5 overused brand personalities.
Every brand wants to be trustworthy, which means this trait is always offered up, and always underperforms. No one is looking to have an untrustworthy brand, so this is already an intrinsic part of your brand DNA without using it as a guiding principle.
Instead of trustworthy, look at what you might find as trustworthy traits in a person. What makes them trustworthy?
Alternatives to a trustworthy brand personality trait:
The epitome of low hanging fruit when it comes to brand personalities. What do people like? Humour. So what are we? Funny. It entirely ignores the complexities of your audience—and of the human psyche. Humour is a spectrum, and each ‘genre’ has a different way of presenting, personality-wise. A sarcastic brand voice sounds very different to a pun-loving brand. Which side of jokey vs witty will you sit on? And how will your brand personality guide that?
Alternatives to a funny brand personality trait:
A ‘happy’ brand personality is pleasantly vague and perfectly safe… which means it will elicit absolutely nothing from your audience. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s one of the first emotions we learn to identify, but ‘happy’ is uninspiring when it comes to brand personalities. It’s not saying anything important or unique.
Alternatives to a happy brand personality trait:
What does being helpful mean to your brand? For example, educating and inspiring are both ways of being helpful, so deciding what kind of helpful you need to be will help guide you to your best alternative brand personality trait. Dive down further into what makes a person helpful to help focus in on what will make your brand appear helpful. Creating a mental brand character can help this process. Perhaps a clever and educated teacher, a kind and empathetic parent, or a reliable and knowledgeable doctor.
Alternatives to a helpful brand personality trait:
Ever come back from a slightly boring first date and the nicest thing you could say was “Yeah they were really friendly”? Friendly isn’t sexy, it’s basic. When using brand personality as a writing guide, how would you write a sentence that sounds ‘friendly’? It’s too vague to be used as a guide, so crack ‘friendly’ open and see how you can elevate it from vague to focused. How would you want your first date to describe you? If you were writing a friendly character, what kind of person would they be?
Alternatives to a friendly brand personality trait:
Once you’ve nailed your brand personality traits, flesh them out in a way that’s usable.
Poorly explained traits won’t help anyone use them to write in a way that’s meaningful. For example:
Cheeky: We’re a little bit cheeky and it comes across in everything we do.
Honest: We always tell the truth and are honest in what we say.
If a new staff member needed to use this as a guide to help them write, these explanations are entirely unhelpful. Everyone from the new intern to a Director of Marketing will constantly refer to your brand personality framework and brand strategy, so providing them with professional branding guidance is key. Here are some better brand personality examples of the above.
Cheeky: We can laugh at ourselves, and be a little risque without taking things too far. We’re not afraid to get a touch flirty with our customers, and we walk the line between naughty and nice so well that even Santa is confused.
Honest: We speak truthfully about how our products are made, where our ingredients are from, and how they’re getting into our customers hands. We don’t believe in loophole language or smoke and mirrors: just that our customers feel good about the product they’re using and the brand that made it.
Do I have to have a brand personality?
We strongly recommend it. A brand personality sets you apart from the competition by giving people the feeling of having a personal relationship with your brand. This allows you to become a friend, a mentor, or an educator. A strong brand personality also ensures you’re consistent and unique as your brand grows.
Need some help creating your brand personality strategy? Our branding experts would love to chat.