Are you curious about the best ways to improve your brand and establish a connection with your target audience? A brand personality, which encompasses everything from the logomark to the colors and typefaces, is the humanizing facet of any company’s branding and is essential to have if you want to increase sales and build genuine relationships with your audience.
According to a two-year study by a consumer marketing research agency, customers have a 306% higher customer lifetime value when they emotionally connect with the brands and enterprises they do business with.
The marketing psychology behind this is simple.
Customers will purchase from brands and businesses that they personally favor, trust and feel a connection to. This is the same principle behind having celebrity endorsements, social proof and emotional advertisements that tug at the heartstrings. People want to purchase from people and businesses that are like them or have a persona that they like.
Without a brand personality, there’s no reason for people to like you, choose you or become your advocates.
You’ll be lost in an unending sea of anonymous competitors fighting for the attention of customers who won’t stop by. After all, when was the last time you wished you could be friends with someone who you found unattractive, uninteresting, or dull?
What is a Brand Personality?
A brand personality, also known as a brand archetype, is an overarching set of values, traits and characteristics that come together to bring a brand to life. In essence, brand personalities and brand archetypes are personal, humanizing personalities given to brands to better relate to and engage with a target demographic or audience.
A brand personality or brand archetype can be portrayed through brand messaging systems. This can include an organization or business’s copy and content, their interaction on social media and even through policies such as brand philosophies and corporate social responsibility.
These messaging systems need to work together in order to convey a clear and cohesive message to your audience – that your business and/or brand has values and beliefs that are in line with theirs.
Huge, ubiquitous brands like McDonalds, Walmart and even sectors such as Oil & Energy have all undergone huge rebranding efforts to not only connect with their audience but to realign their values to target new and changing demographics. Such efforts have seen a revamping of design elements such as logos, font and colors and a rewriting of their corporate brand story.
12 Brand Personality Examples
Brand archetypes and brand personalities follow in the footsteps of Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jung contributed extensively to academia surrounding the theory of and the development of personality. As Jung, and many marketers would later discover, personalities play a large part in influencing and affecting our day-to-day life.
These personalities mirror many of the personality traits that we might recognize in ourselves and peers, helping us and other consumers like us to familiarize ourselves with and relate to personified brands.
Here are 12 brand personality examples that many modern-day brands have adopted and utilized to better engage their audience. You might also notice that these brand personalities have an accompanying brand story to better sell their personified imagery.
1. The Lover
Sensual, desirable and sought after, you’re the prima donna of your industry; Lady Godiva of your market and Helen of Troy to your audience. You don’t just feel love, you are love, and you extend this philosophy of self-love and respect to your audience through cultivating personal, intimate relationships. After all, what is a life without love?
Indulgent in passion, “the Lover” is emblematic of everything that entices the senses – aesthetic visuals, sensory experiences and illustrious yearning. However, “the Lover” is not just involved with passionate, hedonistic pursuits; “the Lover” is in pursuit of passionate, meaningful connections. Whether it’s romantic, familial or personal – relationships reign supreme.
2. The Caregiver
Bulwark for the innocent and protector of the people, “the Caregiver’s” primary objective is to make their audience feel safe, secure, and provided for. “The Caregiver” asks not what their consumers can do for them, but what you can do for their consumers. Generosity, compassion and understanding are values that “the Caregiver” embodies and champions.
Paternally motivated, “the Caregiver” is happiest when they are helping others. Whether it’s by offering time-saving convenience, providing peace of mind or protecting others from harm, “the Caregiver” is a people-person first and a brand and company second.
3. The Explorer
You’re self-sufficient. You’re restlessly ambitious. You take the road less traveled. Summing it up – you’re “the explorer.” Individuality reigns supreme and “The Explorer” is always looking for the freedom to grow and be whoever and wherever they want to be. A strong belief in personal experiences, self-sufficiency and personal growth being achieved through adventure and the joy of discovery characterizes this personality.
“The Explorer” is ready to start a journey at the drop of a dime, and they want to help their audience achieve the same freedom. This personality doesn’t appeal to the successful layperson. Any non-conforming, non-traditional person is this brand’s primary audience. More than helping them start their next adventure or arrive at their next destination, “The Explorer” is most focused on helping their consumers find and express themselves, no matter their voyage.
4. The Hero
Leading the charge to triumph over the adversary, “The Hero” affects change and inspires growth, even if that involves sacrifice. “The Hero” knows right from wrong and isn’t afraid to be brave to improve the lives of their audience, motivating them into action or inspiring change. “The Hero” believes in leading by example. Having complete faith behind their convictions, “The Hero” aims to leave a positive mark on its audience, their problems, and the world as a whole.
Read Also: What is Brand Personality?
As a motivator and changemaker, “The Hero” engages with their audience primarily through motivating them and inspiring action. Rising to the challenge, “The Hero” sees no mountain too high to climb or any river as too wide to cross. If there’s a will there’s a way. “The Hero “challenges its audience too, daring them to disrupt the status quo and spurring a paradigm shift. Achievement and goal-oriented, “The Hero” instills competency and doesn’t accept anything less.
5. The Ruler
Don’t be misled, “The Ruler” doesn’t rule over its audience; it rules over its industry. As industry leaders, “The Ruler” doesn’t just have high standards, they’re the ones that set the standard. As emulators of quality of the highest caliber, “The Ruler” maintains mastery over their domain and serves as a role model for newcomers to the scene.
