Personifying a Brand

What is “personality”?

According to Merriam-Webster, personality can be defined as a set of distinctive traits and characteristic or as the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual or a nation or group.

Your personality is how you present yourself to be. Each person has his own personality that sets him apart from others in a crowd, but why are some people more easily recognizable than others? The key here is the difference in visibility. People will more easily notice you if you project your personality and make it easily “accessible” and viewable by others.

A brand can have a personality as well. In order for the brand to be noticed by its target audience, the company needs to first demonstrate why and give reasons for the audience should do so. In order for the consumer to fully embrace a brand, the company needs to create a unified brand personality that holds constant amongst all of its products, initiatives, and marketing efforts.

One important component of a marketing plan is social media marketing. It follows that a brand’s social media marketing personality should be derived from its overall brand personality. For instance, Coca Cola is aiming to strengthen its fun, energetic, and relevant brand personality through its recent partnership with Spotify, a music streaming service. It hopes to engage (and keep engaged) its consumers through music, a widespread and (I would argue) almost universal interest for people around the world. Here is an article on this latest move by Coca Cola as well as on what Pepsi is doing about it.

For those of you who may be curious about my social media and overall brand personality, I can describe it in the following words: informative, relevant, and objective. The American Water Works Association does exactly all of those things with respect to the topic of safe water. Although the extent of its social media use is somewhat limited, I feel that it is only a matter of time before it embraces additional forms of social media.

My brand personality will continuously develop as I proceed through the world of marketing, communications, and PR and absorb information from seasoned and new users alike. During this early stage of my journey, I will focus on sharing information about all things topical and interesting. Hopefully, you will all stick around and experience this journey with me.

Update August 3, 2012: I was recently informed that the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has quite a large LinkedIn presence. Apparently, there are on that group page many active voices and engaging discussion topics. Unfortunately, the content can only be viewed by group members so other folks are not able to benefit from or participate in the discussion. With respect to the organization’s Twitter and YouTube accounts, they are regularly updated but I do not see much evidence of user engagement on either platform.


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