BREWDOG - THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND PERSONALITY
Brewdog Punk IPA is one of the most successful Scottish brands in the past decade. They burst onto the scene in 2007 emphasising independence, community ownership and championing employees. A major part of their success can be attributed to its strong brand personality.
WHAT IS A BRAND PERSONALITY?
A brand personality is often described simply as a series of human traits ascribed to a brand. If your product or service was a person what demographic would it fall into? What would it like to do? What values does it hold dear?
The personality of a brand is – when properly created – a feature of a brand readily related to by targeted consumers and customers. If the chosen audience enjoys the characteristics displayed by the brand and sees these characteristics reflected in themselves, then they will gravitate towards that brand.
When a well-known brand personality is established consumers will not only buy the product because they relate to it, but because it signals to their peers in their social environment that this consumer holds similar virtues.
In the case of Brewdog, their brand embodies the beliefs that they share with their target audience. If Brewdog was a person it would be a young adult, ambitious, someone, who is fed up with the established way of doing things and has not yet had their soul drained by corporate mundanity. Brewdog talks about opening distilleries with the same tone of voice your 23-year-old friend would talk to you about starting a band or going back to college. Their image is that of a rebellious dreamer who is determined to change the world even if it means going against the grain and fighting off the faceless suits. So it is no surprise their offering resonates so strongly with their target audience.
WHAT MAKES A BRAND PERSONALITY WORK?
A good, imaginative brand personality adds qualitative value to the brand, as well as contributing functional advantages, such as emphasising a particular tone of voice or enhancing associations with a specific industry or business.
Brand personality is a means of helping a business influence how consumers feel about its aims, goods or services. A well-constructed brand personality stimulates the emotions of customers in ways favourable to the brand.
There is a belief in the professional wrestling industry that the characters fans resonate the most with is when an athlete's natural personality is magnified and "turned up to 11". This is the approach Brewdog took with their brand personality. They identified the naturally occurring USP's of a craft brewery and magnified them. Turning their independence into a sign of rebellion and their crowdsourced funding into a showcase of anti-establishment virtues.
THE IMPORTANCE OF IMAGERY.
A brand personality is never entirely to do with imagery, although imagery should reinforce and reflect the personality as well as the brand’s values. Imagery can help provide vivid, clear expressions of the personality and better enable the communication of emotion and messages.
Imagery is something Brewdog have continually done right and over the years have become knowns for their publicity stunts. From driving a tank up to The Bank of England to promote crowdfunding to projecting naked images of the founders onto the houses of parliament... for some reason.
These outlandish stunts are the tangible proof that Brewdog embodies all of the rebellious and anti-establishment values they align themselves with. In the eyes of young adults there may be no worse marketing sin than being "posers" or unauthentic and Brewdog are determined to prove that they aren't.
In short, Brewdog has showcased the great benefits a strong brand personality can bring to a product. They successfully positioned themselves as a brand who early 20-somethings can see themselves in and resonate with their message. They have done this by aligning themselves with the same virtues that this group value. They appear authentic in this message as they simply harnessed the youthful spirit of independent brewing and took it to its logical extreme. They have repeatedly reinstated this personality through the use of creative marketing campaigns and outlandish publicity stunts with promoting the company and signal that they walk the walk. Brewdog is a prominent example of how brand personality can be utilised to break into established markets and create a product or service that resonates with its target market.
It is vitally important that a company creates a strong brand personality and attitude that consistently strikes a powerful chord with its chosen audience. A brand’s personality impacts on brand equity and has a profound influence on how the marketplace behaves towards the brand.
A brand personality is valuable because consumers tend to gravitate towards brands that reflect their beliefs. When done correctly a brand personality is a valuable tool used to carve out a niche in a market and create loyal and enthusiastic customers, who not only buy the product because it reflects their virtues but also to signal to peers that they hold these virtues.
About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
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