6 Personalities in the Workplace, and Why They Matter

Personalities

As a marketer, it is my job to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time.  While that seems simple enough, in reality there are many factors that go into communicating with your audience and representing your brand.  The tone has to be equal parts informative and entertaining, and the content should be catered to what your audience wants to read.  That last part is key.  And understanding who your audience is, and what motivates them is arguably the most important factor in making a connection (AKA, building Brand Love!).

So let’s talk about personality and why it matters.  Think of your brand, your logo, and how you project your brand to your audience.  If you were to assign your brand a persona, what would it be?  If Crate & Barrel were personified, some of their personality traits would be organized, inviting and friendly.  If REI was a living, breathing person surely they would be adventurous, down-to-earth and outdoorsy.  Your messaging should reflect the personality traits that your brand represents in order to be effective.

Now, think of your target audience.  Who are they? Are they easy-going, or a perfectionist?  Do they like to take charge, or work behind-the-scenes?  Everyone is different and some products and brands will appeal to your audience more than others will.  Although every single person in your audience is unique, for this exercise, think broadly about their profile.  According to psychologist John Holland, there are 6 major personalities in the workplace and each one is unique and is motivated by different factors.

Realistic PersonalityRealistic

These are the doers!  They are independent, stable, active, persistent, practical, and thrifty.  They prefer to work with things rather than ideas and people.  They are no-nonsense and down-to-earth people and are often the ones that keep the team level-headed in a crisis.  They prefer being outdoors and like to “learn by doing” as opposed to learning in a classroom setting.

An example of a brand that appeals to a Realistic audience is: REI

 

 

InvestigativeInvestigative

These are the thinkers!  They are introspective, inquisitive, analytical, and intellectual.  They prefer tasks that involve using logic to solve highly complex, abstract problems.  In the workplace they are often the one that insists on doing their research and having hard data to support a plan of action.

An example of a brand that appeals to an Investigative audience is: IBM

 

 

Artistic

These are the creators!  They are intuitive, creative, expressive, original, and innovative.  They place an emphasis on feelings, imagination, and are spontaneous and open-minded.  In the workplace they are often the ones coming up with creative solutions and ideas.

An example of a brand that appeals to an Artistic audience is: Apple

 

 

Social

Social

This type of audience is helpful!  They are friendly, generous, idealistic, responsible, helpful, empathetic and tactful.  In their workplace they are always willing to step up to any challenge asked of them.  They care a lot about workplace relationships and enjoy working in group settings.

An example of a brand that appeals to a Social audience is: TOMS

 

 

EnterprisingEnterprising

These types of people are persuaders!  They are adventurous, ambitious, self-confident, enthusiastic, and motivational.  In the workplace they are a natural leader and their co-workers look to them for direction.  They prefer work that involves public speaking, taking risks, debating, and competing.  They are good at seeing the big picture and are highly motivated by promotions.

An example of a brand that appeals to an Enterprising audience is: Tesla Motors

 

 

Conventional

Conventional

People with this personality type are organizers!  They are conscientious, conservative, logical, efficient, organized, and detail-oriented.  They value precision and accuracy in the work they do. In the office they are the one keeping everyone organized and on schedule.  They excel in practical tasks, quantitative measurements, and structured environments.  They like clearly defined rules and expectations.

An example of a brand that appeals to a Conventional audience is: Crate & Barrel

 

Is there a certain personality that you felt aligned with your brand?  Often times, people are a combination of these types and are susceptible to a broader message.  By learning more about personalities and brand personas you will be able to reach and communicate better with your audience and open doors to new opportunities.  This exercise is not only useful in learning more on your target audience, it is also a great way to improve synergy and team dynamics within your own office!

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Curious about which one fits YOUR personality?  Take the quiz to find out.

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