Brand Narrative: Identifying your Brand Personality

Brand Narrative: Identifying your Brand Personality


"The combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character."

Personalities are not one dimensional but multi-faceted. No-one likes to be pigeon-holed as being one particular thing or, heaven forbid 'predictable'. We like to see ourselves as individuals but at the same time share commonalities with others in order to feel connected.

It can be hard to develop and build a strong brand personality. Our brand needs to be distinct, identifiable, relatable and relevant.

As a starting point define:

  • What your brand stands for in terms of values and beliefs
  • What are you offering your audience?
  • What do you want your audience to think and feel about you?

Understanding how you are positioned in the mind of your target audience and what you want to ellicit from them will help guide you in terms of building your brand narrative.

What makes up a brand narrative?

Brand narrative is made up of 5 key components

  1. Promise
  2. Position
  3. Personality traits
  4. Story
  5. Associations

Ideally you are wanting your brand's story to share your target audience's values and solve their problems. A connection takes place and they feel that your brand connects with their emotional and functional needs, so much so that they are compelled to take action - your brand visibility increases, you get more conversions and sales and your profits rise.

The beauty of stories is that they enable you to connect the often disjointed elements of your brand personality together.

What needs does my brand need to meet? 

It can help to think in terms of emotions when establishing who your target audience is. It is more valuable to think in terms of intent and affinity behaviour rather than purely demographics.

Emotions are critical for guiding needs. Steming from Maslow's 'Heirarchy of needs' there are 9 basic emotions:

  1. Security
  2. Volition
  3. Attention
  4. Intimacy
  5. Emotional connection
  6. Connection to community
  7. Privacy
  8. A sense of self
  9. A sense of acheivement

Brand Archetypes

The brand archetypes as depicted below are dervied from Swiss psychologist Carl Jung  "We all have the same instinctive and unconscious understanding of behavioural patterns."

We instinctively understand Archetypes and their associated traits and behaviour patterns. They are a great tool to enable you to differentiate your brand, give depth to your brand personality and truly connect with your audience.

Conveying your brand personality

Often when people think of brand they soley think of a brand's visual identity but a brand is quite literally everything! From what you say, what you do, how you present yourself to how you make others think and feel. 

There must be a consistency of thought, purpose and action across all facets of your brand so consider:

  • Visual assets - have an up-to-date brand style guide - are all visual elements of your brand consistent?
  • Promise & message - what are you promising your customers?
  • Content - consider adapting language to suit different communication channels whilst still using the same brand voice
  • Experience - if you have a physical store, is this 'on brand'? How do your brand touch points make customers feel?
  • Employees - are all staff members emulating the brand personality?

If you need some help with your brand then drop us a line - we'd be delighted to help.

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