So we can all agree, a great brand strategy or rebrand starts with what sets you apart from your competition. OK! There you go; brand strategy complete. Go get ‘em...Um, yeah, if you are like most of us it’s easier to agree with that statement than to dig deep and figure out exactly what sets you apart.
Enter a brand personality. You may have also seen the term brand archetype (which is kind of similar but also a little different). Just like people, brands have a variety of personalities. They can be grouped together into categories to make things a little easier.
To illustrate this point, think of the difference between the personality of Mercedes-Benz vs Kia. It would be really strange to see giant hamsters cruising around in a $150,000 convertible. Aside from the fact that they wouldn’t fit- it isn’t consistent with the Mercedes brand personality. It worked for Kia, though. If you are too young to know what I'm talking about- don’t tell me. Here's a side by side. Really, don’t tell me…
A brand personality isn’t:
Let’s take a brief look at what a brand personality isn’t. Working backwards can bring a bit of clarity.
A brand personality isn’t an absolute, rigid system. In fact, your brand may be primarily one personality with a generous splash of another. That OK. Like people, brands are not always easy to define.
A brand personality isn’t a magic wand. Getting super clear and consistent on your brand’s personality will not skyrocket your business to six figures in six months.
A brand personality isn’t going to attract all clients/customers to your biz. In fact, getting this right will repel the clients who aren’t a good fit for what you offer.
A brand personality is:
A brand personality is a tool to help you understand and define what makes your business unique. Like genres for books and movies, a brand personality helps us stay on track to create a relatable story.
A brand personality is a roadmap on how to connect with your best audience. Consistency leads to connection with your best audience which leads to growth.
A brand personality is flexible. I kind of already covered this, but it’s worth repeating. Your personality type isn’t a limitation to box you in. It’s a tool to help you get strategic and consistent in your business.
The Brand Personality Types:
My signature framework is a little different than other brand personality types out there. It is part visual and part characteristics/values/communication styles. It is based on my own observations and study, the work of Angela Wright on the psychology of color, and the branding archetypes derived from the theories of Carl Jung.
The Maker: The Maker brand is artisan, thoughtful, organic and warm. You don’t need to actually make things to have this brand personality. In fact this is a fairly common brand personality for entrepreneurs. We often crave authenticity, community, and connection with our audience.
Southern Charm: The Southern Charm personality includes a couple of types. The first is the more obvious Classic version. It is a bit more elegant, formal, warm, and romantic. This second, Modern Farmhouse is a little softer and more casual. Both are very welcoming and gracious.
The Rockstar: The Rockstar likes to shake things up. A Rockstar brand is bold, engaging, and a little (or a lot) edgy. Think strong cool colors, daring conversations, and striking visuals.
The Sophisticate: The Sophisticate brand exudes luxury, quality, and refinement. It is all about curating a sophisticated experience. Every touch point with your audience is thoughtfully crafted to communicate your personality. High contrast, cool colors set the tone here.
The Minimalist: Like the Southern Charm personality, The Minimalist includes two types of brands. The first, Clean, is probably what you think of when you think of minimal design. Uncluttered, focused, contrast and a limited, cool color palette are hallmarks of a minimal brand. The second type, Bright, also emphasizes simplicity and thoughtfulness. But, it includes brighter, warmer colors and a generally happier, less serious vibe.
The Sunshine: The Sunshine is bright, positive, feminine or youthful, and happy. These brands bring a sense of excitement and happy energy to their audience. Think brighter but warm colors with pop (and maybe a dash of glitter ✨).
So, what's next?
Well, if you aren’t sure what your brand personality is, take my quiz! Sometimes a fresh perspective can help you nail down this crucial starting point.
Once you know your brand’s personality, it is sooooo much easier to stay consistent.
Remember consistency leads to connection.
Please note: This brand personality framework is protected by copyright. It is the product of many hours of work. You are welcome to share by linking back to this article, but please be a nice human. Don’t steal my work. You can check out my TOS page for more info. Thanks...