The whole moment was a cliché. I gazed at my co-worker, looking winsome and carefree in her patterned leggings, electrified tunic, and matching chunky earrings. I think I literally leaned on my elbow and sighed as I wished I could pull off that look.
I knew if I put on those clothes I’d look like a clown who got dressed in the dark. Why did she look like a rock star? The reason had nothing to do with shape, size, or even my budget. The reason is personality!
She can wear eclectic, bold pieces because she is eclectic and bold. The look was an authentic representation of her personality. And your brand’s look should be too.
Before you roll your eyes at the melodramatic picture I’m painting, consider this example from the chocolate industry.
Chocolate-coated brand personalities
Jacques Torres Chocolate creates handmade artisan chocolates for all to experience and enjoy. It produces luxe, edgy, and creative chocolate treats inspired by the spirit and energy of New York City. The brand personality is defined as real, authentic, and original.
On the opposite coast, we find TCHO, producers of New American Chocolate. This company has been described as “Silicon Valley start-up meets San Francisco food culture.” According to its website, TCHO’s brand personality is characterized by obsessively good chocolate, innovation in every aspect of its business, and making a better world.
Now take a look at the two brands’ logos. Imagine them passing each other in the Fine Chocolates break room. Should Jacques Torres’ logo sigh and say, “TCHO is so modern and geometric. Why can’t I have that minimalist look?” Would TCHO whisper to a friend, “Jacques Torres’ script seems so natural. I could never pull that off”?
Of course not!
Brand personality and brand image
If we can suspend realty enough to believe a bunch of logos are hanging out around the water cooler, surely we can see that both Jacques Torres and TCHO would be confident and self-assured because their looks are rooted in their brand personalities!
Is yours? Does your brand image truly reflect your brand personality? Or are you trying to look like the cool new shop down the street? It’s ok. We’ve all done it. But now it’s time to stop and assess.
Your logo and color palette should be based on your brand personality traits. Ask yourself, “What is the personality of my brand?” and “Do my logo, my website, my marketing materials show off my personality?” If you’re unsure that your visuals are really you, it may be time to consult an expert.
What are your brand personality traits? How does your visual identity reflect them? Share in the comments.