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Your brand is the image you project to the world. It’s the face your company presents to the public, and it’s what people see when they hear your name. A great brand should have a personality that is easy to identify and distinguish from competitors and represent your company’s values and vision. Having a strong brand personality allows you to increase brand equity and promote brand advocacy. 

What is brand personality?

Brand personality is something that represents your company’s overall character. Brand personality should reflect your company’s values and culture. Your brand personality is the sum total of everything that defines your company. It includes your brand voice and design elements like your logo, colors, fonts, and other components that represent your company. It’s important to establish consistency in your brand personality as it helps to build brand identity which, in turn, promotes brand awareness. 

At BDSA, we adopt the Aaker model, a brand personality model that was created by Jennifer Aaker and seeks to develop brands that go beyond offering functional benefits. The five main personalities are sincerity, ruggedness, excitement, competence and sophistication. In this blog we discuss the trait of ruggedness. 

What makes a brand rugged? 

Rugged brands are outdoorsy, adventurous, tough and athletic. Just like someone who has a rugged personality, these brands are unconventional and prefer to take the road less traveled. People who are rugged are also tough, mentally resilsient and not afraid to get dirty. 

The Aaker model is based on the “Big Five” personality traits and a rugged brand would rank high for the trait of openness and low on that for neuroticism and agreebleness. The mission statement of such a brand would be focused around seeking novel experiences, living life on the edge and never yielding to rules or seeking approval. If your brand embraces the outdoors, promotes toughness and an unorthodox way of life, building a rugged personality for your brand would align best with your brand mission and values. 

For example Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear brand for sports, like climbing, trail running and snowboarding is a classic example of a brand with a rugged personality. Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder had a love for climbing and sought to create a brand for a community of like-minded individuals who enjoyed exploring new outdoor terrain. 

Also, it’s mission is to be “in business to save our home planet.” As part of its Worn Wear programme, it encouraged customers to sell their used Patagonia items back to the company, stating that “one of the most responsible things we can do as a company is make high-quality stuff that lasts for years, so you don’t have to buy more of it.” 

It is both unconventional and bold for a brand to forgo profits to stand by its beliefs. It shows consumers that Patagonia is serious about its mission and also serves to assure consumers who share the same principles about environmental sustainability.

How can you create a rugged brand? 

Start by defining your brand’s mission, vision, values and product. Does your product fit an outdoorsy, rugged personality? If you sell products, whether clothes or cars, made for the outdoors and going on adventures, consider a rugged personality. 

Brand personality comes alive through tangible elements of the brand, such as its visual identity and brand voice. Create a visual identity with visual branding. Use colours that reflect the natural surroundings, like muted shades of dark brown, chestnut, desert sand, forest green, and khaki green. Also incorporate clean, simple typography and an uncomplicated sans serif font helps you further cement your brand identity as one this unfussy and straightforward. Rugged brands are the antithesis of flashy, fashion brands – so stay away from bright, pop colours.

Craft a brand voice that is original, authentic, bold and inspiring. Avoid sounding overly excited or boastful. Or sounding excessively humorous or quirky. Embrace authenticity, being down-to-earth, sincere and subdued. 

Who is your target audience?

The first step to defining your target audience is conducting market research. When conducting interviews, surveys, or field studies, ask about their rational and emotional needs. This is so you can find out the type of brand personality that can fulfil the needs of your consumers. You can then create one that they can connect with and one that makes them feel understood. 

To determine if a rugged personality is fitting for your brand, ask yourself these questions: Does your target audience love the great outdoors, travelling, and taking the route less traveled? Are they fearless, bold, and individualistic? If they are pushing the limits, unafraid of convention and prescribed notions – a rugged brand might resonate well with your audience. 

Create a rugged brand with BDSA

BDSA is a brand consultancy and social media marketing agency in Singapore. We follow a methodical 3-step process when developing brands: Brand Discovery, Brand Strategy and Brand Translation. 

Learn how you can offset branding costs with Enterprise Singapore’s Enterprise Development Grant with BDSA. To start creating a memorable brand, speak to us today.

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