A relatively new concept known as Brand Personality potentially can help organizations create enhanced branding and engagement strategies.
By Bruce Bolger
By Bruce Bolger
One of the basic challenges of establishing an Enterprise Engagement strategy is to define the brand promises to all stakeholders and, more specifically, the actions required to keep them. Those actions can include policies, procedures and pricing, but also the way people are treated both inside and outside the organization. Usually, the term “culture” is used to explain the way people interact with one another in an organization, and this includes the values, beliefs and behaviors that are encouraged. Now, the concept of Brand Personality can help organizations more clearly define culture in a way that people can visualize.
Brand Personality aims to define organizations by their personalities - i.e., what the organization would be like if it were a person. This is somewhat like the concept of “customer personas” espoused by the founders of the Hubspot Inbound marketing field. In both cases, the goal is to better understand how to define and deliver a brand promise by portraying the organization and the customer as if it were a human to more appropriately define the messaging and, more importantly, the actions, behavior, and attitudes that will most appeal to that persona.
According to the website, Investopedia, “Brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name. A brand personality is something to which the consumer can relate; an effective brand increases its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits that a specific consumer segment enjoys. This personality is a qualitative value-add that a brand gains in addition to its functional benefits.” Of course, a brand personality can apply to employees, investors, or communities as well.
Professor and social psychologist Jennifer Aaker created a method for better defining a brand’s personality. As explained in her profile on Wikipedia, her concept of a “Dimensions of Brand Personality” framework describes and measures the “personality” of a brand, “defined as the set of human characteristics associated with it.” She identifies the five core dimensions of Brand Personality as: “Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness.” In a global analysis of brands, Aaker and her colleagues reveal two novel brand personality dimensions. In Japan, individuals viewed brands as Peaceful; in Spain, individuals viewed brands as Passionate. Aaker’s model showed that brand personality dimensions influenced consumer preference and choice and provided a framework that illuminated how to build strong global brands that meet multi-cultural needs.”
The concept of Brand Personality can be used to help companies define their culture, brand, or campaign theme by better clarifying the characteristics they wish to emphasize. Not every brand could have, or wants to have, all the core fundamental elements identified by Professor Aaker, or to the same degree. It’s the unique combination of these characteristics that creates an individual brand. Also, an organization can be comprised of many brands. Brand Personality methods can be used to help form an emotional picture of a product, service and supporting organization that can help define the marketing and internal communications messaging, as well as training, innovation, community, and rewards & recognition tactics.
The concept of Brand Personality and the term “Enterprise Brand” used in the Enterprise Engagement Alliance curriculum overlap in the sense that an organization can use the personification of its brand to better understand how people view it and to shape the creation of an Enterprise Brand that unifies all stakeholders under a common mission, values and goals. They can use this Brand Personality to recruit the right leaders and employees, better shape its communications to all stakeholders and promote and reward the appropriate actions and behaviors to make sure the entire organization lives this personality daily.
Defining an organization’s Brand Personality can help establish the types of actions and behaviors it wishes to foster among its employees and other stakeholders and the brands (local or national) with which it wishes to associate itself or offer as gifts, rewards, or promotions (see RRN - News Analysis: Another Unexpected Byproduct of True Brand Engagement)
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Online: The Enterprise Engagement Academy at EEA.tmlu.org, providing the only formal training on Enterprise Engagement and the new ISO 9001 and ISO 10018 quality people management standards. Provides preparation for professionals to support organizations seeking ISO 10018 employer or solution provider certification, as well as elective courses on Trade Show Engagement, Rewards and Recognition, Government, and other topics.
Services: The International Center for Enterprise Engagement at TheICEE.org, offering: ISO 10018 certification for employers, solution providers, and Enterprise Engagement technology platforms; Human Resources and Human Capital audits for organizations seeking to benchmark their practices and related Advisory services for the hospitality field.
The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
• ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy.
• EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices.
• Compare Your Company’s Level of Engagement. Quickly compare your organization’s level of engagement to those of others based on the same criteria as the EEA’s Engaged Company Stock Index.
• Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.