How to Use Brand Personality to Attract Amazing Clients
Fact: We are attracted to certain personalities and repelled by others.
Needless to say, these feelings of attraction and repulsion influence our behavior—guiding us to spend more time with some people while elegantly avoiding others.
The concept of brand personality leverages this basic human reaction—transforming a brand from an abstract entity into a sort of companion.
Brand personality plays a role in our day-to-day transactions, whether we consciously think about it or not. The luxury brands that fully embrace personality have stunningly loyal audiences—and the revenue that comes with that.
In this article, we delve into the practicalities of infusing personality into luxury brands—exploring the “why”, the power it holds, and some strategic ways to execute it.
What is Brand Personality and Why Does it Matter?
Brand personality is the set of human qualities that a brand exudes, making it something people connect to and desire to be associated with. It’s expressed through all mediums—including words, visuals, video, sound, and tangible objects.
It’s often channeled through the most unexpected details—from charming intricacies on the back of a tie to unifying pop cultural references, shared values, and a not-so-typical use of language.
Simply put, a defined brand personality elevates the brand. Brands with defined personalities go from ‘source for buying a thing’ to something else entirely.
3 Powerful Reasons to Infuse Brand Personality
1. Create Emotional Connection—at Scale
Never underestimate the value of an emotional connection with your audience. Yes, the human being who answers the phone at your firm may have an emotional connection with a potential client—but brands need to create an emotional connection with dozens, hundreds, thousands, or potentially millions of people.
The use of brand personality begins creating connection long before that first conversation…via social media, email, ads, your website, and automation. It primes potential clients for a great experience and puts them in the right state of mind coming into the relationship.
2. Leverage Differentiation and Recognition
If your potential clients have literally any other options for products or services, then differentiation matters. After all, a brand that doesn’t have a unique point of view and solid messaging leaves potential clients no option but to compare on price.
Without a unique brand experience, you become a rather pricey commodity—the luxury version of a loaf of bread. They just might consider another brand next time if the price is right.
Having trouble figuring out what makes your brand different? Unsure of your firm’s messaging? Start leveraging brand personality now. It’s a powerful lever to pull when it comes to standing out in a crowded market and becoming recognizable.
The proof: Look at some of the now-huge design brands—like Amber Interiors or Eye Swoon—that have used personality on Instagram to build an empire. Yes, these brands have a gorgeous aesthetic but many less-successful brands do as well. When it comes to differentiation and recognition…personality is a wildly effective tool.
3. Build Instant Trust
46% of consumers are willing to pay more for brands they trust. We can all relate, right? If an amazing outcome feels trustworthy and certain, it’s worth paying a bit extra.
Trust is sometimes tricky to create and often easy to lose—but it’s everything. And the good news is that you can start building trust the moment a potential client hits your website. Clean design, a good user experience, and strong copywriting will earn points in the user’s mind and position you immediately as a viable option.
But a brand personality that feels sincere takes everything to the next level. Language that feels honest is your best friend—and that means that your brand needs to speak like a human. More on this below.
But…can we keep it high end?
The feeling of “luxury” in interior design and architecture services is about so much more than price. It’s reflected in:
- High-quality photos
- Elevated level of service
- Consistent and upscale visual branding
- Ease of use at every touchpoint—including what is often the first touchpoint, the website
If you have everything above in good working order—tightly designed, documented, and executed with consistency—then you have tons of room to inject personality into the brand.
HOW: The Process of Injecting Personality
1. First, find the overlap.
It’s easy to feel connected to someone—or in this case, something—when we feel a sense of overlap.
Overlapping values. Overlapping likes and dislikes. Overlapping sense of humor. Overlapping cultural touchpoints.
When we inject the elements above into our brand—and the values, likes, sense of humor, and favorite cultural touchpoints overlap with those of potential and current clients—we create a sense of connection.
This is never about being fake. It’s about taking the authentic qualities and values of the brand and simply giving them some air to breathe. It’s about having the courage to shine a light on them and the attention to detail required to insert them into unexpected, interesting places.
2. Then, define what the personality of the brand looks like—and how to show it off.
Consider tapping into pop culture references.
You know how you’re always told that you should have a relatively specific age range for your target client? This is one of the places where that information comes in handy. Because the cultural references—music, movies, fashion, food—that define one generation will feel quite foreign to another. If your ideal client falls in the range of 45-55, there are specific references that will instantly connect.
But it goes deeper. For example: Where did your target client sit in the cafeteria in high school? Can you take a guess or get a sense of it? If they were artistic, athletic, or endlessly studious…these are all clues that can help you can narrow down that set of references.
Choose client values that overlap with those of the brand and highlight them.
