Have you heard the fuss about brand personality but not totally sure what it is or how you should be using it to build your brand?
Before we go any further, let’s talk about what brand personality is. Hubspot has a great definition: “the set of human characteristics you attribute to that brand. Or, put another way — it’s how you’d describe a brand if it were a person.” The cool thing is, that person is YOU when you’re a one-person business or simply a founder-centric brand constructed around your personality as the CEO.
The key to a solid brand personality is one that is not only unique but also highly consistent. For example, you don’t want to build a brand that has one voice over on Instagram but an entirely different one on your website. All your touch points should be aligned verbally and visually, and that truly starts with your brand personality.
Here are 3 ways to discover your brand personality and leverage it for success!
When building a founder-centric brand (that’s what we do here at Presenceology!), it’s important that your business stays true to who you are as a person. For example, if you’re an introvert like I am, it wouldn’t make sense to build a brand that’s loud and energetic when you are perhaps more grounded as a person.
While my brand has pops of color like bright yellow and melon green, my visual brand is also anchored by classic black and white, which allows my written content, messaging, and imagery shine so people can connect with me instead of being distracted by my brand elements.
If I had let that yellow be the main color instead of an accent, it wouldn’t be true to me because I’m a lot more introspective. My brand does the work of honoring that so that the most aligned people will connect with me on a deeper level.
“When building your brand, it’s foundational to know not only what you value as a human being but also what your brand will stand for.”-Mila Yoli
To ensure that you know your personality, I recommend taking a personality test like 16Personalities. If you’re not *totally* sure, this will let you know if you’re an introvert or extrovert, your strengths and weaknesses, and how you behave in relationships (romantically, professionally, and with friends & family). Let these elements of your personality guide you when it comes to creating your brand voice, visual identity, and overall business direction.
Personality can even inform things like which social platforms you choose to live on! If you’re an extrovert, creating bite-sized entertaining videos on TikTok may feel like fun, whereas someone who thrives in verbal communication may prefer to start a YouTube channel, while someone else may do well connecting on Instagram with a mix of video content, written captions, and stories.
The beautiful thing is that your marketing will end up taking shape around your personality, thus attracting like-minded people into your business with ease.
One way to build your brand personality is through brand archetypes, which are a set of personas that brands can use to present themselves to the world consistently. They come from the work of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Yung, who created these types based on a set of goals, values, patterns, and behaviors.
The personality types include:
“When building a brand as a solopreneur it’s important that your business stays true to who you are as a person.”-MILA YOLI
Astute has a great resource on these brand archetypes, which will tell you more about what each personality is about through the primary goal, fear, strategy, and even some examples of which brands embody these personalities.
For example, the Creator archetype desires to create something enduring, and to exist in a space of self-expression and imagination. They ultimately want to take ideas and make them a reality, and what they fear is being blocked creatively. A brand like Crayola or Lego is a perfect example of this archetype.
When building your brand, it’s foundational to know not only what you value as a human being but also what your brand will stand for.
Let’s continue with the Creator archetype as an example. In such a brand, they’d obviously value things like Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation, but let’s go a bit deeper.
Since they fear being blocked creatively (hint: a fear is usually the opposite of the goal – to keep this clearly in mind you can simply ask yourself what the opposite of your goal is), something they may also value is Freedom, the ability to have free creative expression, exchange of ideas, and ability to rest and recharge so they can resist burnout and keep creating. On that note, they may also care about Quality – because without quality in mind, how can you create the best possible things?
Your archetype is like a laser pointer guiding you towards your true brand. But since we don’t simply want to sound like every other brand of your archetype, we need to dig deeper into your unique humanity.
You may value things like Equality, Collaboration, Integrity, etc. You can look to both your career experiences and your personal life to discover these values and then align them alongside your brand personality to discover a brand that’s truly rooted in a brand personality that’s perfect for your plans in business!
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Mila Yoli is a brand and image strategist who helps creative entrepreneurs to create a brand that makes a lasting impression.
Mila Yoli is a psychology-rooted brand and image strategist who helps creative entrepreneurs to create a brand that makes a lasting impression.