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Exploring the fall brand personality

Aug 18, 2022 | Brand personality, Visual Brand

Explore the characteristics of the fall brand personality and learn how to effectively inject elements of the fall personality into your brand experience. [affiliate links may be used, at no additional cost to you. thank you for supporting witt and company!]


When I first started learning about brand and branding, the question of ‘how’ always came bubbling up to the top.

“But how did they create such a kickass brand?”

“But how did she get to that point of raving fans?”

“But how does the brand look and feel so effortless?”

And then.

And then I stumbled upon a podcast episode featuring Fiona Humberstone and the ‘how’ started to take shape.

She talked about how every brand identified with a certain season and that season had a specific set of guidelines based on its desired experience. She used this concept in her own branding agency when working with clients and talked about how it was so easy to implement because it gave clients an understanding of their decisions. It became a common language she could use with both her employees and the brands they worked with.

As soon as I finished the podcast episode, I jumped online and purchased her two books, her Colour for Creatives course and downloaded all her free content. I read up on seasonal psychology and color psychology, taking in all the knowledge.

And then I started implementing these ideas with my client work; four years later, seasonal brand theory is still a staple in our client process.

Which brings me to today – we’re doing a deep dive into the fall brand season; not only characteristics and traits, but also guidelines on how to effectively implement said characteristics and traits into your own brand.

The goal is that when you utilize the guidelines of your most-aligned brand season (Not sure which one is right for you? Check out this post.), you enhance your brand’s personality. And because seasonal brand theory is rooted in color psychology and seasonal theory, they have purpose and intent behind them. I.e., Rather than picking a color palette just because it looks good, you end up making a decision with intention – and I believe, that’s the how in creating a strong brand.

Quick note/disclaimer: This isn’t an all-or-nothing perspective. Implementing your aligned brand season is not about checking all the boxes to ensure your brand aligns perfectly with the outlined traits and recommendations. But rather, viewing the seasonal traits as more of guidelines that you can utilize as a starting point and/or baseline for your brand strategy and identity.

Last note. Your brand’s season is about how your brand is experienced. It’s not necessarily how YOU feel as a human but rather, how you want your brand to be perceived and experienced by others.

Okay, let’s talk fall.

 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE

>> What is seasonal brand theory?
>> High level, what is the fall brand season?
>> Aligned brand archetypes
>> Fall brand season: voice and communication style
>> Fall brand season: colors
>> Fall brand season: typography
>> Fall brand season: graphics and textures
>> Fall brand season: photography style
>> Implementing the fall brand personality
>> Additional resources

 

What is seasonal brand theory?

Seasonal brand theory is a framework for brand personality creation. The basic idea is: once you determine how you want your brand to be experienced, you will identify with a particular season, and that season has a set of unique characteristics and traits that enhance your desired brand experience. 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.

Now, to reiterate what was said above: these aren’t hard and fast rules. But rather, erasable boundary lines to help you stay on track.

 

High level, what is the fall brand season?

The fall brand is full of integrity and authenticity. They revel in knowledge and education, love the past and often lean into feelings of nostalgia.

Fall brands love to challenge the established norms and do things differently. They have a strong sense of justice and a strong work ethic. They’re lifelong learners, strive for personal achievement and keep family and friends at the heart of their purpose.

You may most align with the fall brand if your desired brand experience is: Friendly, warm, passionate, authentic, simple, comfortable, cozy, welcoming, ambitious, organic, earthy, natural

When using a framework like seasonal brand theory, I also find it helpful to identify a spectrum or pendulum of characteristics, to help identify what it leans towards and what it leans away from.

Fall personality pendulum: More authentic and warm, less serious and dramatic; more casual and organic, less aspirational and elegant; more substantial, less delicate.

Aligned brand archetypes

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

Before we dive into the aligned archetypes, let’s first dig into why. Why use brand archetypes with brand seasons; why not just one or the other?

At a micro level, these two frameworks provide different areas of support and information as you build out the brand personality. Archetypes mostly focus on behaviors and drivers (internal work) while seasons mostly focus on visuals (external work). Meaning, end up pairing really well together. Again, the entire goal here is to give yourself even more opportunities to create a memorable and identifiable personality for your brand, which increases the likelihood that your audience will connect with you.

Okay, now that I have you convinced (right?!), here are the archetypes that align with the fall brand season:

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.

 

Fall brand season: voice and communication style

Your brand’s voice and tone are what draw your audience in and make your brand recognizable. They play an active role in every single brand touch point. Which means, every brand has an opportunity to create a distinct, memorable and personality-driven brand voice and communication style. Seems a little daunting, right? But, here’s the good news – when you identify your right brand season, you give yourself some structure and boundaries on how to best define and bring to life your brand’s voice and tone.

