Customers buy from a brand with a strong personality, study reveals

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In a recent survey, over half of customers polled revealed that they tend to buy from a brand with a big personality. 

The study found that 57.5% of customers buy from brands with strong personalities, whilst 51.2% of people have purchased from a brand because of the way they spoke online. 

Results also revealed that 29.9% of people wouldn’t be influenced either way, and just 12.7% of people said they would be less likely to buy from brands with a strong personality. 

Furthermore, according to these latest findings from Adzooma – the International digital and technology platform provider – friendly personalities are what customers also want, with 35.1% of people preferring brands to talk in a friendly and conversational way. 

In addition to this, 13.1% of people prefer a professional tone, 13.1% of people preferred a fun or ‘quirky’ tone, 2.4% of people preferred a sarcastic tone and 21.4% of people prefer a mixture of all.

Whilst friendly personalities are ahead in terms of what people want a brands personality to be, there is still clearly a large divide and it doesn’t necessarily apply for every company. Getting it wrong can also cause the loss of customers, as 55.7% of people have unfollowed a brand for the way they speak online. 

Essentially, everyone’s different and there’s not a single person loved by everyone. Even Tom Hanks can’t win them all. By incorporating a personality into a brand, some people are instantly going to turn away. 

Strong personalities can be polarising for the audience, but they are also more likely to be remembered. Good or bad, strong personalities are a great tool for brand recall. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some brands avoid personality to the extent of becoming emotionless robots. However, a robotic tone of voice isn’t likely to captivate or engage an audience either. 

As John Linden of Mirror Coop says: “No one is on social media for the professional side of life; that’s already what people have to face at work, so they log on to social media to unwind.”

Customers aren’t on social media to be sold to. They’re there to unwind, talk to family and friends and be entertained. If a business can fit into that circle, they’re much more likely to remember and engage with q brand. 

This may also be the reason 35.1% of people prefer brands to speak in friendly and conversational ways online. 

Results by Adzooma also found that 55.7% of people have unfollowed a brand because of the way they spoke online. Perhaps this signifies a need to be true to the brand

Chris Fernandez, CEO of Women’s Health Interactive, said: “Whatever your personality or voice, use it, be consistent and make sure that it is honest, authentic and true to you and your brand. If you do, you’ll naturally attract the customer who is looking for you and what you’re selling or talking about. The worst thing to be is ambiguous, boring or stuck in the middle.” 

Could the global pandemic also solidify the need for brand personas – there’s been a huge boom in local buying, particularly within the food industry. Approximately a third of households increased their digital spend, while 38% of consumers said they will continue to buy from the same stores they visited at the beginning of the crisis. 

Of the personalities Adzooma questioned in their survey – one received a more negative response than others. This is brands that are ‘over the top’ and post memes in an effort to connect with Gen Z audiences. 

Knowing when to turn it on could also be key as 31.4% of people said that they wanted brands to speak in a mixture of different personalities. This doesn’t mean be sarcastic one day and friendly the next – as this is likely to confuse customers and branding. 

So, does using a strong personality for a brand, also mean posting about politics? 

In a previous survey, Adzooma found that customers actually think about brands getting political. The majority of people found them to be insincere, with 43.5% of people thinking that it is just a way for customers to jump on the bandwagon. 

In addition, politics can worsen customers’ opinions of a brand and potentially damage your online engagement, as 42.3% of people will unfollow a brand for speaking out about politics. 

However, it can increase sales, with 63% of people more likely to buy from a brand that speaks out about politics, but only if customers agree. If they didn’t, 67.5% would be unlikely to ever buy from your brand. 

Hence, for those who really want to engage with customers on social, it might be worth considering having a strong personality but avoiding politics.