Long hair, big eyes, curvy body and long legs. These are attributes of women that men are attracted to look at. (We absolutely abhor the notion of objectifying women by the way, but that’s a topic for another day.) You may want to chat her up and get to know her, but you know it is more than just her looks that will keep you interested. Things you would want to find out is if she has a friendly and cheerful disposition, outspoken character or a sense of humour. In this context, this is why companies need to understand the importance of brand personality or in simple terms; the “inner beauty” and this is what we will be discussing in this blogpost.
Putting the sexy lady concept into the context of business, companies are used to selling base on product attributes or features. “41 megapixel rear camera smartphone”, “best coffee in town” or “friendly and efficient service” are enticing propositions from businesses. Yes, these are the unique selling propositions of your product or service that attracts customer’s attention but the big question is, would this be sufficient to retain your customer?
Consumer behaviour is constantly changing. People may buy your product because it satisfies their current need but that may not lead to a repurchase in the future. They react to advertising and marketing messages and connect with brand that they can relate to. This leads to brand loyalty or advocacy.
As mentioned above, the inner beauty, character or personality of a person is what sustains friendship and this is exactly how brands should look at building long term relationships with customers. How does brand personality connect with customer? Let’s start with the definition of brand personality.
What is brand personality?
Brand personality is the human characteristics that affects how a brand behaves. What would your perception of person X, a professional, witty, confident and disciplined character be? As compared to person Y, a cheerful, friendly, enthusiastic and out-going character? How would you expect these two people to dress and speak?
A person’s way of dressing and speaking is a reflection of their personality. You would imagine that person X is wearing an office suit, standing tall and speaking about the economy or politics because of the professional and confident persona. As compared to person Y’s cheerful, friendly and enthusiastic persona who may be wearing something sporty and chatting about food or travel.
To understand the concept of branding, it is always good to think of the brand as a person and relate human behaviour to branding for your business.
Why consumers relate to strong personalities rather than product or service attributes
If a lady constantly talks about maintaining her long luscious hair, you eventually will get bored and want to find someone else to talk to. This is what will happen to your consumers if your brand constantly talks about the same things.
When selling or promoting your products or services, it has always been important to differentiate and highlight the unique features or attribute. But one thing that most SMEs don’t realise is that selling base on attribute does not sustain conversations and build relationships. Learning your brand personality will help you identify how you can portray and talk about your brand through different scenarios.
Let’s use Piquant as an example. Our brand personality encompasses being chic, confident, creative, real and candid. We reflect these characteristics through a champagne pink visual identity. Our copywriting style is slightly informal or thought provoking and we occasionally use bright colours and images to reflect our creative and candid nature. Our brand personality guides our visual and verbal identity. It also helps us to identify marketing activities and campaigns, thus you will probably never see a Piquant ad that is extremely serious or theoretical. Or boring, for that matter.
Defining your brand personality can help your business connect with your consumers better and also have consistency in your marketing and copywriting. Follow these tips for developing your brand personality.
1) How old do you think your brand should be? Depending on the age group, what will people that age be doing?
2) Reflect on the values that is important to your company and identify the type of person that would share these values.
3) What are the future plans of your business? Do you think the answers above will assist you achieve your future goals?
It is time that SMEs start realising that big brands are influencing marketing and advertising activities and consumers are directly impacted. Thus SMEs need to keep up in order to survive. This is part of the series “why preserve the status quo”. Click on the following links to read the other parts of this series.