Does your brand have multiple personalities? (and what to do about it)

Group of people around a conference table

A brand personality assigns human emotions and personality traits to an overall brand. It is about how people read and identify with a brand overall. When audiences interact with a brand, they should get an immediate sense of the organization’s personality any time they interact with it – whether that is through the website, social media platforms, outreach materials, or even in-person.

Think about the companies everyone knows and loves, and consider if the brand is formal, informal, rugged, crunchy, friendly, serious, wholesome, imaginative, etc. Some of these traits probably recalled specific companies immediately, and that is the goal – to evoke an immediate human reaction.

The challenge is that most companies have different audiences and there are different messaging needs. While organizations need to sometimes adapt the tone and language, they should avoid adopting a completely different personality with different audiences.

How to tell if you suffer from multiple brand personalities:

  • Are you trying to please everyone, meaning the general public? If so, you probably have multiple brand personalities or no brand personality.
  • Does your organization lack centralized branding and messaging guidelines? If there is no standard understanding and guidance, there are probably a lot of different characters out there representing your brand.
  • Do you have not just different messaging but different faces that you apply with different audiences? Adjusting messaging for audiences is normal but having multiple faces is not. If your brand personality is supportive, that feeling should be communicated to each audience.
  • If you asked members of the organization or your audiences today what your brand personality is, would you get wildly different answers, or would they align? This more that anything will tell you if a brand personality is strong or weak.

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