Brands with a recognizable character

During my holiday in the south of France, I strolled along the boulevard with my daughters. The sun had done its job very well that day and allowed itself to sink into the evening. It had been a beautiful summer day. To end the day, my youngest daughter was allowed on the merry-go-round. Claire galloped around on the selected horse and beamed with the utmost pleasure. A very nice French lady witnessed this amusing spectacle. She wanted to make contact with Claire and greeted her with 'Bonjour'. Whereupon my two-year-old daughter completely ignored the lady. The French lady responded laughing with 'elle a un caractère.' And Claire has that character, just like everyone else.

People often have no idea what qualities they possess. And in doing so, they miss potential opportunities or keep falling into the same pitfalls, which is a shame. If you are aware of your qualities, you can certainly use them to your advantage. After all, you have good and bad sides. It's the same with brands. Because a brand also has a personality. By determining the right character traits you create brand preference and maintain a preferred position so that the customer chooses your brand. The power of good marketing always lies in... positioning it well!

Character traits: which ones suit your brand?

Mapping the properties of your brand is very important. Not only for yourself to make targeted choices in colors, images and texts, but especially to distinguish yourself from competitors. For example, let's look at the character traits of Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Both parties do practically the same thing, they strive for a better environment. But the path to this end is completely different for both organizations. This has everything to do with the character of these brands. Greenpeace's promise is: ‘We expose environmental issues through confrontation.’ You see this in images of activists taking action in rubber boats, risking their own lives. WNF's promise ‘Through harmony we build relationships between people and everything on this planet.’ is essentially different from that of Greenpeace. For example, the WWF focuses on children & families with warm communication expressions. Expressions that are characterized by a stylish, conservative, committed, social and warm character. Greenpeace focuses on younger progressive adults. Their expressions are rebellious, adventurous, progressive, worldly and self-confident in character.

Brand Identity Canvas

This canvas helps organizations to easily map the character traits of a brand based on archetypes. This canvas comes from the ideas of Carl Jung who invented these archetypes. His twelve archetypes all have their own unique properties. By identifying your brand with one of the twelve archetypes, you determine what the most important properties are for your brand. Based on these identified properties, your target group recognizes what the brand stands for. This is crucial at a time when it is very difficult to differentiate yourself based on basic features and benefits. This canvas can not only be used for organizations but is also useful for individual professionals.

Brand Identity Canvas archetype

The Brand Identity Canvas not only focuses on which character traits you brand now and in the future. It is important to reflect on the brand's past. Your employees also help determine the DNA of your brand. By completing the canvas and the associated building blocks (past, present and future, employees) you can absolutely create a distinctive and robust brand story.

Ruud Olijve

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