Discover your Brand Personality
A 5-minute exercise to help focus your company branding and communication
Step 1: Print this page, grab a pen and clear your mind. Think about your company, the products you sell, the people who work for you and who you want to buy your product.
You’ll find our Brand Personality Spectrum below. Read each of the descriptors and think about how each set of words relates to your brand. Place a mark closest to where you think your company falls on the spectrum. Or if you’re starting a new company, or trying to re-brand your company, place a mark where you would like your company to fall on the spectrum.
Note: There is no wrong way to fill this out – don’t overthink it. This exercise works best when you go with your gut.
Step 2: Find the numbers that are closest to your marks and add them up.
What does it all mean?
Scores between 6 – 30:
Your brand personality is classic and traditional. You tend to prefer established ways of getting things done and like to operate with a firm plan of action. Your communication style is professional and you actively seek to promote the image of a stable company with strong roots. Your target market might be high-end, upscale clientele.
Scores between 41 – 60
Your brand personality is contemporary and energetic. You move at a fast pace and like to translate ideas into action quickly. You aren’t afraid to take risks and you have an open, friendly and approachable communication style. You likely want your brand and products to be accessible to everyone – not just high-end consumers.
Scores between 21 – 40
Your brand is one of two things:
a) Very quirky with dots all over the spectrum
b) Riding the middle without any strong brand personality
If you fall into the “A” category, no problem! Just because your brand doesn’t easily fit into a box doesn’t mean that you don’t have a strong brand personality. Read through all of the tips below and think about taking some of the traditional branding elements and combining them with some of the more quirky, contemporary ones. For instance, you could stick with a traditional color scheme, and traditional typography while playing up a more casual, accessible tone in your communications.
If you happen to fall into the “B” category, you probably need to re-think your branding strategy. No company can be everything to everyone. Take a stand and let your brand personality shine. If you don’t, you are guaranteeing that your brand will be easily forgotten. You can’t ride the fence forever!
Branding and Logo Tips for Traditional Companies
A traditional company should opt for classic typefaces and a conservative, rich color scheme. You’ll want to rely on classic, time-tested elements that will help play to the conservative, stable nature of your company. Your communication style should be fairly buttoned up, formal and corporate.
Color tips for Traditional Brands:
- Cool colors like blue and green help convey a sense of strength, trust and calm, while certain shades of red can convey a bold intensity and seriousness.
- Deep, saturated tones work well for traditional brands because they resonate an intensity and seriousness with which the brand will be associated.
- A simple, sleek black and white logo can work very well for a more traditional brand, particularly one targeting an upscale clientele.
- Using complementary colors rather than contrasting will also help convey the feel of a harmonious, trustworthy brand.
Font tips for Traditional Brands:
- Serif typefaces similar to Times New Roman work especially well for traditional brands and help express that a company is formal, mature and trustworthy.
- Certain formal script fonts can work well, but can have a distinctly feminine feel which may not be a great fit for all traditional brands.
- Stay away from lowercase and casual handwriting fonts, which are better suited to more casual, laid-back brands.
Graphic tips for Traditional Brands:
- Logos with borders, particularly thin or fine borders help convey the message that your company is mature, honest and strong
- Square elements work better than round ones for traditional brands.
- Traditional left-justified alignments should be used since they are more formal and expected, which carries well with a traditional brand.
Branding and Logo Tips for Contemporary Companies
If your company is on the energetic, contemporary end of the spectrum, you’ll want to play to your strengths by using vivid, bright colors and more casual typography. Your communications style should be friendly, open and approachable.
Color tips for contemporary brands:
- Warm colors like orange and yellow help show off your up-beat, playful personality.
- Purple is another color that can work well for companies who want to play up any creative credentials.
- Using contrasting colors will not only help draw the eye, but will also help express the energetic, high-energy personality of your brand.
Font tips for contemporary brands:
- Sans-serif typefaces like Arial work very well for contemporary brands and help convey the sense that a company is modern, agreeable and more informal.
- Handwriting or script typefaces are also great choices for contemporary brands, adding a personal, human touch to your branding.
- Using all lowercase letters for your company name isn’t a necessity, but is yet another way to convey the informal, accessible nature of your brand.
- Stay away from using serif typefaces, which are too formal for a contemporary company.
Graphic tips for contemporary brands:
- Logos without borders convey the sense that your company is fun, surprising and maybe a little quirky.
- Rounded elements work better than square ones and can help a brand feel more modern and casual.
- Center, right-justified and even asymmetrical alignments should be favored for contemporary companies.
Let it shine!
Now that you have identified your brand’s personality, it’s time to get to work and show it off! You should work to incorporate your brand personality in all of your marketing – from your logo to your website to your business cards. The important thing is that your brand has a voice – now use it!