Let’s talk PERSONALITY. Are you a leader? A risk-taker? Funny? Charismatic?
Read on to learn about:
- Personality Tests
- Can We Change Our Personality?
- Brand Personality
This concept of personalities is closely related to ARCHETYPES. Have you listened to last week’s podcast ? on ARCHETYPES? If yes, let me know what you think!
If you haven’t listened yet, think of this short (23min) ?episode as your “Archetypes 101” lecture covering:
- the definition and significance of archetypes;
- the formal stages in the “Hero’s Journey,” and
- 12 common archetypes (1 or 2 of which likely apply to YOU and your brand or firm!)
to listen to the Archetypes ?podcast.
Let’s do this!
How well do you know yourself? Do you know what your friends and family think about you? What distinguishes you relative to your co-workers? Your siblings? Your friends?
(image: unsplash @shadexbona)
There are hundreds of personality tests out there. Two of the big ones are:
The MBTI is the most common personality test in the world. We covered the MBTI in a previous blog, but here’s a quick summary. The MBTI measures your personality across four dimensions in a survey that you can find online (e.g. here):
- EXTRAVERSION / INTROVERSION
- do you focus your attention and get energy from your outer world or inner world?
- SENSING / INTUITION
- do you prefer basic information or do you interpret and add meaning?
- THINKING / FEELING
- do you make decisionswith logic and consistency or specific people and circumstances?
- JUDGEMENT / PERCEPTION
- are you structured and decided or a flexible and adaptable?
Given these four dimensions, there are 16 personality types.
What’s your Myers-Briggs type?
Another personality test that’s commonly used by psychologists is called, “The Big 5.” The dimensions of the Big 5 create the acronym OCEAN or CANOE:
- are you inventive/curious or consistent/cautious?
- are you efficient/organized or extravagant/careless?
- are you outgoing/energetic or solitary/reserved
- are you friendly/compassionate or challenging/callous?
- NEUROTICISM (or EMOTIONAL STABILITY)
- are you sensitive/nervous or resilient/confident?
Note: I ask these as “either/or” Qs to be provocative. ? The truth is that most of us lie somewhere in the middle of all of these dimensions. (For the record I am high on conscientiousness and extraversion…)
What about YOU?
CAN I CHANGE MY PERSONALITY?
Have you heard the adage that our childhood personalities pretty much dictate our personalities as an adult? (Note this assumes that adolescent antics are temporary. Thank goodness! ?)
The Q of whether our personality can change is important for us as an individual, and in our roles as a parent, a partner and a friend.
According to research:
- Our childhood personality does provide a “baseline,” however…
- Particular personality traits can change. Researchers identified perceivable changes in the Big 5 personality traits of conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism (a.k.a. emotional stability). Apparently openness and extraversion are less likely to change.
- Some of these shifts in personality are attributable to “emotional maturity.”
- Yes, even the elderly can change.
Apparently you CAN
teach an old dog new tricks!
I remember working at Kraft Foods as a keen young brand manager and writing a “creative brief” for an ad agency. The creative brief included a long list of strategic input, including the brand’s competition, target market, benefit, brand values, style, tone, and “BRAND PERSONALITY.”
This was serious fun! I challenged myself to think of as many relevant brand descriptors as I could. (What a keener…)
If I only knew then what I know now!
(image: unsplash @trapnation)
Adopting a strong and consistent Brand Personality can encourage customers to “personify” the brand, connecting with it more readily, ultimately driving the lifetime value of the brand.
Here are three pointers for anyone who manages a brand and is seeking to articulate their brand personality:
1️⃣Identifying Personality Traits for Brands
- We’ve got a head-start… Consider the personality traits from the MBTI and the Big 5, but also their descriptions and other ways that people describe each other (e.g. outgoing, curious, organized, compassionate, energetic, funny, bold, a leader,…).
- Academic marketing research highlights five other key brand personality factors: ruggedness, sophistication, competence, excitement and sincerity.
- There are many brand personality lists available online – see here and here.
- Don’t worry if your brand personality and archeytpes overlap. In fact, that’s a good thing! It means your brand strategy (specifically your brand character) is integrated.
2️⃣Less is more!
- In retrospect, one of my big mistakes as a young brand manager at Kraft was trying to create a long, exhaustive list of brand personality traits. What’s more effective is coming up with 3-5 key brand differentiators. That way you know where to focus!
- Challenge yourself to identify what’s truly unique about your brand. If everyone in your competitive-set has the same personality, that’s not helpful. For example, a pharmaceutical brand might be described as “trusted” (necessary in the industry) but also uniquely “innovative” and “optimistic.” Ask yourself what personality traits describe your brand that do not describe competitive brands – and vice versa.
- Once you’ve compiled a list of viable brand personality traits, narrow it down to the 3-5 that are the most unique, extreme, relevant and compelling for your target market.
3️⃣ Brand Personality Can Change Over Time
- Just like us humans, brands can “grow up” and their personality can evolve. Consider for example the evolution of A&W, from the playful “Root Bear” to the health-conscious “Beyond Meat Burger”!
- Brands can also become more relevant and youthful! (Tough for us humans, right?!?) Think KFC, whose persona evolved from the old-man Colonel to funky and modern…
BACK TO THE EXTRAVERT / INTROVERT SCALE
Did you notice that EXTRAVERSION shows up in both the MBTI and the Big-5 personality scales? It’s also one of the “5 Rapid Fire Qs” that I ask every podcast guest!
Next week in the “Archetypes & Female Rock Stars” podcast you’ll hear my interview with Professor Kristin Lieb, author of this book and TEDx speaker.
When I asked Kristin, “Introvert or extravert?” She answered:
I trained my introverted self
to be an extrovert
to do the things that
I’ve wanted to do professionally.”
She also said that giving her TEDx Talk was one of the most terrifying moments of her life. (Regardless, she nailed it!)
I hope this blog provided you with valuable personality insights. As always, I welcome your suggestions and feedback regarding the blog or the podcast. I ❤️love hearing from you! Please email me or connect with me on social media.
One last ask: Please forward this email to your friends who are interested in improving their communication skills. I appreciate it. THANK YOU!!!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
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Most Recent ?Podcast Episodes:
#53 – CRISIS LEADERSHIP & VIRTUAL TEAMS with Heather Stark
#52 – COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS with Heather Stark
#51 – COMPETITIONwith Dr. Mekki MacAulay
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