A well-developed brand personality can be a major tool for CPG brands in any category. As Investopedia highlights, consumers are naturally drawn towards brands with a personality that resembles their own. Carefree buyers prefer products that project a free-spirited image, while cautious buyers prefer companies that exhibit similar attention-to-detail. Developing a brand personality can be among the most important marketing exercises, especially in today's crowded CPG market.
Since the 1980s, many marketers have been aware of the “big five,” known as categories of brand characteristics, or aspects of brand personality. When developing or refining your brand personality, marketers may choose to consider each of the following factors:
Openness to Experience
Determining how much – or how little – of each of these characteristics your brand demonstrates can be an important tool for defining your fit.image credit: troy thompson via flickr cc
While the big five are still crucial tools for marketing in 2016 and beyond, they're not the only brand characteristics to take into consideration. Recent changes in buyer priorities and research habits have dictated some new dimensions to consider. Join us as we review an additional five brand characteristics that could shape your company.
Some shoppers simply aren't digitally-savvy. They rarely scan QVC codes on labels, and don't use their smart phones in store. However, these consumers are becoming the minority, according to Pew Research.
Your brand's digital adoption is an important characteristic. Are you cutting-edge when it comes to mobile integration and digital experiences, or are you more conservative? While there's not necessarily a wrong answer to this question, brands should certainly consider the impact of being perceived as a late digital bloomer.
Does your brand rely on social media giants Twitter and Facebook, or are you using Instagram and Tumblr? Have you joined the ranks of other youth-conscious CPG organizations who are branching out into Snapchat? Social habits are a characteristic that can speak volumes about your target audience. If you're not using the right platforms, you may not gain notice or buzz at all.
In the past, CPG products were a politics-free zone. However, some CPG brands, like Oreo, have boldly gone into the realm of overt politics by releasing marketing materials that share their stance on social issues. Your brand may be apolitical, highly-political, or somewhere in the middle. However, you've certainly got to stand for something.
40% of millennial consumers consider “social responsibility” to be one of the most important brand characteristics. It's a multidimensional concept that can mean vastly different things for different buyers, and shouldn't be confused with politics.
Brands in the organic or health food spaces may choose to stand for purity of ingredients, or environmental friendliness. Convenient foods may choose to offer transparency in labeling or ingredient sourcing. Social responsibility can allow your consumers to feel like you care about them, and their community.
CPG brands in nearly any product category can choose to push the envelope, by releasing products that are newer, more different, or simply more innovative than their competition. While some demographics of shoppers may prefer familiar and less-trendy household names, trendiness could be a valuable brand characteristic in an era where brand loyalty is evolving rapidly.
Consumers make little distinction between trendiness and innovation. Stylish packaging and product concepts could communicate that your company has its finger on the pulse of consumer needs.
While the concept of brand personality will continue to matter in the years to come, the most important brand characteristics could evolve significantly. Whether or not your company realizes it, your digital adoption, use of design trends, and social responsibility messaging could already be speaking volumes about your personality.