Why You Need a Brand Voice

Creating a persona for your brand is essential to reaching an audience focused on personalised shopping experiences. People seek brands with personalities, qualities that make the brand feel tangible, more human. This means that brands can make mistakes, joke, be vulnerable and connect with consumers as ‘friends’. 

This highly-crafted persona also requires physical attributes that can be judged and deemed attractive and worthy of attention. Your company colors, logo and taglines are obvious contributors to your brand personality.

While it might sound very high-school petty, it is real. Consumers are looking for your personality so they know whether they like your brand and if they want to be associated with it. Your audience is craving connection, and if your brand presents with a strong, attractive personality that has many popular followers, people will choose your brand to associate themselves with to feel that sense of connection.

Why is Brand Personality So Important?

Creating a consistent brand message across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23 percent, according to Forbes. So creating a brand voice that projects your company values is vital to your bottom line.

Your voice needs to be authentic, engaging and transparent. Customers jump from page to page, reading, researching, flickering and making decisions based on huge amounts of information bombarding them through various devices. Audiences are exhausted, but they can’t help but want to identify with the brands that offer a way to either connect them with others who hold the same values or give them a sense of personal identity by buying from your brand.

What’s My Company’s Brand Personality?

Your brand personality should match your customers’ personality. You want to try and attract customers by showing how you are the same, or how they can aspire to be popular like your brand.

In 1997, marketing expert Jennifer Aaker identified the five dimensions of brand personality in The Journal of Marketing Research. The five dimensions of brand personality are excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence and sophistication.

1. Excitement

Excitement conveys a carefree, youthful and spirited attitude. A wide variety of brands use this personality dimension to appeal to audiences. Disney, F1 and Airbnb create images that convey their brand experience as fun and engaging. They are the definition of exciting, carefree and spirited.

2. Sincerity

Sincere personalities are transparent, thoughtful and often family-oriented. Brands wanting to capitalise on this quality present as ethical and responsible, and they take customer expectations seriously. Sincere brands are very successful at building customer trust. Examples of such brands include Redemption, Dove and Hallmark. These companies focus outwardly on social responsibility, environmentalism and spreading joy.

3. Ruggedness

Rugged brand traits include adventurous, tough and athletic. Brands that come to mind are North Face, Jeep and Nike. These brands embody the outdoor lifestyle of their customers. They appeal to customers by being active, hardwearing and long-lasting, as many of their customers wish they were.

4. Competence

A competent brand is innovative, clever and efficient and focuses on leadership. Brands that fall within this personality dimension want to assert themselves as experts in their field. Apple and LuLulemon are examples of competent brands that thrive off innovation, design and leadership.

5. Sophistication

A sophisticated brand is elegant, prestigious, and sometimes even pretentious. Sophistication attracts a very specific group of people. These brands are not for the majority. They cater to the 1 percent willing to spend money on the finer things in life to project status. Examples of brands that attract sophisticated customers are Rolls Royce, Chanel and Rolex. The personality of a sophisticated brand is often flashy and sometimes arrogant, as their customers can be.

How Do I Create a Brand Personality?

Brand personalities are multidimensional and active. While you might have a dominant trait, that doesn’t mean you don’t include other traits – such as a Land Rover being both Rugged and Sophisticated. The car manufacturer produces vehicles that are known as long-lasting, reliable and durable but are also fitted with the highest specs and latest technology, with a price tag to ensure that only those who are financially comfortable would consider purchasing the brand.

Brands like Land Rover are successful at creating a brand personality because they maintain their personality through their actions. They show that they are rugged by creating a quality 4WD. And they show that they are sophisticated by including leather seats, custom interiors and the latest technology.

1. Brainstorm

Before assigning yourself to any one category, write down a list of personality traits you feel represent your brand and target customer. Create groupings of traits that go together and pick the best ones from there.

2. Rate

Aaker suggests rating personality traits on a scale from one to five. One being the least descriptive of your brand and five being the most descriptive of your brand. This can help you eliminate personality traits that don’t represent who you are. It will also help you determine which of your personality traits are the most important to you.

3. Edit

Developing a cohesive brand personality can take years. Changing your brand personality is okay, but it needs to be done subtly and over time. It should be a balance of sticking to core values and adopting new ones as your market changes. Avoid jumping on trends or following fads as they quickly fade, and so will your brand reputation.

How Do I Manage My Brand Personality?

You need to ensure that everyone in the company understands the brand personality and uses the right language when discussing the brand with customers. Your marketing strategy should include words that best describe your brand in everyday discussions. Your social media strategy should also have a consistent vocabulary that connects your brand and audience.

Remember, your brand voice is your company’s personality. It can be multifaceted and intelligent. It can be sensitive and far-reaching. It needs to be consistent. The goal is to personify your brand so that customers will develop a deep sense of loyalty to your human qualities and think of your brand as an entity rather than just a company.