Your law brand’s personality is the collection of traits and characteristics used consistently throughout the entire brand experience. An effective brand personality humanizes a brand, gives it unique expression and makes it relatable to its target audience.
Brand personality is communicated through your visual identity, brand voice and overall actions. Therefore, it is important to precisely define your law brand’s personality so it resonates with your target consumer. This is because brand personality results in increased brand equity and defines the brand’s attitude in the marketplace. Furthermore, it is the key factor of any successful marketing campaign.
There are two main approaches to defining your brand personality and a third method that combines the first two.
In order to choose your law brand’s personality, consider the following and select the one you wish to convey.
1. Aaker’s Brand Personality Dimension Framework
Branding and marketing expert Jennifer Aaker defined 5 distinct dimensions of brand personality in 1997. Moreover, each dimension is further defined by traits. In fact, the combination of these traits is what makes a brand recognizable. The key is to define a brand personality that is authentic to your core values, positioning and your brand’s promise.
- Sincerity: kindness, thoughtfulness and an orientation toward family values
- Excitement: carefree, spirited and youthful
- Competence: successful, accomplished and influential, highlighted by leadership
- Sophistication: elegant, prestigious and sometimes even pretentious
- Ruggedness: rough, tough, outdoorsy and athletic
Sincerity is reserved for brands that are genuine, wholesome, honest, cheerful and down-to-earth. Furthermore, people appreciate their generous, helpful and caring nature. Accordingly, brands with these defining traits are often found in the hospitality, food service and safety industries.
Brands in the excitement dimension have traits like daring, spirited, passionate, creative, energetic, imaginative and cutting-edge. However, they often target youthful demographics. If you’re a change-maker and a visionary, chances are you fall under the excitement category.
A competent brand is reliable, intelligent and successful. Brands within this personality dimension are confident thought leaders and responsible, trustworthy persons. When your brand dimension is competence, you’re the one people depend on. The most common competence brands are in the financial, insurance, healthcare and logistics industries. For example- doctors, lawyers, plumbers and car mechanics.
Brands in the sophistication dimension are characterized by traits like refined, luxurious and charming. Furthermore, these are premium brands aimed at a discerning, status-conscious audience. Sophisticated brands inspire a sense of luxury, prestige, femininity and high class. For example, personal brands such as lifestyle bloggers, beauty gurus and graphic designers fall under sophisticated dimension.
Rugged brand traits include adventurous, outdoorsy and tough. These are brands that are built to last and seen to be hard-working, strong, sporty, muscular and authentic. Accordingly, brands in the rugged dimension are commonly found in construction, outdoors, and sports industries. Besides B2C brands, personal trainers, life coaches and other consultants often have a rugged personality.
Thus, pick 3-5 personality traits for your law brand. Consequently, the traits you choose will fall under one of these five personality dimensions. For example, successful and influential will go under competence. That way you will determine your law brand’s personality trait.
2. Brand Archetypes Framework
Another way to personify your brand is to choose an archetype. It is a model based on Carl Jung’s theory that people tend to use symbolism to understand concepts. He defined 12 archetypes that represent different groupings of characteristics, aspirations, values and attitudes.
To start, ask yourself: Which one of these identities will your ideal client relate to most?
He is a regular person who wants to connect with others. His goal is to fit in and he wants their customers to feel a sense of belonging. His traits are: casual, down-to-earth, folksy, supportive, real, democratic, equality, community etc.
He wants their customer to find love and connection. Hence, his goal is intimacy and his traits are: romantic, sensual, passionate, warm, intimate, giving etc.
He wants their customers to have more joy and laughter in their daily lives. His goal is to enjoy life and his traits are fun, light-hearted, quirky, zany, irreverent, humorous, enjoyment, never boring etc.
He wants their customers to believe in what’s possible. Therefore, his goal is to innovate. His traits are imaginative, creative, artistic, entrepreneurial, inventive, non-conformist, visionary, innovative, non-conforming etc.
He wants their customers to feel more organized, stable, secure. Accordingly, his goal is to control in order to lead. His traits are: organized, leader, role model, responsible, controls the chaos, boss etc.
He wants their customers to feel understood and protected. His goal is to serve others and his traits are maternal, generous, compassionate, caring, nurturing, parental, empathy, selfless.
He wants to make their customers’ dreams come true. His ultimate goal is power in order to make magical things happen. His traits are: inspirational, idealistic, charismatic, visionary, imaginative, spiritual.
He wants to help their customers: by rescuing them from their troubles. His goal is mastery in order to make the world a better place. Furthermore, his traits are: bold, honorable, confident, strong, courageous, inspirational.
He wants to help their customers break free from the status quo and overturn what’s not working. Consequently, his goal is liberation. His traits are: wild, change-maker, rebellious, rule-breaker, revolution, edgy, misfit, outrageous, radical, free, disruptor, shocking etc.
His goal is happiness. He wants to help their customers feel great on the inside. His traits are: positive, kind, good, pure, simple, young, loyal, optimistic, trustworthy. Furthermore: moral, reliable, honest, good virtues, nostalgic, sees the good in everything, faith, does the right thing etc.
He wants to help their customers have new experiences, adventures, discoveries. His goal is freedom and his traits are: adventurous, independent, pioneering, individualism, wanderlust.
His goal is to understand. He wants to help their customers by sharing knowledge. His traits are: wise, visionary, knowledgeable, intelligent, trusted source of information, thoughtful, mentoring, advisor, guru.
Afterwards, compile your list of keywords and associate each keyword with one or more brand personality archetypes. Check where your law firm fits the most.
3. Combination of Personality Dimensions & Archetypes Frameworks
You can create your own framework by combining an archetype with brand anchors. In addition, use your best judgment when choosing the traits that fit your archetype.
Finally, everything you do, say, write or share should be anchored by your defined brand personality traits.
After you define your law brand’s personality traits, determine a strategy to communicate that personality with consistency. Don’t forget to include it in your visual identity, your brand voice and every action you take along the way.
Visual Identity: Include your logo, fonts, brand color palette, imagery and design style used in your marketing materials. Align your visual identity with your brand anchors in order for your law firm to become recognizable.
Brand Voice: Include the language you use to communicate your messages, the words you utilize and the ones you don’t.
Actions: Make sure your actions are intentional and in alignment with the personality you define. Basically, everything you do contributes to your customers perceiving you in one way or another. Moreover, keep in mind that people’s perceptions of your brand are largely based on their experience. Therefore, your actions should be a brand promises fulfilled.
Finally, make your goal to convey a consistent personality in your branding – your brand voice, visual identity and your actions. With consistency, people start to “get to know you,” which leads to trusting and choosing you.
Your law brand’s personality is the promise and you must live up to it in everything you do. As the result, people will automatically describe you with the same personality characteristics you defined in your brand strategy.