
  2. who you say you are
  3. who people think you are
  4. who you really are

Of course, the objective here is to ensure the attributes in each of the quadrants match. There shouldn’t be any large gaps between the quadrants.

As the view of your brand personality is developed, your marketing efforts will become more effective. Your business performance and bottom line will improve too, since less energy and money will be spent putting out irrelevant or confusing messages to prospects who just don’t get who you really are and what you’re trying to sell. You’ll know everything is in alignment when you’re not only talking the talk, you’re walking the walk.


Mike McCurlie
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