Do you know your Brand Personality?
Brand Personality describes human characteristics that can be associated with your brand. These traits are things your customers can relate to. Just as our friends are a reflection on each one of us, so are the businesses and services we choose to patronize. A successful brand personality is one with which others are proud to be associated. Each brand has a personality, regardless of whether or not you’ve given it serious thought. As long as you have one, you may as well give it a deliberate look.
One way to find your brand personality is to consider traditional character archetypes. There are 12 archetypes, or models of behavior, throughout storytelling, and these same archetypes can be applied to brands. The question here is, “What role does your brand play in the lives of your customers?”
The 12 archetypes of branding are:
- The Traditionalist: Sometimes known as “The Innocent”, Traditionalist brands offer their customers a pure and simple way of life. Marketing campaigns are just as simple as the brand promise. Companies offer transparency and moderate pricing.
- The Promise: To make life happier, simpler, and better.
- Traits: Optimism, goodwill, and loyalty
- Examples: Folger’s, Dove Soap, Real Simple Magazine, Coca Cola
- The Hero: Hero brands promise to save the day, improve the world, and inspire others to follow their example.
- The Promise: To make a positive mark on the world and solve problems, or help others to do so.
- Traits: Courageous, bold, confident, inspirational
- Examples: Duracell, Tom’s, PETA
- The Everyman: These brands find common ground with the consumer, tapping into our need for belonging and cultivate real relationships.
- The Promise: To help others find a place to belong.
- Connections, functionality,
- Traits: Supportive, down-to-earth,
- Examples: Home Depot, Papa John’s, IKEA
- The Nurturer: Nurturing brands focus on helping people take care of each other and themselves. They offer protection, safety, and support.
- The Promise: To care for and protect others
- Traits: Maternal, selfless, generous
- Examples: Campbell’s Soup, Johnson and Johnson, Hallmark Cards
- The Creator: These brands want to create something meaningful and lasting. Their ads are experimental, pushing boundaries and shunning mediocrity.
- The Promise: To unlock your creativity and promote self-expression
- Traits: Imaginative, inventive, entrepreneurial
- Examples: Lego, Canon, Crayola
- The Explorer: Rugged and ambitious, Explorer brands want to help you make new discoveries and experience your best life. Products are new, exciting, and often non-conformist.
- The Promise: To bring freedom and adventure into your life
- Traits: Authentic, exciting, adventurous, and independent
- Examples: Indiana Jones, Go Pro, REI
- The Lover: We all want a little romance in our lives. Lover brands promise intimacy and affection by improving the customer in some way.
- The Promise: You will be more physically or emotionally attractive or desirable through use of their products
- Traits: Passionate, sensual, romantic, and idealistic
- Examples: Victoria’s Secret, Godiva Chocolates, Cosmopolitan Magazine
- The Visionary: Visionary brands seek to change lives (and the world) with their unique, cutting-edge, and proprietary products or services.
- The Promise: To make dreams come true.
- Traits: Imaginative, charismatic, and idealistic
- Examples: Disney, Apple
- The King: These brands are usually in the luxury market – companies usually appeal to dominant and authoritative customers who want only “the best.”
- The Promise: Power and control
- Traits: Authority, organization, focus, integrity
- Examples: Mercedes-Benz, Rolex
- The Entertainer: The name says it all. You only live once and these companies want to help you enjoy every minute.
- The Promise: To bring joy, to help people have a good time
- Traits: Irreverence, humor, adventure
- Examples: The Muppets, Ben & Jerry’s, Skittles, Old Spice
- The Sage: The Sage, or Expert, appreciates truth and wisdom. Knowledge and growth go hand in hand and these brands love to pass their information on to others.
- The Promise: To keep you informed
- Traits: Knowledgeable, analytical, measured
- Examples: CNN, NPR, Google
So where do you fit? When you see or hear an ad or product, see if you can figure out their archetype. Study examples of brands that fit well into archetypes. Ask yourself:
Which brands and archetypes do you identify with most?
When you think of your customers, how do you want them to think and feel about your company? Which archetype fits your expectations?
What changes can you make to further develop your brand archetype?