When considering the concept of a ‘brand,’ what comes to mind first is a company that has a product, or products, oriented toward consumers. In turn, consumers consider a ‘brand’ something that they grow emotionally attached to, become enamored with, can relate to, or aspire to be like. But when the competitive market space is filled with thousands of brands, why is it that consumers grow to love one over another that delivers a similar product?
This question echoes the common one applied to people: when there are billions of us, how do we stand out as unique individuals? By comparing brands to humans, we can see clearly how the traits of a business come to determine the performance and future of the company.
Much like each person is born with an inherent personality, brands should be established with a character from the very start. For humans, environment plays a minor role in affecting who we are, but personality drives how we react to and grow in it. The way we live is shaped by our passions, relationships, work ethic, attitude, and mindset. Whether we are proactive or lazy, optimistic or pessimistic, passionate or indifferent - all these are core values to our personality that play a part in determining how we live. Likewise, a business is defined by a distinct set of traits, and those traits become the foundational elements of the brand.
Below, you can see a list of common human characteristics and how brand attributes are similar:
Why does this matter? Recognizing what characteristics you want your business to embody is essential to formulating the brand. Without a personality, your business becomes just another subpar product on the shelf, a website to overlook, an app to scroll past. The most outstanding world-renowned brands - like Nike and Apple - become religions, or cults because their characteristics so definitively set them apart from competitors. Being that “cult” is just the shortened word for culture, accumulating that degree of loyal cult following indicates that the brand has successfully created its own unique “culture.” The stronger the vision of the business, the more distinguished its culture becomes. And all of that originates in the brand’s personality.
The next step then is to pursue a powerful vision for your business. We’ve only scratched the surface on how brands and humans are alike with personality. Follow our next piece where we’ll delve into how brand values and discipline determine the future of your business.