What is your brand personality?

Here’s an interesting weekend exercise for everyone to try, with some chocolate to demonstrate. It's a bit of a long post, but a very useful exercise to perform in assessing the marketing performance of your small business.

The other day I came across an article on brand personality, as opposed to brand identity so I thought it would be helpful to share the info as it is quite interesting. Brand identity is how your brand looks: the colours, images, shapes, style of your logo; what your stationery, signage and package are like, etc. But brand personality is different. It’s like a child – something you’ve created. It has its own distinct personality, just like a person. It may be quiet and conservative, loud and boisterous, or fun and funky, for example.

But it’s not just the image of your brand that will attract new clients, your brand’s personality plays a big part too. And the two have to work together. Your identity has to complement your personality, not contradict it – otherwise the message you’re conveying will be vague and your clients will be confused, which is not a good thing when trying to attract them.

So we’ve devised this fun and interesting exercise to help you establish your brand personality. Just follow these steps.
1. Establish your company’s personality traits

Imagine that your company is a person. Choose 6 words that would best describe the personality of that ‘person’. Use these words as a starting point but feel free to add your own:

Happy, exciting, formal, serious, fun-loving, mature, fussy, meticulous, messy, chaotic, crazy, silly, adventurous, calm, creative, ‘out-there’, feminine, indulgent, sporty, aloof, approachable, graceful, elegant, loud, energetic, outgoing, reserved, chatty, intense, fashionable, funky, demure, outrageous, trustworthy, mature, conservative, caring, motherly, macho, spiritual, thrifty, eco-conscious … you get the idea.

2.  Turn your company into a person
Write your 6 chosen words down and then use your imagination (just a little bit) to picture a person who would have those characteristics. You might want to write all that down too, or type it into a document.

Describe their: hairstyle, clothes, gender, age, marital status, the music they like, how they speak, the car they drive, the sort of house and area they live in, what supermarket they go to, their job, what they do for recreation, what school they went to, their kids if they have any, the way they walk, the books the read, the TV shows they watch, pets, level of technical/computer skills, social media activity, handwriting.
Or, if you're a bit lazy, page through some magazines and cut out pics of people who reflect the 'personality' of your company. You could this into quite a fun mood-board exercise if you want to.

Your final description/image should be a fairly accurate representation of the personality of your company and also, based on the theory of like-attracts-like, the personality of your target market.

3. Does your company personality align with your company image?
Using the following as a guide, have a look at your company image (logo, branding, etc), what you do, and check if it matches your company’s personality.

Warm colours (red, orange, yellow, peach, pink, purple,): happy, outgoing, chatty, approachable, motherly, energetic, sporty, loud, adventurous, indulgent.

Cool colours (blues, greens, greys): calm, trustworthy, spiritual, reserved, conservative, thrifty, aloof, fussy, formal, serious, graceful, demure, elegant.

Neutral colours (greys, browns, beige, cream, white, black): calm, meticulous, serious, formal, demure, conservative, thrifty, fashionable, mature, sporty, graceful, reserved, trustworthy, macho, eco-conscious, mature, elegant.
Pastel shades: meticulous, graceful, calm, feminine, reserved, fashionable, motherly, fussy, demure, trustworthy, caring, spiritual, elegant.

Bright contrasting/unusual colours: exciting, messy, chaotic, crazy, ‘out-there’, loud, energetic, silly, outgoing, funky, fun-loving, intense, fashionable, creative, chatty, outrageous, adventurous, indulgent.
Other: effects like gold foiling or embossing reflect opulence, indulgence, extravagance, premium.
Serif (with feet, e.g. Times New Roman): formal, trustworthy, mature, reserved, aloof, conservative, serious, graceful, fussy, caring, thrifty, demure, elegant.

Sans serif (no feet, e.g. Arial): informal, agreeable, modern, happy, chatty, fashionable, funky, calm, graceful, eco-conscious.

Bold/broad: outgoing, adventurous, loud, outgoing, macho, energetic, happy, sporty, intense

Formal scripts: feminine, demure, motherly, spiritual, caring, fussy, graceful, fashionable, creative, elegant.

Handwriting fonts: messy, chaotic, crazy, ‘out-there’, silly, funky, fun-loving, creative, chatty.

Minimalist: formal, serious, mature, fussy, meticulous, calm, demure, reserved, aloof, trustworthy, conservative, thrifty, eco-conscious, spiritual, elegant.

Sketchy/drawing: happy, exciting, fun-loving, chaotic, creative, chatty, energetic, outgoing.

Geometrical: formal, serious, meticulous, conservative, intense.

Rounded/flowing: happy, fun-loving, calm, creative, feminine, graceful, fashionable, motherly, caring, demure, spiritual.

Bold shapes/image: exciting, adventurous, ‘out-there’, sporty, loud, outgoing, funky, macho, chatty, crazy, silly, busy.

Bear in mind that there are endless combinations. A personality could be opulent and fun, or elegant and creative. So if you find your company veering to two seemingly contradictory traits, think about how you could use them to your benefit.

4. So do they match?
If they do, and your company image reflects its personality, then congratulations, you’re on the right track. Just make sure you’re targeting your product or service at the correct market.

If you have a mismatch then it might be time to reconsider your branding and convert it to something more market-appropriate for what you do.

Just for fun, and because we really like chocolate, I thought it would be cool to demonstrate the concept of brand personality using different chocolate brands.

Personality: opulent, indulgent, seriouos, calm, meticulous, elegant, graceful, demure.

Personality: happy, fun-loving, energetic, outgoing.

Personality: happy, elegant, fun-loving, energetic, outgoing.

Personality: funky, fun, chatty, loud, energetic, silly, outgoing.