If Mr BMW had to walk into the room, what type of person would he or she be? I bet you’re thinking they’d be somewhat debonair, perhaps a bit arrogant and probably confident. Brands have distinctive personalities in the same way that people do. Brand personalities are an extremely important component of what constitutes a brand. They are powerful differentiators in many markets.

We did a small analysis from our Brand Atlas data where we measured how respondents describe their own personalities. Then we had a look to see if there were differences between the owners of one car brand and the owners of another.

Not many motorcar brands are differentiated on personality attributes. The exceptions to the rule are all of the German brands – Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. (By the way Toyota is not differentiated at all on any of the personality attributes, which just goes to show that a brand which is differentiated on personality attributes is a nice-to-have rather than a need-to-have.)

Audi and BMW are almost identical in terms of how their owners describe their own personality – intelligent, confident, successful, modern, athletic, healthy, liberal minded, fashionable and upper-class. In addition to these, BMW owners add sociable and sophisticated for good measure, and Audi owners add tough to their list.

Mercedes-Benz owners describe themselves as being trustworthy and responsible, honest, warm and wholesome, confident, sociable, successful, charming, sophisticated and upper-class. A more grown version of the Audi and BMW personality types (and very similar to Woolworths shoppers).

Volkswagen is the least differentiated of all of the German motorcar brands, but owners describe themselves as being down to earth, fun and cheerful, sociable and outgoing as well as fashionable.

If you’re interested in understanding the personality of your brand, there is a good chance that we have already measured it in our Brand Atlas survey which is in field right now.