A Different Perspective on Brand Personality
Find out who you are and do it on purpose.Dolly Parton
Many people have heard of the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, also sometimes known as a personality test. When I was in my first year of college – and an “undecided” major – I went to our campus career resource center to do a few tests that could hopefully help to provide me with some clarity. One of these tests was the Myers-Briggs.
While some discount its accuracy – or even usefulness – it’s still the most widely-administered personality test that exists. And whether or not it’s totally accurate, doesn’t actually matter. We’re just going to talk about it in a way that’s fun and could potentially give us something new to think about.
When you take the MBTI, the classic result format is something like INTJ or ESFP. Test-takers are grouped into one of two categories for each of the four “digits.”
First: I (Introversion) or E (Extroversion)
Second: N (Intuition) or S (Sensing)
Third: T (Thinking) or F (Feeling)
Fourth: J (Judging) or P (Perceiving)
Most recently, when I took the test, I was allegedly an ENFJ. But looking at the acronym, even knowing what all of the individual components mean, does that really tell you anything about my personality?
A newer development in the Myers-Briggs world is the website, 16personalities.com. It rounds up each of the 16 possible results into a tangible personality – not just an unhelpful string of letters. Nearly 200 million people have taken the test via this platform.
My result: “The Protagonist.” According to 16personalities, protagonists are “charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerize their listeners.” My sister is an ENFP – “The Campaigner,” and campaigners are “enthusiastic, creative free spirits, who can always find a reason to smile.”
The website breaks it down into four subgroups with four personality types in each:
- Architect – INTJ
- Logician – INTP
- Commander – ENTJ
- Debater – ENTP
- Advocate – INFJ
- Mediator – INFP
- Protagonist – ENFJ
- Campaigner – ENFP
- Logistician – ISTJ
- Defender – ISFJ
- Executive – ESTJ
- Consul – ESFJ
- Virtuoso – ISTP
- Adventurer – ISFP
- Entrepreneur – ESTP
- Entertainer – ESFP
Having a concrete title for each personality type definitely tells you more than just the four letters. You can also dig into more information about each personality type’s strengths, weaknesses, workplace habits, relationships, and more.
Now switching gears… let’s talk about it from a brand perspective.
At Brieffin, we believe that personality is an extremely important part of any brand. It’s the magic dust that brings your brand to life. Finding a way to humanize your brand will make it relate to your customers. They’re looking for connection. “What is your brand personality?” is a great question to ask yourself when evaluating your brand’s humanity.
The idea of these 16 personality types can be a different angle when looking at, or trying to determine, your brand’s personality.
Even with just the brief descriptions of each type, you start to get an idea of who that “person” is. Those who identify as the Logician, for example, are “innovative inventors with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.” And the Entertainer is someone who is “spontaneous, energetic, and enthusiastic. Life is never boring around them.”
From a consumer perspective, can you think of any brands that fit the above profiles, in your opinion?
As you read all 16 profiles, which ones stand out to you? Which ones resonate with who your brand is, or who you want it to be?
Even if you already feel that you have a strong brand personality, choosing one of the 16 types and reading the additional information may inspire you to look at your traits or messaging from a new perspective.
If you’re not sure, an interesting idea might be to actually take the test, and answer how you think your brand would answer – or how you’d want it to answer. Getting that result back can tell you a lot about how your brand interacts with the world, what your brand values, how your brand processes information, and how it reacts to different situations. These are all definitely human traits, but that’s what we want to do – bring humanity to your brand.
When it comes to the result – whether you distinguish it for yourself, or let the test do the work – it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a right or wrong type. Just like people, every brand has a unique set of characteristics; strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. The goal here, is not to be boxed in by any results, but to be empowered with the knowledge of seeing your(brand)self from a new angle.
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“Don’t concern myself with all of the lives I might’ve had.” – K.Flay (I Like Myself (Most Of The Time) from Solutions)
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