When it comes to brand identify the question isn’t “what” a brand is as much as it’s “who” a brand is. Obviously, to be successful. a brand has to function and fill a need or desire in the marketplace. But that’s just table stakes. It also has to have the ability draw people to itself. Nothing does that better than human characteristics. Think of it as the people power of personification.

We gravitate towards brands that define and convey human traits. And we are prone to form a longer lasting connection with brands that share the same human traits as those people who resonate, fascinate, inspire, move us, or are just like us.

Brands that project characteristics of real people, (resonante?) with real people. After all, it’s hard for a brand to (resonate?) with someone if that brand doesn’t have any human traits to resonate with. Think about someone you know. The first person that comes to mind is probably holding a memorable place in your (psyche?). What would be a one-word description of that person?  Smart?  Quirky?  Caring?  Tough?  Sophisticated?  Playful?  Serious? Now think about how that person speaks, behaves, dresses and moves. Chances are you can spot him or her from across a crowded room.

Brands that we recognize and are drawn to often possess the same kinds of human characteristics as the cultural legends who captivated us like Walt Disney, Michael Jordon, Jackie Kennedy, Gloria Steinam, and Prince.

There are also those unforgettable fictional movie characters like Vito Corleone, Scarlett O’ Hara, Luke Skywalker, Mrs. Robinson, Randle McMurphy, or Lara Croft. Their unique chemistries are a driving force behind a great story. However, it doesn’t take an icon to enthrall us. We also got attached to characters like Pee Wee Herman, Don Draper, Chandler Bing, and Lucifer Morningstar.  Not only were they magnetic, but they also came into our homes every week and we could depend on who they were to be consistent and remain unchanged.

The funny thing is, we don’t actually know these people.  In fact, some of them have been dead or disappeared from a media for 50 years or more. Yet their identity is still alive and kicking in our collective memories. 

Try this: Think of a brand that first comes to mind. Now, if that brand was a famous person (living or not) or movie or TV character, who would that person or character be who represented that brand? Now do the same thing in reverse. Think of brand. Who would that brand be? If your mind goes blank, how well has that brand done against its competitor brands?

Yep. People Power.