What is a brand personality?
A brand personality is made up of a set of human characteristics, qualities, and values that we assign to a business or entity. It may help to think of brand personality as a company’s humanity.
One way to influence the way that people perceive your brand is by establishing your brand personality. This is achieved by assigning human qualities and character traits to your brand and describing it as though it were a person with a unique voice and approach to customer interactions.
Brand archetypes are incredibly effective marketing tools that have the power to evoke emotions, challenge the status quo, and help you engage with your customers on a personal level.
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Why do you need a brand personality?
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, seasoned businessperson, startup, or business that’s been around for almost one hundred years, it is essential that you know what your brand personality is and to ensure that your brand strategy and messaging are in alignment with these values.
Every part of a brand is influenced by its personality, including website design, blog posts, social media strategy, email marketing, logo and brand design, and ad copy. If you provide a service, your branding will influence the way you interact with your customers. If you manufacture a product, your packaging will be influenced by your brand personality.
Not sure what your brand personality is?Click here to read our full Brand Personality Guide and take the Brand Personality Quiz here.
Can your brand have a combination of personalities?
Just like people, no two brands are the exact same, so it stands to reason that your brand may not fit perfectly into just one of these personalities. Most brands will have a few dominating characteristics that work together to create the brand’s unique personality.
Whether your brand personality is a clear-cut, specific personality type or a combination of personalities, the most important thing is to stay true to and be consistent with your brand personality. One of the biggest ways to build brand trust is to be genuine and consistent in all aspects of your brand personality and identity.
The 10 brand personalities
The Powerful Sophisticate
Your brand is elegant, sophisticated, and timelessly on-trend. The Powerful Sophisticate exudes luxury and influence. Think brands like Apple, Rolex, and Chanel. Just because your brand is sophisticated, doesn’t mean it’s pretentious, but you do believe that people deserve to enjoy the luxuries that you have to offer them. The Powerful Sophisticate hates chaos, which tends to lend itself to a minimalist brand style. If your brand were a person, they would be the CEO of a tech company or Editor-in-Chief of a fashion magazine.
The Youthful Optimist
A child at heart, your brand sees the good in the world and the potential for everyone to be happy. Some may confuse your brand’s innocent personality with ignorance, but you know that while not everything is sunshine and rainbows, a positive outlook is the key to life. Looking for an example of a brand with the Youthful Optimist personality? All you need to do is “Share a Coke.” If your brand were a person, they would be a preschool teacher or a cheerleader.
Also known as the “rebel,” the Disruptor is always pushing against the status quo. You’ll never see this brand doing something just because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” The Disruptor isn’t afraid to ruffle some feathers. This bold personality often evokes a bold color palette and strong fonts and graphic elements. Think of brands like Harley Davidson, MTV, or even Oatly. If your brand were a person, they wouldn’t like being defined or labeled, but may be an activist or cyber engineer.
The Friendly Neighbor
The everyman, regular Joe, or the girl next door, no matter what you call the Friendly Neighbor, this personality boils down to one thing: relatability. Your brand’s biggest asset is that it’s accessible to a wide and diverse audience. A casual and welcoming tone of voice makes your brand approachable to everyone. Brands like Target and Walmart are perfect examples of the Friendly Neighbor personality. The Friendly Neighbor doesn’t have a specific look or style because they cater to everyone, meaning, most of your brand’s style is focused on what is accessible to people.
The Adventurous Explorer
The Adventurous Explorer is up for anything and is never bored. Your brand’s adventurous personality means you’re always introducing people to new places and things. Think of brands like Jeep or Patagonia. Your brand may be viewed as rugged or outdoorsy, but it can also be fearless and full of wanderlust. The Adventurous Explorer may be drawn to use more of an earth-toned color palette when it comes to style. Functionality is more important than looks for your brand, however, it’s always great when form and function work together. If your brand were a person, they would likely be a travel blogger, pilot, or white water rafting guide.
The Wise Owl
Your brand has the answers. Some may call you a know-it-all, but it’s hard for the Wise Owl to keep all that wisdom and knowledge to themselves. Your brand’s goal is to teach people what they should know to improve their lives, and misinformation is your Lex Luthor. Think of brands like Google or the BBC. The Wise Owl doesn’t need to be flashy to accomplish its goals. Color palettes, fonts, and other style choices are informed by this simplicity and need to be clear and accurate. If your brand were a person, they would be a coach or a guidance counselor.
The Loving Caregiver
If your brand were a person, they would definitely be the “mom” of their friend group. This brand is always there for you and has what you need before you even know you need it. Like most moms, The Loving Caregiver often wears many hats. Your brand is a shoulder to cry on when someone is sad, a nurse when they are sick, a boss at home, and a therapist with the best advice. This personality often evokes a soft brand style with a soft color palette full of pastels and neutral tones. The Loving Caregiver has a gentle and comforting tone of voice and thrives on being needed.
Your brand is the life of the party, and everyone knows when you have arrived. The Comedian always has something clever to say and doesn’t like to take things too seriously. Your brand uses humor to connect with your audience and sell your product or service. Some brands that you may recognize as The Comedian are Old Spice, Little Caesars, Wendy’s and M&M’s. TheComedian often has a more dynamic personality once you get a little deeper, and may be more than just this one brand personality type. If your brand were a person, they would be a standup comedian or late night talk show host.
The Creative Spirit
Your brand’s goal is to inspire others to use their creativity. Think of Lego when you think of the Creative Spirit brand personality. Where the Disruptor strives to think outside the box, the Creative Spirit doesn’t see a box in the first place. Your brand likely has a vast color palette and may prefer organic shapes and hand-written fonts, but the Creative Spirit may also prefer bold colors and fonts to match their bold ideas. If your brand were a person, they would be an architect, painter, song writer, or a designer.
Your brand is driven by competition, so it’s no surprise that athletes relate to your brand’s personality. The Competitor is always trying to push the limits of what is possible and be better. Your brand embraces the challenge and is driven to win. The Competitor brand personality often leans towards saturated and contrasting color palettes and bold fonts that let everyone know that you are there. If your brand were a person, they would be a professional athlete or stunt person.