Brand Personalities: do you think it's something that startups should care about?

Olga Trykush
11 replies
Brand personality is an emotional brand image, in other words: emotional connection between consumer and brand. Competitors can copy features, services, and distribution channels, but by creating an emotional image of the brand, the company could obtain a really strong differentiator. J. Aaker, a specialist in marketing with a focus on brand strategy, conducted research into brand personalities, and identified the following five dimensions: 1. Sincerity: down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, and cheerful. 2. Excitement: daring, spirited, imaginative, and up-to-date. 3. Competence: reliable, intelligent, and successful. 4. Sophistication: upper-class and charming. 5. Ruggedness: outdoorsy and tough. Example: Mercedes is an exclusive brand that sits on a pedestal and encourages its customers to earn the right to join their club. Their reward? Status. Mercedes communicates superiority and exclusivity and reminds their audience that they are at the top. Throughout their entire brand experience, they display characteristics of status, wealth, and success and provide their customers with a sense of achievement. Mercedes has a "Sophistication" brand personality. The infographic Brand personality dimensions by D. Aaker is here:


Gabrielle Simpson
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Eric Harris
I think this is something that is important to consider but must be balanced with delivering a great product or service in the beginning. I say this because I've worked with startups who focused too much on the brand side and the product never had the legs to stand on its own. Its a tough balance for sure but one that must move as the customers move. If you have no customers you truly don't have a brand and customers make the brand, as the organization you are responsible for putting up guardrails to keep it in the right place.
Olga Trykush
@eharris04 Hey Eric, I totally agree with. The first rule of every growth hacker is to make sure that product is worth investing time and money in marketing. So, truth, product is on the 1st place, anyway. But, even having a great product, many companies focus on first users and didn't care a lot about creating a consistent system with symbols, attributes and its own personality. So, I think there is a thin line between "too early" and "too late".
Laura Nebenfuhr Curtin
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Tem Nugmanov
the answer depends on the stage and market position/penetration of the startup. brand can most certainly be competitive advantage; however, it is a difficult one to pull off. if a startup is in the early days with a few hundred customers give or take, i think an over obsessive focus on brand is "micro-optimization" == big effort, small impact. unlike mercedes, startup resources are super hamstrung. it needs to prioritize ruthlessly. focusing on product and customer acquisition (beyond branding) is more important.
Olga Trykush
@temirlan Hey Tem, thanks for sharing your point of view. I agree with some of your points, but I still think that even startups should care about building a system, it will help to be consistent in all communications and put efforts in one directions, so it'll bring more results. You know, we live in a time that is overwhelmed with offers, ads and sales - and branding in some way helps to be visible, as it filter your messages and makes you recognizable in a small niche. Kind of positioning, but in communications 😅
Valerie Fenske
that resonates with what I've been thinking about recently thanks for the nudge :)
yes you need to 'be' the product you are -- there's a promise in every product... but when it comes time o go to market you need to be distinctive. And to get there, for me, there are 3 pillars: strategy, creativity and humanity (or human truth)...
@olha_trykush I get what you're saying, tho I suggest it's a Principle not a Pillar... in fact, I sell in the C word and the F word: as in, a successful brand idea offers the client "Consistency with Flexibility"