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Blending two popular brand personality frameworks

Jul 14, 2022 | Brand personality

Your brand’s personality can strategically come to life by determining the season and archetype that most resonate with your desired brand traits.


As business owners, I think we all understand on some level the importance of having a defined brand personality. As consumers, we’ve definitely engaged with brands and have probably experienced a plethora of emotions based on a brand’s personality – i.e., if I need a good laugh, Wendy’s on Twitter never lets me down. 

Which brings me to the point of brand personality in the first place – to create connection and build relationships with an audience. Ideally, with your right audience. And, just like humans, a brand’s personality will attract and it will repel. 

What I often see as the challenge is the creation of said personality. Even Wendy’s Twitter was an intentional and strategic decision, and the intent to build rapport with a certain type of person. 

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you don’t have the resources of Wendy’s – even with a small team it can feel like a daunting task to define your brand’s personality. 

Which is why I love blending together brand archetypes and brand seasons. The idea being, it doesn’t hurt to have a few more tools to draw on that’ll help you get clear on your brand’s personality.

In This Article

>> An overview of brand archetypes
>> An overview of brand seasons
>> How and why they work together
>> How to use both and enhance your brand’s personality
>> Few final thoughts
>> Additional brand resources.

 

What are brand archetypes?

Brand archetypes are characterizations of a brand’s personality based on their behaviors, patterns and images, and are derived from Jung’s original set.

High level, the 12 brand archetypes:

  • Caregiver
  • Creator
  • Everyman
  • Explorer
  • Hero
  • Innocent
  • Jester
  • Lover
  • Magician
  • Outlaw
  • Ruler
  • Sage

 

 

What is seasonal brand theory?

The idea that every brand identifies with a particular season and that season has unique characteristics. From the words on a website to the photography styling to the color palette, each season has a set of guidelines that embody and evoke emotions based on color psychology and seasonal theory.

High level, the four brand seasons:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter

 

 

Why have archetypes and seasons work together in the first place?

The idea that the archetypes and seasons could intertwine happened when I first started exploring the ideas of brand archetypes. I was reading through the archetype descriptions and would find myself categorizing each one with a certain brand season.

It was one of those ‘huh’ moments and down the rabbit hole I went.

What’s great about brand archetypes is that each personality is rooted in psychology and based on behaviors – what motivates/drives decisions. What they’re for and what they’re against. From my perspective, it’s very internal brand oriented.

Now, on the other hand, brand seasons are more aligned with the external brand – color psychology, typography and photography. While yes, it’s rooted in psychology and behavior, each season has very external-facing characteristics.

So, when you blend the two brand personality types together, you get the best of both worlds. Guidance on the behavior and drive of the brand and guidance on the visual elements. Win-win, right?!

 

 

How we blend brand archetypes and brand seasons together to create the ultimate brand personality framework

Let me start by saying this is 100% going off the gut, here. But, to give a little more context to the process, I examined each archetype and based on their brand voice, I could identify the most aligned brand season.

Just like seasonal brand theory, the idea of using brand archetypes is to be a guideline, rather than a hard or fast rule. So, when working with them together, the same idea applies. When you know your archetype and know your season, you can use their attributes to enhance your overall brand experience.

Spring

A fun, energetic and friendly personality. They embrace who they are, explore their creativity and lean into whatever is inspiring them. They light up a room, don’t position themselves above anyone else and revel in bringing people together.

  • Colors are bright, bold and full of warmth
  • Typography is light, approachable and fun
  • Graphics are lively and whimsical
  • Photography style is bright and airy with movement

The Hero: They want to help others achieve their full potential. Their brand voice is brave, honest and inspirational.
The Innocent: They’re all about purity, joy and innocence. Their brand voice is optimistic, sincere and innocent.
The Jester: They want to have a good time and connect with their inner child. Their brand voice is playful, humorous and optimistic.

 

Summer

A well organized, elegant and efficient personality. They do their best work with order and structure, and they have a strong sense of responsibility

  • Colors are cool, muted and elegant
  • Typography is delicate, graceful and refined
  • Graphics are classic and luxurious
  • Photography style is calm and soft

The Caregiver: They want to make people feel safe. Their brand voice is warm, caring and compassionate.
The Lover: They inspire close relationships and connection. Their brand voice is empathetic, soothing and sensual.
The Ruler: They foster stability and trust by maintaining order and control. Their brand voice is articulate, orderly and straightforward.

 

Fall

An authentic personality full of integrity. They revel in knowledge, education and learning. They love to do things differently and challenge established norms.

  • Colors are warm, moody and saturated
  • Typography is organic, substantial and less formal
  • Graphics are imperfect, organic and informal
  • Photography style natural, warm and rich

The Everyman: They value reliability and trust. Their brand voice is humble, friendly and honest.
The Magician: They value making dreams come true and problems disappear. Their brand voice is reassuring, knowledgeable and esoteric.
The Sage: They are driven by a desire to learn and understand. Their brand voice is knowledgeable, guiding and wise.

 

Winter

A driven, decisive and focused personality. They are all about getting things done with a minimal amount of commotion.

  • Colors are cool, saturated and clear
  • Typography is high contrast
  • Graphics are full of hard lines and geometric shapes
  • Photography style is dramatic with clean lines

The Creator: They’re great at inspiring creativity and freedom of expression. Their brand voice is inspirational, passionate and creative.
The Explorer: They are all about inspiring change and seeking freedom. Their brand voice is daring, bold and excitable.
The Outlaw: They want to rip up the rule book. Their brand voice is rebellious, disruptive and energetic.

 

 

Putting the two frameworks to work

I may be the broken record here, but I want to reiterate – when you blend the two brand personality types together, you get the best of both worlds. Guidance on the behavior and drive of the brand and guidance on the visual elements.

So, if you’re in this space of wanting more clarity and definition of your brand’s personality, determine the season and archetype that most resonate with your desired traits and use the characteristics to really enhance the personality of your brand.

And with that, happy branding 🙂

 

All my best,

 

Need additional branding resources?

Figure out what your brand archetype is so you can create a solid framework around building your brand.

Learn how to utilize the power of color to help evoke a specific brand experience in this post.

Seasonal Brand Theory is an easy way to help you identify your brand personality. This post walks you through the process.

We’re walking through the process of how to pick your brand’s season so that you can create a consistent and cohesive brand.

We dive into the steps to develop an engaging and effective brand personality you can use to resonate with your right audience.

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