Match the Brand Personality with the Brand

In my previous post, I explained the importance of developing your brand personality in order to create emotional connections with consumers that lead to brand loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. Now, it’s time to have some fun by matching brand personalities with celebrities to explain how consumer perceptions of your brand can affect it in positive and negative ways.

hummerThink of your favorite brand. What person matches that brand’s personality? If you love Harley Davidson, you might match that brand personality with someone like Dog the Bounty Hunter. It’s a tough, rebellious, freedom-seeking brand and has to be matched with a celebrity who has a similar personality.

Car brands make it very easy to match celebrities with the brand personality, because car brands are typically so well positioned and own specific words in consumers’ minds which help to develop strong consumer perceptions of those brands. Let’s take a look at some popular car brands and match them to celebrities whose personalities might be a match.

Toyota = Tom Hanks

Tom HanksToyota is the “old reliable” of the automotive industry. This is a trusted brand, and when you buy it, you know what you’re going to get. It’s a safe choice.

Tom Hanks is a great match for the Toyota brand personality. When you spend money to see a Tom Hanks movie, it’s a safe choice. You know you’re going to get a decent movie-viewing experience. It might not be the best movie in the world, and it might not be the most exciting two hours of your life, but you can trust that you won’t completely waste your money.

Dodge Ram = Chuck Norris

Chuck NorrisDodge Ram is tough. It’s the working man’s brand. Dodge Ram can roundhouse kick your truck without breaking a sweat.

It makes sense that Chuck Norris drove a Dodge Ram truck in Walker Texas Ranger. You can rely on a Dodge Ram to get you through any situation with power and with ease – just like Chuck Norris.

Buick – Larry King

Larry KingConsumers have long perceived Buick as the aging and boring brand. Buick has tried to revive its image in recent years with ads featuring Tiger Woods, but the effort fell mostly on deaf ears. Consumers simply don’t perceive the Buick personality to be young and hip despite Buick’s efforts to try to stay relevant.

Larry King is similar in personality to Buick. The somewhat cantankerous interviewer is currently looking for new ways to stay relevant. Just as people wonder how that’s going to happen, consumers wonder why Buick is bothering.

Yugo – The Entire Cast of Jersey Shore

snooki Jersey ShoreYugo has often been named the worst brand in automotive history. I think that pretty much says it all about why the cast of Jersey Shore is a good match for the Yugo brand personality.

Not convinced? You know your reputation is bad when a brand tells you they’ll pay you to stop wearing their products as Abercrombie & Fitch told Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of the Jersey Shore cast earlier this year.

What do you think of the brand personality examples above? Is your perception different? Leave a comment and share your thoughts about the above examples and share your own examples from your favorite brands.

Images: Rud66, TheGoogly, CleveredFool.com, Sharon Graphics, ChicagoPhotoShop

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.