When it comes to starting a small business, many entrepreneurs are so excited to get started, their first instinct is to jump online and order some business cards from Vista Print without even a thought to their logo design, much less their overall brand personality. We get it. You’re finally taking the plunge and going after your dream! Of course you’re eager to have something tangible to show people at your next cocktail party!
But hanging your shingle before undergoing a strategic branding process and getting a professional logo designed could have long-term negative effects on your business.
Branding vs. Logo Design
Some people think branding and logo design are synonymous. And while they are certainly related, that’s not accurate. Logo design is just one piece of branding your business.
Your brand is the all-encompassing perception of your business that others form—and that you project. As Entrepreneur Magazine puts it, “Your brand is your promise to your customer.” Your brand sets expectations with customers before they even interact with a person. And more important, your brand should deliver on those expectations as promised.
Branding is not only about getting your customers to notice you and choose you over the competition but also to offer a positive perception of your products and services that will create ongoing loyalty.
A logo identifies a brand in a simple written form, either with a wordmark or an icon or both. The logo might be the most obvious and recognizable part of the brand, but there is a lot more to it.
What is a Brand Personality?
If you think about your business as a person, your brand includes many elements you can relate to. Much like a person chooses specific clothes or wears their hair a certain way to express their style, your brand’s identity might include your logo, typographic choices and color palette.
Your brand’s personality is like a person’s personality. It might be shown in the tone of the copy on your website, the words you use as well as how you treat your clients every day. It’s more easily demonstrated by words and actions.
At the core of every person—and brand personality—are values. These values are the foundation for how you make decisions in your business, including everything from what type of products or services you will offer, to your pricing to who you hire. Whereas styles may change over time, your values and overall brand personality should not.
All successful brands have a strong sense of identity, one that mirrors the hopes, fears and dreams of their target customers. Your brand personality should emotionally connect your audience to your business. One way to identify and create a brand personality is through brand archetypes.
The concept of archetypes were first introduced by famous psychologist Carl Jung in the 1940’s. The idea behind using archetypes in branding is to align your brand personality with something already embedded within the conscious and subconscious of humanity. Aligning with a brand archetype makes the brand easier to understand and remember for both the business owner and the customer. You can use brand archetypes along with your core values to establish a foundation for your brand that you will use over and over again. This helps you stay true to yourself and consistent in the eyes of your customers.
The 12 Brand Archetypes
There are 12 classic brand archetypes:
- The Innocent
- The Regular Guy or Gal
- The Hero
- The Outlaw
- The Explorer
- The Creator
- The Ruler
- The Magician
- The Lover
- The Caregiver
- The Jester
- The Sage
Most businesses will have characteristics of multiple archetypes, but discovering your Primary Brand Archetype—the one that most relates to your values and brand personality—can help you better understand how and why you make the decisions you do. Each archetype will naturally attract a certain type of consumer, and knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are can help you know how to better market to that group.
The 12 archetypes include those who are known for providing structure to the world; those who want to connect with others; those who yearn for knowledge, spiritual growth and freedom; and those who take risks and achieve big things. Discovering the right archetype for your business is essential to understanding yourself and your customers.
Find Your Brand Personality with Our Brand Archetype Quiz
Take our free Brand Archetype Quiz to find your brand personality and download our free archetypes ebook “Discover Your Brand Archetype.”