What is brand personality?

|| July 22, 2014

Brand personality is a short-hand way of summing up a brand's style.

During the 1990s, it was widely believed that brands developed a personality, and that consumers responded to them like people. Recent research, however, including fMRI based studies, show that people respond to brands in the same way that they respond to words, rather than in the way they respond to people.

Nonetheless, strong brands have distinctive styles, and it is still a useful shorthand to refer to this as the brand's 'personality', as long as we recognise that the 'personality' markers — ruggedness, sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, or responsibility, activity, aggressiveness, simplicity and emotionality — are not the same as human personality traits, such as those identified by Myers and Briggs and used in the well-known Myers-Briggs profiles.