Brand Personality is the way a brand represents and expresses itself. It helps brands differentiate and stand out from competitors. The digital age, and social media in particular, have changed the way we as consumers engage with various brands. Social media gives brands an opportunity to develop a “personality” and style of their own. Once a brand finds its target audience and understands how this audience interacts, it can adjust its voice and tone and customize its content marketing accordingly on social media. A social media marketing “voice” is the key for brands to grow their online community and engage their followers in today’s highly competitive digital world.
Developing a strong brand marketing voice through the content and marketing messages on social media platforms is exactly what companies should be focusing on. Brand voice can be incorporated virtually in all kinds of communications, including advertising, blog posts, videos, images, and more.
Five Types of Social Media Brand Personalities
Brands can have a variety of personality types. The following five dimensions of brand personalities were developed by Jennifer Aaker, an American social psychologist, author and General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business (source: Wikipedia).
Traits associated with this dimension are as follows:
Brands that have “Excitement” characteristics are known to create buzz and excitement for their customers.
For example, we can see how Coca Cola is maintaining a strong connection with their customers and engaging their target audience through a strong brand voice on social media.
Coca-Cola is an excellent example of a brand that successfully delivers its marketing messages throughout the world and is known as a “young personality” brand. The concepts of happiness and joy are consistently and predominantly displayed in all their advertising and social media platforms.
In the “Share a Coke” campaign, Coca-Cola targeted its audience through a simple yet fun way – bottles which were personalized with popular names combined with terms of endearment. The goal of this campaign aimed to make consumers feel happy when they bought a bottle of Coca-Cola for their friends or family members with their names.
“Sincerity” is associated with the following traits:
Brands with the “Sincerity” characteristics are known for sincerity and dedication.
One of the examples of brands that fit into the Sincerity dimension is Campbell’s soup. The brand keeps its products simple and healthy by promoting fresh ingredients and nutritious and delicious family recipes. Campbell’s soup company is always looking for new ways to say delicious.
In the “It’s Amazing What Soup Can Do” Ad Campaign on social media, it simply showed consumers how soup can help people eat better and enjoy every stage of their lives. Campbell’s shared visually appealing images and incorporated positive emotions, such as energy and happiness.
They are brands known for their toughness and the appeal for the Outdoors and Nature. The ruggedness comes mainly from the nature of the product’s attributes which builds up the personality of those brands. The target audiences for brands with the “Ruggedness” dimension usually are young professionals, mainly 20 to 35 years old.
The North Face is an outdoor product company which has been in the market for a long time and is built on ruggedness. Their target audiences are people who enjoy doing outdoor activities such as rock climbing, extreme skiing, biking and hiking.
The “Competence” dimension includes the following personality traits:
One of the brands that are associated with the “Competence” dimension is Volkswagen. Volkswagen uses social media platforms to drive their potential customers’ engagement. For example, the company uses Facebook to create a visual timeline of their history and major milestones. The Volkswagen Facebook followers can get a deeper understanding of the German automotive company through a visual representation of the company’s evolution, starting in 1938.
The “Sophistication” trait is the toughest one to achieve within the five main dimensions of brand personalities. Brands associated with “sophistication” are known as Elegant, Prestigious, and Sophisticated.
BMW and Tiffany are famous brands which primarily focus on the “sophistication” nature of the products and offer high-end and luxurious products.
If you visit one of the BMW’s pages on social media, the brand primarily aims to engage potential customers by publishing visually stunning and high-end images of vehicles.
Another example is Tiffany, one of the top luxury brands with more than 1.45 million followers on Twitter. Tiffany is using Twitter as a platform for updating potential customers on brand news and new product lines, responding to customer service inquiries, streaming real-time events and delivering its brand’s personality. The brand marketing voice on social media is witty and sophisticated. On Facebook, Tiffany also has more than 8 million followers.
⦁ Excitement: Daring, spirited and Imaginative. (Coca-Cola)
⦁ Sincerity: Down-to-earth, Honest and Cheerful (Campbell’s soup)
⦁ Ruggedness: Tough and Outdoorsy (The North Face)
⦁ Competence: Reliable, Intelligent and Successful (Volkswagen)
⦁ Sophistication: Elegant, Prestigious, Sophisticated(BMW and Tiffany)
Companies should develop a unique and memorable brand personality that will help engage online community on social media.
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