Brands that emulate this personality promise power, prestige and prosperity. These brands dominate the industry that they rule over, and they’re able to bestow to their audience that same feeling of authority and status. Whilst their audience may be predominantly consumed by image, status and their reputation, “The Ruler” remains aloof. Their ability to unceasingly perpetuate their authoritative image through their time-tested products and services protects their grip on power. That being said, they remain respectful and professional towards their audience and still aim to empower them.
6. The Creator
Pining for the realization of their aesthetic and vision, “The Creator” is poetry and creativity in motion. As a visionary, “The Creator” is focused solely on creating something that has never been created before. Their raison d’etre is to create and to create with authenticity. Generic, mundane and conformist ideals are rejected in lieu of their own, inspired by their deep love for the freedom of expression.
Brands with this personality are driven by both the creative process and the result, ensuring that these two parts of a whole are perfect and complimentary. High levels of quality control and value are emblematic of these brands, and they won’t stop until they’re able to meet their own standards of perfection. If not already on their own journey for aesthetic perfection, they’re helping others foster their own creativity and inventiveness, providing them with the tools necessary to create their own, authentic ideas.
7. The Outlaw
The Rebel isn’t afraid to speak up, even if that means offending and alienating a few people. A strong believer in their ideals, “The Rebel” is courageous, flexible and a free thinker. These brands appreciate the unconventional and reject the traditional and break away from trends and fads to establish their own.
Fast encroaching ideas and ways of thinking may threaten those who feel disenfranchised or excluded from conventional society. “The Rebel” provides an identity to rally behind and helps those who are marginalized retain their principles which are threatened by new, encroaching, values. “The Rebel” can either encourage and help their audience challenge convention, or simply help them fit in by providing them with a counter-cultural home.
8. The Everyman
Down-to-earth, hard-working and genuine – “the Everyman” is your representative of the everyday men and women of the world. Unpretentious, unassuming and humble, “the Everyman” wants nothing more than to fit in and be accepted as a part of a community. These brands don’t mind being ordinary or care about making waves – they’re more interested in providing a consistently reliable service and helping their community than anything else.
“The Everyman” brand emulates a warm and inviting family, with many of their products/services targeting the larger, mass market instead of smaller, niche circles. Relatable, traditional and amiable, these brands win their audience over with their home-town charm, girl/boy-next-door likeability and simplicity.
9. The Sage
Brands who have “the Sage” personality are the guides, counselors and experts of the world. They don’t just contribute to humanity’s growing body of knowledge, they actively encourage others to think objectively and aid them in making informed decisions. “Sage” brands shed the light of clarity into the murky waters of false advertising, marketing untruths and misleading information.
“The Sage” is transparent in their branding. Flashy and showy marketing tactics are discarded in lieu of clear facts, hard numbers and empirical data. Claims are backed up by research, analysis and industry expertise – never ignorance or conjecture.
10. The Innocent
Aptly named, “the innocent” encourages uncomplicating things and a return to the nostalgic days of youth. Brands with this personality have one goal in mind – to provide an experience/product that brings them back to simpler, more innocent times.
Rooted in simplicity, this personality’s marketing and brand appeal is rooted in its accessibility and openness. Despite the increasingly harsh and busy demands of everyday life, everybody still deserves to be happy, and the innocent provides this fulfillment by epitomizing happiness. A product that’s able to give a moment of reprieve, deliver simple joys through simple means and make their consumers pine for halcyon is what “innocent” brands excel at.
11. The Jester
Perhaps no other brand is as comfortable in their own skin as the jester. Unafraid to be silly and stand out, the jester is the life of every party and reminds us that life should be enjoyed – even if that means being a little off-beat and goofy.
Similar to the “innocent,” the Jester personality archetype aims to reunite their customers with their younger, less serious selves. Jester brands aim to represent an opportunity to return to the more mischievous days of youth where everything was a little bit more light-hearted. The negative that go with being the class clown though, is that nobody takes you too seriously. Some consumers may think that the brand lacks depth and personality, to the point of coming off as crass and inappropriate – especially if they take a controversial topic or talking point too far.
12. The Magician
This personality sounds esoteric and certainly, some inspiration is drawn from the cabalistic but the true depth of this brand archetype comes from a seemingly “magic” ability to help their clients realize their vision, incite a sense of wonder or set a new perspective in their customers. Cemented in mysterious and difficult-to-grasp concepts, the Magician is highly secretive of their spells and rituals – using each elaborately to inspire and transmute dreams into reality.
Magician brands are usually on the cutting edge of innovation. It’s this “magic” that allows them to spellbind their customers and clients into imagining endless opportunities. As long as Magicians are able to convince others to believe in something greater than themselves their customers don’t have to understand how they do it and often don’t try to. Consumers drawn to this brand will have their focus on transforming themselves and the world around them – understanding how is within the Magician’s domain.
While these 12 brand personality examples are a good stepping-off point, there is much more to branding than a brand story and picking an archetype.
From the brand logo and colors to tone of voice and typography, branding only kicks into gear when all these moving parts come together holistically as a whole – acting as one to convey consistent brand messaging that aligns everything that your company is and does as one unit.
A branding strategy needs to be intentional, strategic and heavily researched in order to be effective. While this type of work can be done in-house, we strongly recommend consulting digital marketing specialists such as ourselves for an entire suite of branding services including but not limited to interactive design, content, copy and graphic design and branding and identity.