Need some great brand personality examples to help inspire and shape your own?
Knowing your brand personality helps you position your business, communicate with your audience, and differentiate you from your competitors.
And a well-articulated brand personality will result in higher customer and audience engagement, as well as give you consistent branding across all marketing channels and customer communications.
So let’s dive in, shall we?
We’ll start by quickly looking at the different brand personality dimensions.
The 5 Dimensions of Brand Personality
The dimensions of brand personality is a theoretical framework developed by Dr. Jennifer Aaker, a behavioral scientist and author from Stanford University.
Brand personalities represent a brand’s identity. These dimensions help everyone on your team speak the same language so your marketing and promotional channels have a consistent feel and tone.
There are five dimensions of brand personality:
- Sincerity – Authentic and transparent. People see your brand as domestic, honest, genuine, and cheerful.
- Excitement – Takes risks that lead to innovation. People see your brand as daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date.
- Competence – Delivers on promises. People see your brand as reliable, responsible, dependable, efficient.
- Sophistication – Does things with style and grace. People see your brand as glamorous, pretentious, charming, romantic.
- Ruggedness – Takes action and gets things done. People see your brand as tough, strong, outdoorsy, rugged.
Each brand personality represents the feelings and thoughts people have about your brand. For example, Wranglers’ brand personality is ruggedness, while Mercedes’ brand personality is sophistication.
As you’ll see in the examples, many brands have attributes from multiple dimensions. Your brand will probably have some crossover, too.
11 Companies That Nail Their Brand Personality Traits
Nike designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells athletic apparel, footwear, and equipment for athletes and individuals.
Their mission is:
“to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you’re an athlete.”
Your first clue to Nike’s brand personality is its motto, “Just Do It.” Their motto matches the ruggedness dimension of getting things done, no matter the obstacles.
By pairing with top professional athletes for their marketing campaigns and innovating new designs in footwear and apparel, Nike inspires customers to live big and try new things.
And with simple black and white branding, the focus always remains on the product.
Where Does Nike Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Nike fits right at home in the “ruggedness” dimension.
Its tennis shoes, apparel, and athletic gear are synonymous with strength, toughness, and being outdoors.
Of course, with its high price tags and reputation for well-made products, you could argue that Nike fits inside the “competence” dimension too.
Coca-Cola is a non-alcoholic carbonated soft drink beverage.
When you look at Coke’s branding, you first notice the bright red and white colors that promote Coke’s theme of happiness.
This comes into play at Christmas time when Coke commercials tug at your heartstrings by portraying scenes of family and friendship. Coke is a drink that brings people together for the holidays.
Where Does Coca-Cola Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Coke falls into the sincerity dimension. The Coke brand is full of hearth and home imagery. It projects a feeling of honesty and domesticity.
You could also make an argument for the excitement dimension because there is a measure of spiritedness in the Coke branding. It thrilled consumers to buy bottles of Coke with their names during the Share a Coke campaign.
3. Red Bull
Red Bull is an energy drink marketed primarily to participants and viewers of extreme sports.
Red Bull’s slogan is “Red Bull gives you wings.” Fitting for a company that sponsors sporting events where participants are regularly airborne.
The simple bull logo is a powerful symbol of determination and strength. And the red color matches the energy the drink purports to give you.
The branding works to attract people who aspire to have the energy or lifestyle of the extreme athlete.
Where Does Red Bull Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Red Bull definitely has all the marks of the excitement dimension.
Of course, the Red Bull branding also contains elements of ruggedness. By aligning themselves with extreme sports, the Red Bull brand takes on the same toughness and determination required by extreme athletes.
Apple is a technology company that produces computers, smartphones, tablets, and online software.
Apple’s branding is sleek and sophisticated, much like its products. Everything from the colors to the Apple logo to the fonts on the website is minimal and refined. There’s nothing extraneous about the Apple brand.
And while the Apple look is sophisticated, the brand’s reputation is innovative and daring. Apple caters to the creative mindset, encouraging users to be bold and think different.
Where Does Apple Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Apple could fit into three of the dimensions.
Apple has a history of innovative product development, which fits the excitement dimension.
For loyal Apple fans, there’s also the dimension of competence. Apple users appreciate how iOS provides a streamless experience across all their Apple devices.
And then there is the sophistication element. Steve Jobs was famous for his insistence on clean lines and beautiful design, so Apple products have a polished appearance.
Dove is a hair and skin care line with moisturizers, soaps, deodorants, shampoos, and conditioners. While their primary audience is women, they also make products for men.
Since 2004, Dove has worked to broaden our definition of beauty. It’s one way Dove stands out from other skincare and beauty competitors.
Over the years, they’ve run many popular campaigns, such as the Dove Self-Esteem Project, focused on helping youth develop strong body confidence.
Where Does Dove Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Dove falls into the sincerity dimension.