For this, I love sending clients to Brene Brown’s list of values. Thinking about your favorite clients—those who embody the characteristics that are ideal for your firm—look through that list of values and find two or three that are important to both the brand AND the client.
Weave references to those values into your content—from video to copy to descriptions of projects. It’s a powerful way to create a sense of connection.
Sincerity is a shortcut to trust—and it lives within the personality of a brand. In practice, this often means simplifying the language, making it more conversational, and just generally ‘speaking’ (in copywriting, video, captions, and everywhere else) in a tone that sounds a bit like the owner and team members who will eventually work with the client.
Two quick examples:
- Less jargon or even none (unless you’re B2B!…where the right jargon like references to specific architectural software, etc. can actually be helpful)
- Use of common contractions—as in “can’t” instead of “cannot”
Find and replace the cliches.
When the rough draft of your website copy, social media caption, or video script is ready—take the extra moment to highlight every phrase that feels like a cliche.
In other words, we’re looking for the “dream home” of it all. Is there a cooler, more personality-driven way to say that?
Finding and replacing cliches is a quick, efficient way to inject personality. When we draft website copy for a client, this is an essential part of our process.
WHERE: 4 Places to Infuse Brand Personality
1. Create a Legendary ‘About’ Page
You can take all of the expected channels for brand personality—social media, the website, etc.—and get really creative. But the ‘About’ page, in particular, can go from an unskimmable column of text to something memorable and unique.
- Insert small references that are meaningful to your perfect client—from cultural to historical.
- Bring an editorial element to the headshots…because you can. Get slightly bold.
- Weave in opinions and philosophies that will speak to your firm’s values and those of your target client.
The goal is to connect. Use every element at your disposal, from images to words to video, to express the parts of your brand personality that will connect with the personality of your ideal client.
2. Elevate the Transactional Elements
Personality can be inserted during every interaction—but some of the greatest opportunities are the places that typically tend to be bland.
- A thank you page after a form submission
- Your out-of-office message
- Your meeting reminders
- 404 error pages on the website
Anything “transactional” is an opportunity for an unexpected yet impactful touch of personality in the visuals or the copywriting.
3. Photo Styling
Once you know what your target client is into, what phase of life they’re in, and what they value…all of this information can be used to generate ideas for styling.
As we often say: More humans, more dogs, more food, and just generally more evidence of humanity can go into the styling of space—if it feels right.
The bonus is that these elements will make your photos more visually interesting.
4. Automated Email
Automated emails can be FULL of personality—in words, video, and photos—and should not be overlooked. Something as simple as the right GIF or a witty turn of phrase can speak volumes and create a tiny but meaningful moment of delight.
AVOID: 3 Common Brand Personality Killers
1. Too Many Adjectives
This one will drain the trust right out of the experience. Simplicity speaks clearly—and brands that speak like a human create stronger connections. When your team speaks to clients, do you lace every sentence with six or seven descriptors? If so, it might work in your copywriting. But if not—and very few people do—it just won’t feel like real personality. It will feel like a sales pitch. And no one likes that.
2. Fear and Lack of POV
A brand that stands for nothing never stands out. The BEST point of view for a brand is in opposition to the status quo in some way. If everyone—as in, everyone else they could hire—is zigging, then you might need to zag.
What gets in the way here is fear.
Particularly when it comes to upscale branding, the messaging out in the world is that opinions need to be tamped down, copy needs to be limited, and the “luxury client” can be called into existence simply by saying the word “luxury” a lot on the website.
This oversimplification can hurt a brand.
Real luxury lives in the places listed above—the level of service, the quality of the work, the ease of every touchpoint—but brand personality and strong point of view drive loyalty. Not to mention, a lack of personality will make your marketing painfully boring.
3. Lack of Defined Visual Branding
Does “generic” ever feel trustworthy? Simplicity can absolutely feel trustworthy. Space and minimalism can definitely feel trustworthy. But generic and bland never will.
If your website and visual brand feel like they could belong to anyone, then visitors have no foundation for recognition or trust. As simple as it sounds, the presence of a defined color palette and some subtle but high-end graphic design motifs will go a long way in adding personality to the brand.
We call it ‘Squarespace disease’—an affliction defined by lack of branding, personality, and differentiation. It certainly isn’t present on every Squarespace website, but we see it a lot.
The cure? A consistent, recognizable, and trustworthy visual identity…woven through every touchpoint, starting with the website.
Ready to Get Purposeful?
Interested in leveling up your website, expressing the best version of your brand’s personality, and attracting amazing clients?
Contact us to embark on a journey of turning your brand into a personality-rich, upscale experience. Embrace the power of brand personality and use it to evolve into a trusted companion for your potential and current clients. We can help!