This personification of a brand provides insight into the most effective ways to communicate with our target audience.
Bridging the gap between consumers and brands requires a level of sensitivity and respect that goes beyond traditional thinking. There are numerous studies and books written on the topic of brand humanization and how brands that display more familiar human characteristics are better aligned to connecting with their intended audiences. Influencer and peer network programs succeed on the principle that people are more inclined to seek the advice of their friends over self-serving brand messaging. We are more receptive to communication delivered by someone we have an emotional connection with than another who we do not relate to. Brands are able to forge similar relationships with their audience by genuinely adopting some basic fundamentals of human behavior and characteristics, resulting in greater receptiveness.
The Five Dimensions of Brand Personality by Jennifer Aaker is a framework to describe and measure the “personality” of a brand in five core dimensions, each divided into a set of facets. It is a model to describe the profile of a brand by using an analogy with a human being.
Here’s what Ms. Aaker, and her father before her, researched:
The five core dimensions and their facets:
- Sincerity (down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful)
- Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date)
- Competence (reliable, intelligent, successful)
- Sophistication (upper class, charming)
- Ruggedness (outdoorsy, tough)
Each facet is in turn measured by a set of traits.The trait measurements are done using a five point scale (1 = not at all descriptive, 5 = extremely descriptive) rating the extent to which each trait describes the specific brand.
A categorization of brand personality traits belonging to each of the facets: