Every brand can be anthropomorphized to a certain degree. That doesn’t mean every brand needs a little mascot character with big eyes and a funny name; it means that at the heart of every brand is a set of characteristics, akin to a human personality, that customers can relate to as if the brand were a real companion. Words like “honest,” “inspiring,” “sympathetic,” “reassuring,” “fun,” “intelligent,” and “supportive” often crop up when passionate customers describe their favorite brands. We tend to see human attributes, that is, personality, in things we want to have a relationship with. How a brand is projected, visually as well as through a specific voice, needs to be consistent across all areas in order for customers to see its personality. One of the common mistakes many brands make is to project a well-crafted personality in their advertising, but quite a different personality, or none whatsoever, in “below the line” areas such as customer billing materials. While the heart of any brand has to be a worthwhile, quality product, there’s no question that having an endearing personality can make up for a few flaws. Friends—and customers—are willing to overlook shortcomings if the personality is attractive. A great brand offers a producer the luxury of a second chance. The quickest way to attach a personality to a brand is through a celebrity endorsement. The pop star Britney Spears has attached her name to two perfumes, Curious and Fantasy, creating instant appeal for products that would otherwise have had a hard time gaining attention in a crowded market. The risk is that, as Spears has run into difficulties in her personal life, so the products could end up being tarnished. A brand that desires longevity would do better to build its own personality, rather than adopting a celebrity’s. Perhaps the best personality trait for a brand is self-confidence. A good salesman says, “What kind of car do you want to buy today?” moving quickly past the issue of whether you even want to buy anything at all. Likewise, a confident brand doesn’t merely offer itself; like an innocent puppy it assumes you want it, and sells you on its personality. Confidence is displayed in many ways: cheerful humor, cool detachment, a free sample, or an emphasis on image while downplaying information. Snapple, a maker of fruit and tea drinks, uses bright colors and whimsy on its labels, including occasionally turning the logo upside down, to convey a cheerful confidence. “Cool” is a trait that many brands aspire to, though few really pull it off. Often, it is the associations more than the product itself that make a brand cool. Luxury goods trade on coolness and their association with a high-class lifestyle. Google is a supremely self-assured brand. The company is one of the most profitable in the world, even though millions of users have never paid a penny for its services. Its super-simple, uncluttered design, occasionally enlivened with a carefree doodle in honor of a special day, reflects this bold confidence.