28 Brand Personality

A Black man wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt speaks into a megaphone to a crowd.
Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

Brands have a personality. Branding, according to Lois Geller, is an ongoing process of looking at a company or product’s past and present to create a cohesive personality going forward. Branding is your organization’s representation as a personality, in Dave Kerpen’s words. A well-designed brand personality resonates in everything the product or business does from customer service to the actual products a company may offer.

The meaning of a brand in the consumer’s life is derived from the positioning of the brand and the image formed by the brand in the consumers’ minds. This image depends on brand personality. Perhaps the most important consideration when creating a brand personality is whether or not there is a close relationship between the personality traits of the target consumers and the brand personality thought to be formed. The brand purchasing behaviour and brand loyalty highly depend on the extent to which brand personality is similar to the personality of the consumer’s or someone of whom the consumer is a fan. Brand personality is a strategic tool that shapes the brand’s communication with consumers.

Brands can reflect and communicate themselves through their personalities in the minds of consumers. The brand personality becomes a key concept at this point to establish closer and more loyal relationships with the consumers or to be differentiated in the consumer’s mind. Brand personality refers to the common style and attitude that the brand would use for transmitting its message. In this sense, brand personality is a very important factor in establishing an emotional bond. While creating the brand personality, it is necessary to consider the consumer’s preference for the brand depending on the situation and conditions and to determine the appropriate image and emotional forms.

Brand Adjectives

A Brand Personality Exercise

Choose 4-7 words you feel best describe your organization and write them down. Describe what this adjective means for your organization and your supporters. Keep these on file to reference during the rest of the branding process.

  • Adaptable
  • Gentle
  • Adventurous
  • Helpful
  • Agreeable
  • Honest
  • Aggressive
  • Imaginative
  • Ambitious
  • Independent
  • Analytical
  • Inspiring
  • Approachable
  • Intelligent
  • Authoritative
  • Innovative
  • Bold
  • Knowledgeable
  • Casual
  • Mature
  • Cautious
  • Modern
  • Charismatic
  • Organized
  • Clear
  • Playful
  • Clever
  • Pleasant
  • Collaborative
  • Practical
  • Colourful
  • Professional
  • Competitive
  • Proud
  • Confident
  • Quirky
  • Conservative
  • Radical
  • Contemporary
  • Rebellious
  • Cooperative
  • Reliable
  • Courageous
  • Savvy
  • Creative
  • Serious
  • Critical
  • Sleek
  • Curious
  • Sophisticated
  • Determined
  • Straightforward
  • Demanding
  • Strategic
  • Direct
  • Striking
  • Edgy
  • Strong
  • Eccentric
  • Social
  • Encouraging
  • Stubborn
  • Energetic
  • Supportive
  • Enthusiastic
  • Sustainable
  • Fierce
  • Trendy
  • Flexible
  • Trustworthy
  • Formal
  • Unconventional
  • Fresh
  • Urban
  • Fun
  • Visionary

Additional Learning

Read more about developing a brand personality: Adjectives that can Define your Brand Personality

Once You Have Your Adjectives

  1. Brainstorm what the chosen adjectives have in common
  2. What visual signifiers may help in the logo and tagline process
  3. Draw/create 2-3 mood boards of visual signifiers
  4. Compare the mood boards to create a theme/ style for your brand

Brand Experience

It is important to consider how your brand is consistently conveyed in your brand experiences and how your audience perceives these experiences. Brand experience is conceptualized as a multi-dimensional construct and defined as “sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioural responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments” (Brakus et al., 2009; Khan & Rahman, 2015).

We often find ourselves getting so caught up in our business strategies, schedules and plans that we sometimes forget to appreciate what people actually want or expect from these experiences. To avoid this from happening, one of the best methods is to think of the brand experience as an ecosystem that surrounds a brand and that every element within that ecosystem has a part to play in encouraging customer loyalty.

The ecosystem that surrounds a brand can be described using the following 7 P’s of the extended marketing mix:

  1. Product – The product or service offering needs to be relevant to the consumer and most importantly, match what they expect.
  2. Place – Whether the store is on the high street or online, the location should be ideal and conveniently located for the consumer.
  3. Price – The price should take the target audience into account and should be perceived as value for money, regardless of the expense of the product or service.
  4. Promotion – Advertising and promotion need to be consistent and communicated via the most relevant channels for the consumer, such as social media or email.
  5. People – Every person that represents the brand, from the admin assistant through to the Managing Director needs to be the right fit.
  6. Process – The process, from the consumer finding the store to receiving the product or service, needs to be as streamlined as possible.
  7. Physical Evidence – The consumer needs to see tangible evidence of their purchase, whether it’s the physical product or the end result of a service.

