• Realistic brand personality can be achieved by linking the brand to a real personality. 
  • This strategy capitalizes on the human tendency to connect with humans. 

The “Develop a Brand Personality by Linking it to a Real Personality” helps create a relatable brand image by associating it with a real personality. It capitalizes on creating a relatable and memorable brand personality by associating with a person who embodies the brand traits. 

People tend to connect with people more easily than logos or slogans, and this marketing strategy leverages this natural tendency to build a compelling brand connection. The chosen individual should become a living embodiment of the brand personality and core values. 

This strategy brings trust and authenticity to the table, and real people feel more genuine with the audience than faceless corporations. Moreover, a relatable personality creates an emotional connection with the target audience. There are several ways to implement this strategy, as follows. 

It starts by defining the brand’s identity, focusing on core values, mission, and target audience. Marketers should identify the ideal traits of the chosen personality, as this helps find your brand champion, who could be anyone. Brands must focus on crafting a compelling relationship that lets both the brand and the individual’s personalities shine through. 

How did KFC Incorporate the “Develop a Brand Personality by Linking it to a Real Personality” Marketing Strategy with Col. Sanders?

Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, is an American fast-food restaurant chain specializing in fried chicken. Its success story is deeply rooted in the iconic figure of Colonel Harland Sanders. His face is on their store, buckets, merchandise, etc. His relatability and face value have a symbiotic relationship with KFC.

Building the Colonel’s Persona

It should be noted that Colonel Harland Sanders was more than just the founder of KFC; he was a natural person with a genuine personality. Kentucky Fried Chicken skillfully capitalized on his Southern hospitality, friendly demeanor and folksy charm. This approach created a sense of trust and approachability for the brand. 

Inspired by American icons like Uncle Sam and Santa Claus, Col. Sanders donned a white suit and string tie and sported a goatee to become the face of KFC. This created a memorable and recognizable image, which eventually became synonymous with KFC. 

It should be noted that Colonel was more than just a relatable face for KFC; he also had a compelling story. The American fast food giant emphasized his journey from a gas station operator to his days in the army and other aspects that eventually led him to become a successful restaurateur. The journey highlighted his dedication and passion for creating delicious fried chicken, which aligned with the brand image. 

Skillfully Integrating Col. Sanders into Marketing & Impact

Colonel Harland Sanders became the undisputed star of KFC’s advertising campaign and started appearing in print ads, television commercials, and even on their packaging. These aspects made him the face of the brand. Marketers ensured that his image and messaging remained consistent across all marketing channels, reinforcing his personality and association with the brand. 

The Colonel was not an ordinary fictional mascot but a natural person with a relatable and compelling backstory. This highlighted his image while humanizing the brand, fostering a sense of customer connection. His personality embodied KFC’s core values, and intelligent usage provided consistency across the brand, strengthening the overall brand experience. 

How did KFC Evolve with Colonel Capitalizing on his Legacy?

While the core elements of Col. Sanders’ personality remain the same, the brand strategically altered its marketing strategy with time. KFC now uses different actors to portray the Colonel in commercials, creating a memorable experience and enhancing brand relatability

Colonel also appears on multiple Social media platforms, engaging with customers in playful, relatable, and interactive ways, facilitating social media integration into the campaign. KFC skillfully uses Colonel Sanders to link a brand’s personality with a real person. 

Eventually, his image transcended the realm of advertising and is now a well-known cultural icon. They have successfully built a brand that is more than just fried chicken; it encompasses warmth, tradition, and a subtle touch of Southern charm. This marketing strategy has greatly helped Kentucky Fried Chicken in more ways than one. 

What is the “Develop a Brand Personality by Linking it to a Real Personality” Marketing Strategy? 

This strategy taps into the human tendency to connect with other humans. When a brand associates itself with a person whose personality aligns with the brand image, it inadvertently creates a relatable and memorable brand image that people tend to associate with. Skillful implementation of this strategy increases brand image, awareness and engagement.

Why Does this Strategy Work? 

As humans, we generally gravitate towards personalities we find familiar or admire. Our brains are wired to seek patterns and predictability, and encountering someone or something familiar triggers a sense of safety and comfort. Leveraging on this aspect of human psychology, brands tend to associate themselves with a personality. 

By attaching the brand to a real person, they create an emotional connection that compelling logos and slogans might struggle to achieve. Eventually, the chosen person becomes a living embodiment of the brand’s core values and personality. This helps create a relatable image of the brand, and in the end, people buy the product for the personality more than the brand name. 

It’s a fact that real people are perceived as more authentic than traditional faceless corporations. Plus, linking the brand to a genuine personality helps foster trust and relatability with the target audience. When we admire someone, we subconsciously want to emulate them, and this marketing strategy capitalizes on this trait. 

How to Implement this Marketing Strategy? 

After understanding the nuances and intricacies of this marketing strategy, the hard part is implementing it into the business. Marketers can consider the following aspects for successful implementation.

Before finding the right person, brands must first solidify their core values, mission, and target audience. They must have clear answers to who they are and who they are trying to reach. Then comes the task of thinking about the personality traits that align with the brand. There should be a clear understanding of being funny, adventurous, or sophisticated. 

Then comes the task of finding the brand champion. This can be anyone: a celebrity, an influencer, a customer, or even an employee. The key here is to select an individual who embodies the brand’s traits. Marketers should develop a partnership that feels natural. Remember, the person’s personality should shine through their interaction with the brand. 

Remember, content is the undisputed king, and all the content created for this marketing strategy must showcase the brand-personality connection in the best light. This could be social media posts, interviews, commercials, print advertisements, or sometimes co-created product lines. 

For example, when L’Oreal partnered with Hollywood star Helen Mirren, they defied the stereotypes of using an older actress to represent a beauty brand. Furthermore, this step allowed them to showcase a strong message of ageless beauty and confidence and the fact that age is just a number.

Pros and Cons of “Develop a Brand Personality by Linking it to a Real Personality” Marketing StrategyLike any other marketing strategy, developing a realistic brand personality strategy has pros and cons, as discussed below. ProsPeople connect with people, and a real personality skillfully adds a human element to the brand, making it more relatable and memorable. This helps establish a stronger brand connection with the target audience. As the chosen person embodies the brand value and personality, it helps portray a clearer brand identity to the masses.

Real people feel more genuine, and consumers tend to trust a brand associated with a relatable personality. This, in turn, increases trust and authenticity. When a person’s story and experiences are skillfully woven into the brand narrative, it enhances the brand’s storytelling while increasing its visibility and reach. 


If the chosen person’s identity or image does not align with the brand, it creates a sense of confusion among consumers and can damage the brand’s reputation if they get involved in a scandal. When a personality is involved, marketers tend to lose some control over the brand messaging, as the person might express views or engage in activities that do not align with the brand.

Building a successful association with a personality is time-consuming, and changes in the person’s career or public image can seriously affect or disrupt the strategy. Depending on the chosen personality, it can be expensive to secure their involvement and commitment to the brand. Plus, it’s challenging to find the perfect person who embodies the desired traits, so this strategy might not be suitable for every brand. 
In conclusion, “Develop a Brand Personality by Linking it to a Real Personality” is a powerful marketing tool with multiple benefits. It helps foster emotional connection, trust, and brand loyalty. Marketers must remember that authenticity is the key here, and they should let the person’s genuine personality shine through, as this helps create a brand that resonates with the target audience.