Seasonal Brand Theory and Brand Archetypes are two frameworks that help you identify your brand personality so that you can connect and build a long-lasting relationship with your ideal clients.
Do you remember those Apple commercials with Justin Long? They started with him, looking relaxed and casual in jeans, saying ‘Hello, I’m a Mac’ and then the older, stuffier looking guy in a dingy suit would say, “And I’m a PC”.
Whenever I think about brand personality and how important it is to your overall business, I always think back to those commercials. The Mac showed up as the cool, creative type and the PC was the more stiff, business type. And, if you think about Mac and PC from a brand perspective, the personification aligns perfectly.
When we bring our brands to life through an intentional personality, we make it easier for our audience to connect with us. And, that connection builds trust and loyalty – two central goals as a business owner.
In This Article
>> What is a brand personality?
>> Why is your brand’s personality important?
>> Two personality frameworks: seasonal brand theory and brand archetypes
>> Five steps to identify your brand’s personality
>> Additional brand resources.
What is a brand personality?
Let’s first look at what a personality is. The good ‘ole Oxford Dictionary says a personality is: the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.
Here at Witt and Company, we define a brand as the thoughts, feelings and actions someone has as they relate to a business.
Now, let’s bring it all together. Your brand personality is the characteristics that make up the thoughts, feelings and actions someone has for a business.
Why is your brand’s personality important?
When you have a distinct brand personality and consistently show up with those characteristics, you give your audience something to connect with. Think of your brand like a human – the identified personality allows your audience to decide if they want to be in your circle of influence. It builds trust and connection with your community, especially when you’re consistent.
Two personality frameworks: seasonal brand theory and brand archetypes
Now that you understand the importance of a brand’s personality, the next logical question is, “Okay, but HOW do I actually create the personality in the first place?”
Here at Witt and Company, we utilize two different frameworks to support the creation and development of a brand’s personality – Seasonal Brand Theory and brand archetypes
Seasonal Brand Theory
The idea is 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.
Archetypes are universal, inborn models of people, behaviors and personalities that play a role in influencing human behavior; they’re innate, universal and unlearned. Brand archetypes, then, are characterizations of a brand’s personality based on their behaviors, patterns and images, and are derived from Jung’s original set of human archetypes.
How to identify your brand’s personality in five steps
The goal is to determine what season and archetype your brand specifically aligns with so that you can create a brand experience that evokes your desired thoughts, feelings and actions. Whether it’s through the visuals or brand voice, aligning with a season and archetype will allow you to stay more consistent and cohesive.
Now with that being said, there aren’t any hard or fast rules for picking the ‘right’ season or archetype – think of them more as erasable boundary lines to help you stay aligned with your desired brand experience.
01. Choose the top ten adjectives that describe how your brand will be visually represented.
To spur inspiration this may mean you start with exploring Pinterest or flipping through magazines and picking images that feel aligned. The end-game here is to pick ten adjectives that best describe how you want your visual brand to feel and be experienced. And if you need a little support, check out this brand adjective word bank.
02. Choose the top ten adjectives that describe the brand voice and communication style of your brand.
This is all about how the brand will communicate – both verbal and written. If you’re drawing a blank, do some research on brands that you enjoy and engage with. How do they sound? What words and phrases do they integrate? Use that as a starting point to describe what you want for your own brand’s voice and communication style.
03. Choose the top ten adjectives that describe the overall experience you want people to have with your brand.
Step three is to take a high-level view of your overall brand and summarize how you most want people to feel, regardless of the brand touch point they come in contact with.
04. Compare those 30 adjectives against the brand season categories; select your primary and secondary season, and aligned archetype
Now that you’re armed with your top 30 brand adjectives, compare those to the four different seasons. Do your adjectives fall under one season most? The idea here is to align with a primary and secondary brand season so you can get some direction about how to bring your brand’s personality to life.
05. Create your brand personality manual
Think of the brand personality manual as your working document for detailing the experience that someone will have with your brand. Note the emphasis on working document – your brand’s personality will evolve and change, as you learn more about how your brand is personified. This happens by actually taking action on your brand, so here’s your friendly reminder to get out there and get visible.
Not sure what to include? Here’s a start:
- A summary of the desired brand experience (i.e., when someone experiences the brand, they feel XYZ and think ABC)
- A description of the brand voice and communication style (i.e., the brand voice is XYZ and the communication style is ABC)
- A description of the visual brand direction (i.e., the brand visuals are XYZ to align with the desired brand experience of ABC)
- A list of words that are commonly used within the brand’s communication
- A list of words that are NOT used within the brand’s communication
- A list of phrases and/or statements that embody the brand’s desired experience
And if that list is overwhelming you, here’s the shameless plug: this is exactly what we do for our clients. If you’re ready to get more clarity on your brand’s personality and bring it to life with aligned visuals, click here to schedule a no-obligation consultation call.
All my best,
Additional brand personality resources
Want to learn even more about Seasonal Brand Theory and color psychology? Click here.
Want to dig into each season individually? No problem! Check out the Spring Brand Season, Summer Brand Season, Fall Brand Season and Winter Brand Season.
Discover your brand archetype so you can create a solid framework around building your brand.
Your brand’s personality can come to life by determining the season and archetype that most resonate with your desired brand traits.
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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