Examples of brand experience touchpoints can include:

  • Social media interactions
  • First impressions on your website
  • Customer experience
  • Membership or loyalty programs
  • Events or activities tied to the brand
  • Word-of-mouth marketing from your customers
  • If you go back to your responses, can you think of how brand experience touchpoints have helped you create an impression of a brand? Can you think of any additional touchpoints that you might have in your own brand or organization?

Research has proven that a brand’s experience can strongly impact brand reputation. In a study focusing on smartphone brands, “when the consumer is exposed to too much or less technology turbulence, free expression of the behavioural brand experience strongly impacts a brand reputation.” If each element of the marketing mix is carefully considered and executed effectively, then customers are more likely to have a positive brand experience, which strengthens customer loyalty.

Companies can do a lot to create and build brands, but the net impact and value is what happens inside the mind of the consumer. The supreme challenge of a brand is to make your vision of your brand the same thing other people experience and believe about your brand.

Additional Learning

Read more about Jamie’s first impressions of Hotel Chocolat’s brand experience and how the 7 P’s of the extended marketing mix are utilized at Baker Stuart: Why Brand Experience Strengthens Customer Loyalty

Brand Messaging

Organizations must also determine what type of appeal to use and how to structure their messages. Some of the common campaign appeals within non-profits are emotional, rational (informative), and environmentally conscious. These appeals make each campaign memorable. A guideline is to establish a company image that clearly reflects the values and the aspirations of the company to employees, customers, intermediaries, and the general public.

Firms also decide whether to use strategies such as an open-ended or closed-ended message; whether to use a one-sided or two-sided message; and whether to use slogans, characters, or jingles. An open-ended message allows the consumer to draw his or her own conclusion, such as a commercial for perfume or cologne. A closed-ended message draws a logical conclusion. Most messages are one-sided, stressing only the positive aspects, similar to what you include on your résumé. However, two-sided messages are often utilized as well.

Another large factor in determining your message is determining its tone of voice. A brand’s tone of voice is the communication it takes with its targeted audience. It is how you want to express your brand in all areas of key messaging and customer touchpoints. Use the worksheet “Determining Tone” for your own non-profit and No HungerBC to generate your own messaging ideas.

Channels and Accessibility

Choosing the channels you promote your brand through is important because it contributes to your brand image in your audience’s minds. Social marketing is a term used to describe marketing that aims to reach a social objective. A good example is the American Heart Association (AHA) where they used doctors’ offices to promote their brand to their audience. The AHA created a book containing their healthy diet plan and sent copies to doctors to distribute to their patients. By distributing through the doctor’s offices audiences connect the brand to their trusted doctors.

Accessibility for a campaign is important in order to reach all key audiences. For example, digital campaigns on social media are very popular however, they may not reach all audiences such as the older demographics including seniors.


This page contains material taken from 11.5 Message Strategies from Principles of Marketing (used under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 International license), material is taken from Nonprofit Marketing from Boundless Marketing (used under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 International license) and material taken from Keys to Marketing Success, and Summary from Core Concepts of Marketing (used under a CC BY 3.0 US license)

This page also contains material taken from:

Akin, M. (2017). The Impacts of Brand Personality on Brand Loyalty: A Research on Automobile Brands in Turkey. International Journal of Marketing Studies9(2), 134. doi: 10.5539/ijms.v9n2p134

Cohen, H. (2011, August 16). What is Branding? Retrieved from 

Lawn, K. (2019, May 13). Why Brand Experience Strengthens Customer Loyalty. Retrieved from

Lumen Learning. (n.d.). Principles of Marketing [Deprecated]. Retrieved from

Minnesota, U. o. (n.d.). Who Does Marketing. Retrieved from Principles of Marketing:

Ozyer, Y. (2016). Understanding the Impact of the Brand Experience on Brand Reputation by the Moderating Role of Technology Turbulence. International Journal of Marketing Studies8(1), 161-169.


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An Open Guide to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Copyright © by Andrea Niosi and KPU Marketing 4201 Class of Summer 2020 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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