Seasonal Brand Theory is an easy way to help you identify your brand personality so that you can create a brand identity that resonates with your ideal client and business vision.
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 was 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 intentional personality, we make it easier for our audience to connect with us. That connection builds trust… and you know what they say: people buy from brands they know, like and trust.
In this article
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.
Seasonal Brand Theory and Your Brand Personality
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.
The goal is to determine what season 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, the season will help you stay consistent and cohesive.
Now with that being said, there are not any hard and fast rules – think of them more as erasable boundary lines to help you stay aligned with your desired brand personality.
How to Identify Your Brand’s Season
Choosing a brand season that embodies your brand vision and resonates with your audience starts with identifying what thoughts and feelings you want your brand experience to evoke. Based on those words, your brand will then align with a particular season.
The four questions below are a great starting point to help you identify your brand’s season. As you answer them, don’t think too much. It’s okay if the words repeat across each question. Just write down whatever comes to mind – we’ll evaluate after you get everything on paper.
Question one: Write out ten words that speak to your brand’s values.
Question two: Write out ten words that come to mind when you think about how you want your brand perceived.
Question three: Write out ten words that you want your ideal client to feel when they experience your brand.
Question four: Write out ten words you want your ideal client to think when they experience your brand.
Once you’ve completed the questions, go through your list of forty words and highlight any words that repeat across each question.
Then, combine like-words… I.e., friendly and approachable would go together.
Up next – select your top ten. First, choose the repeating words and then evaluate which word resonates from the similar-word groupings. These are the words that you’ll use to select your brand season.
This brings us to the final step: compare your top ten against each brand season and select which one resonates the most with your words. Want an overview of each season? Grab the FREE brand workbook here!
Sidenote: there is no right or wrong answer. When I first started using this theory with clients, I would agonize over picking the right season. But then I realized, this theory is a guideline. It’s not the be-all-end-all when it comes to building a brand. It’s meant to guide you in the right direction.
Once you’ve identified your brand season, you can start to implement the guidelines into your brand by working your way down the list of brand elements. From the color palette to the photography style to the font selection, start updating and working the changes into your new brand.
And of course, shameless plug: if you’d rather have some outside help, I’d love to chat. You can contact me here and let’s get the conversation started!
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.
Want to see a real-life example of using Seasonal Brand Theory in your brand visuals? Click here to check out the faux case study.
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