Fall brand personality voice and communication style

The voice of a fall personality is warm, friendly and approachable. They communicate in a way that isn’t too concerned with staying within the status quo, but because of their desire for knowledge, they still come across as intelligent and creative. This looks like using a conversational style with detailed language.

Fall personality pendulum: The voice is more friendly and approachable, less precise and deliberate; more enthusiastic and passionate, less edgy and serious; more comfortable and warm, less reserved and decisive.

 

Fall brand season: colors

Because of color psychology, your brand colors have a lot of power to influence and enhance your brand’s perception and personality. No pressure, right?! But again, when you lean into your aligned brand season, you’re able to utilize color psychology for your benefit.

Fall brand personality colors

Fall personality colors are warm and moody. Think mid-level saturation and yellow undertones. The goal in using fall colors is to enhance the earthy, grounded and cozy feeling that fall brands are known for. Looking for some more palette inspiration? Check out this post.

Fall personality pendulum: Colors are more warm with yellow undertones, less cool with blue undertones; more dark and moody, less light and bright; more grounded and wholesome, less pasted and muted.

Fall brand season: typography

Typography and font selection is an often-overlooked visual element when creating a consistent and cohesive brand experience. But as with every branding element, type can play a significant role in enhancing your brand’s personality.

Fall brand personality typography

Fall typography is substantial, casual and a little vintage. As you can see in the examples below, the font weight (how bold it is) is medium to chunk, so think heavy, bold or semi-bold. The script fonts are chunky and approachable. Overall, gravitate towards strong and grounded type.

Fall personality pendulum: Typography is more strong and heavy, less detailed and delicate; more substantial and retro, less modern and minimal; more casual and approachable, less sharp and contemporary.

Fall brand season: graphics and textures

Similar to font selection, graphics, textures and patterns are a great way to infuse personality into your brand that are often left out of the visual identity. Not necessarily on purpose, but rather, for lack of understanding. I.e., the most common question we get from clients is, “But how do we actually use the brand pattern?”

Side note: If that sounds familiar, check out this post.

All of that to say, brand patterns, graphics and textures can really enhance your desired brand experience.

Fall brand personality graphics, patterns and textures

Continuing on with this thread of substantial and approachable, patterns are informal, chunky and rich. Graphics are hand drawn and imperfect, not precise. Textures are natural and organic.

In the examples below, you can see the imperfections, approachability and casual nature of the graphics. Placement is informal and organic, rather than exact and structured.

Fall personality pendulum: Graphics and patterns are more informal and casual, less detailed and organized; more substantial and chunky, less delicate and refined; more illustrative and natural, less modern and minimal.

Fall brand season: photography style

I’m saving my most favorite for last – photography. When done with intention, photography is a wonderful way to enhance and accentuate the brand’s personality. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, no pressure. But, as with every other element we’re covering, photography style is an important element of creating a consistent and cohesive brand experience.

Fall brand personality photography style

Fall photos are all about organic warmth. They’re imperfect, natural and cozy. Natural elements and textures are used to accentuate warmth, add substance and depth. They’re rich and thought provoking.

Closing up with our fall personality pendulum: Photos are more organic and natural, less structured and organized; more dark and moody, less light and bright; more cozy and warm, less minimal and stark.

 

Implementing the fall brand personality

The most important piece to remember – your brand’s personality will develop, evolve and grow as long as you keep taking action.

So, what action is the right one to take?

It depends on your capacity but I’m going to assume you’re wanting quick, actionable ideas. In which case, I’d recommend starting with your brand’s voice and tone since that is usually the quickest and least time consuming to implement. Take a look at your social media captions or email sequence and see how you can inject more of the personality into those brand touch points. Test and experiment to see what resonates with your audience and what feels aligned for you as the business owner.

Once you feel good about the voice and communication style, audit your visual brand (logo, fonts, colors, graphics, etc.) and see where the disconnect is between your brand’s voice and how it’s being brought to life through your visual elements. While this can be open to interpretation, there usually are one or two areas that can be improved.

Last, but not least, please keep in mind that enhancing your brand’s personality doesn’t have to be an entire overhaul (although, if you’re wondering if that’s your next right step, read this post) and can be done in small, baby steps. But of course, if you’re looking for support and want to do everything in one sweep, schedule a call. We’d love to help bring your entire brand experience to life!

 

With that, happy (fall) branding!

 

All my best,

Additional Blog Resources

For even more visual examples and inspiration, check out my fall personality Pinterest board.

Want the full rundown on Seasonal Brand Theory and Color Psychology? Check out this post.

Not sure how to pick your brand’s season? This faux case study walks through the process.

Read more about the spring brand here, summer brand here and winter brand here.

 

Additional Seasonal Color Theory and Color Psychology Resources

Color psychology resources from The Brand Stylist
Four season color analysis
Colour for Creatives course from The Brand Stylist
The hub for all things color psychology
Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone
How to Style your Brand by Fiona Humberstone
Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson

 

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