Defining & Testing Your Brand Personality

Marketers define brand personality as a set of human characteristics associated with a brand. Having a defined brand personality guides your brand’s expression and representation in the real world. It actively shapes the way people feel about and interact with your company, and makes sure your company resonates with the right customer.

Your brand personality influences your messaging, design, digital experiences, and even retail environments. It differentiates your brand from the competition, creates an emotional attachment for consumers, and confirms credibility.

The personification of a brand that evokes certain emotions in customers is what builds brand equity — the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a particular product or service, rather than from the product or service itself.



Conveying your brand’s message is vitally important so people purchasing your product or service know what they are getting. It’s so they not only know what they are getting, but who they are getting it from. Marketers portray messaging through more than just words; it can (and should) be carried through all visual content – images, icons, video, graphs, and more.



Setting the tone of your brand is a huge factor contributing to brand personality. Are you serious, whimsical, rugged, or joyous? Your brand tone is the voice, language, and terminology used in all your messaging. This refers to anything fanciful, playful, amusing, and even unpredictable that can create a story to help your brand achieve marketplace distinction. The tone encompasses not only the words you choose, but their order, rhythm, and pace. The tone is important because it’s an expression of the people behind the brand, it’s what sets you apart from the rest, it builds trust, and you can use it to influence or persuade people. Brands that create a personality that is open and accessible instead of cold and corporate are more likely to resonate with consumers and rise above their competitors.



Inconsistency can confuse a customer and make your brand irrelevant or not memorable. Sticking with the same tone and brand personality is a key factor in succeeding. Not only to be consistent in your messaging and tone, but with what channels or platforms you are on.



The best place to start is by brainstorming and listing out all of the keywords and characteristics that best describe your brand as if it were a person. Take into consideration your core values, how you want people to view your company and your products, your specialties, and who exactly you’re going to be talking to and through what channels. If you don’t define your brand’s personality, other people will define it for you – based on how they see your current marketing, not how you want them to see your brand.



First, ask your internal team and employees if they can define who your brand is – the adjectives that best describe your brand. This will make sure everyone within your company is on the same page, which helps to strengthen the output of your brand’s message. Then, send out a survey to your customers and partners asking them the same questions. Do they see your brand how you want them to see you? This may uncover gaps in your messaging that could be strengthened. Then try sending out a survey to a group of people who may or may not even be familiar with your brand or product. This will produce an unbiased view of outsider perception.


Take inventory of all your channels (web, social, email, print, collateral) and the words being used. This conveys your tone and will help you define the imagery that users associate with your brand. Make sure it aligns with the brand personality you’ve established, and always look for new ways to strengthen it so your customers can build a stronger emotional connection with you and your company. Still don’t know what to do? We’re here to help.