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What’s your brand’s favorite song? Where does it go on a Friday night? What does it love to eat? What does its voice sound like? Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions? Your brand’s personality is the unique, humane voice with which your story is told in the marketplace.

No matter how hard we try to automatize everything, one thing remains certain:

People relate to people, and if your brand feels like people, they’ll relate to you too.

Professor Jennifer Aaker came up with a list of brand personality dimensions and traits that can help us define our own brand’s humane characteristics. I’ve collected 7 examples of brands that have built incredible personalities based on one or more of these traits. Take a look and see if any of them match yours; then read the “Create it” notes for tips on how to bring any of these brand personality traits to life with visual storytelling.


1. MICHAEL KORS: Upper-class, glamorous and trendy

Create it: Pair your product or service with places and events that your audience sees as aspirational.


2. PANTONE: Original, imaginative and smooth

Create it: If your product or service is a tool for creators, continuously situate it within the context of the creation act itself. The idea is to make your audience feel identified with the creator using your tool.


3. LONELY PLANET: Outdoorsy, daring and independent

Create it: To portray your brand personality as outdoorsy and daring highlight your employees’ and customers’ adventures. Manifest your support for their quests while positioning your brand as a vehicle to make them easier/more fun. 


4. ETSY: Honest, unique and hard-working

Create it: Because your brand personality is hard-working and honest, give your audience as sneak peek into your production process; reveal why it is that your end product is unique by being transparent about its creation. If users are paying a premium for “unique”, give them honest evidence of your “hard-working” side.


5. BEATS BY DR. DRE: Young, trendy and rugged

Create it: Inspire your audience to be strong and resilient (like your brand) to associate owning a product with attaining this strength.


6. MAILCHIMP: Friendly, reliable and charming

Create it: Appeal to emotions by showing how your brand’s friendly personality comes through in its relationships with suppliers, customers and employees.


7. FEDEX: Corporate, reliable and technical.

Create it: Show what makes your brand reliable. Are there procedures, departments, specialized professionals, or pieces of equipment that can instill trust?