Brand personality is how the marketplace defines a product. Is this product, cool, fun, serious, trustworthy? What is this product all about? Brand personality is critical in creating a world class brand. Branding is essential to Social Media. The scale of social media has created a proliferation of products. The dense scale of content has created a more definitive type of branding. In old media, many marketing concepts were essentially equivalent. In this new media age, in which a higher, a more intense level of branding must take place; marketers are forced to create more definitive definitions. In old media, the terms brand identity, brand personality, brand image are basically the same. In New Media they are different.
The reason for this evolution in terminology is that with the greater amount of content, the more intensely it must be classified. I think that the easiest way to define the terms brand identity and brand personality is to think in terms of the human persona. To be healthy, well-adjusted human beings a person must create an identity and a personality. They are two different things. An identify is how we define ourselves. Are we honest, are we musical, are we fashionistas, are we athletic, are we intellectual? How we define ourselves is one of the most important things that a person can do. We personally define our identities. How a brand defines its identity is critical to its success.
The next thing a healthy person must do is to define their personality. Are we fun, are outgoing, are we concerned about the people around us, are we cold? How we define our personalities is critical in how we develop as people. Here is a difference between identity and personality. In personality, we decide our personality, but people interpret that personality. Our public personality many times is defined radically different than what it really is.
How many times have we told people, "Boy, you sure are different than I thought" once we have had some time to have a relationship with someone else. A perfect example is a television character on my favorite show. This show is about a high school football coach. This coach is a concerned man who cares deeply about each of his players. He is a loving man, with a great sense of humor. To his players, he comes across a cold, tough, demanding man.
This is the dilemma a modern marketer has. A marketer must control their brand. They can not allow the marketplace to hi-jack it from them. One of our most iconic brands is a brand of sneakers. The identity of this company is that it is concerned about people. As things evolved in this market, this sneaker started to embise design. The market place began to interpret this brand as "cool", not as "concerned". The market place defined this brand's personality as "cool". The sneakers became so cool, that young people started shooting each other for sneakers. The company had to reclaim its brand, and redefine their personality "to cool with class". Their ability to do this has saved this brand from destroying itself.