With their work to shift the stereotypical image of beauty, Dove brought transparency and authenticity to the beauty industry. They’ve exposed the smoke and mirrors that create the looks we see on billboards and in magazines.
6. Harley Davidson
Harley Davidson is an American premium motorcycle manufacturer. While other motorcycle brands have their fans, the Harley Davidson group is in a league of its own.
Harley Davidson created a brand for outsiders and rebels. The Harley image is about revolution and adventure.
From biker events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to European Bike Week, Harley knows how to bring their fans together to build community. And with branded apparel and memberships to the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), it’s easy for Harley fans to identify each other and connect. A ready-made family is a powerful draw for even the most independent individuals.
Where Does Harley Davidson Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Harley Davidson fits solidly into both the ruggedness and excitement dimensions. Harley’s reputation for tough, strong bikes and riders grabs the attention of potential customers who want a lifestyle of freewheeling adventure and camaraderie.
Tesla is probably best known for designing and manufacturing electric cars. But they’re also working to develop solar-powered homes.
With a mission of moving the world towards sustainable energy, Tesla is all about innovation and ambition.
Despite some setbacks, Tesla continues to improve its technology. They debuted plans for additional electric vehicles, including a Semi truck and Cybertruck, a pickup-style truck.
Everything Tesla makes, from its vehicles to its battery packs, has a clean, modern look that fits its visionary image.
Where Does Tesla Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Tesla is part of the excitement framework, with its push for sustainable energy and the innovation behind its product lines. Tesla customers like the environmentally friendly messaging and its cutting-edge use of energy.
Tesla also fits into the sophistication framework. Though Elon Musk dreams of creating family-friendly and affordable vehicles for everyone, limited production and high price tags make Tesla an unattainable choice for most people.
8. Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club (DSC) is a company that delivers personal grooming products to its customers by mail. Razors are the primary point of entry, and their target audience is men, but the convenience of delivery makes them a popular brand for women, as well.
Dollar Shave Club has a reputation for irreverent content and humor. A recent piece in their DSC Magazine is titled “Does Licking a Cut Make It Heal Faster” But they also discuss how to get a good night’s sleep, making their content fun and useful.
DSC’s branding is minimal. On their website, white space, limited text, and bullet points highlight DSC features. Minimal branding and expedient delivery are complimentary characteristics.
Where Does Dollar Shave Club Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
DSC part of the competence framework.
A reliable, convenient delivery system that saves customers time and money has the hallmarks of a competent brand.
Google is a technology company that powers the world’s most popular search engine. Google also offers online advertising, computer software, and many other products and services that make online life more manageable.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it easy for people to find what they need to know when they want to know it.
Google built its popularity by delivering exceptional results to searchers looking for information. While there are other search engines, none have the market share Google does.
And Google’s branding is very simple. If you visit the search page, you’ll notice there’s nothing to distract searchers from making a query.
Where Does Google Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Competence is Google’s brand personality. Without fail, they want to deliver the best search results they can, and Google is constantly tweaking the search results to ensure searchers find what they’re looking for.
Legos are plastic building-block toys. These brick building sets remain popular with people of all ages.
By sticking with its core product, and finding new ways to connect with consumers, Lego overcame declining sales and $600 million in debt and to turn the company around, becoming a top-ranked toy brand.
LEGO continues to delight its fans by staying true to what it does well. But they have adapted to the changing times by taking Legos into movies, books, and more.
Where Does LEGO Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
LEGO is part of the excitement framework.
Whether you’re a five-year-old building a fire truck or an adult building an art déco home, LEGO gives permits you to let loose, be creative, and have fun.
Mercedes-Benz is a luxury car manufacturer producing various vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and electric cars.
The Mercedes-Benz brand is the epitome of luxury and sophistication. The brand’s philosophy is to create cars that are as functional as they are elegant and as advanced as they are exciting. Mercedes has been crafting world-class vehicles for almost 100 years and is renowned for its craftsmanship and timeless designs.
The three-pointed star logo and the company’s slogan, “The Best or Nothing,” represent the excellence of the luxury vehicles and those who aspire to own them.
Where Does Mercedes-Benz Fit Into the Brand Personality Framework?
Mercedes-Benz is squarely in the sophistication dimension.
Mercedes-Benz represents luxury and quality. The brand is a symbol of elegance, craftsmanship, and prestige. Everything about Mercedes-Benz radiates careful attention to detail, from the design of their vehicles to the design of their website.
Which of These Brand Personality Examples is Your Favorite?
Each of these 11 brands know their brand personality backwards and forwards. Because of this, they’ve been able to successfully used their brand personality to lead their various marketing and messaging campaigns.
But how about you?
If you have a business, where does it sit in Dr. Aaker’s brand personality framework? And if you don’t have a business, which of these 11 brand personality examples is your favorite?
Let me know in the comments below!
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