What are Common Brand Personality Mistakes?

architects brand personalityEach brand has a personality that permeates the company’s very existence like the example above. This architect wanted to design outside the box and it shows up in his brand. This is an example of a well-designed brand that matches the company’s personality.

Every five to ten years a company can undergo changes that require a rebranding and repositioning of the firm’s brand personality. People change. Companies change. It follows that the brand changes too.

If your company is going through a change in its persona, it’s important to figure out your new company personality in order to prevent mistakes.

To learn more about branding, read my series on branding questions that clients often ask.

Let’s first review questions about brand personality and how it can change. Think about the following questions:

  • How have your values changed over the years? Are you more altruistic? More professional? More experienced?
  • How have your clients changed? Are they more affluent or less affluent?
  • Are your recent clients more experienced than in the past?
  • Are you seeking higher net worth clients?
  • Have you brought on new hires or staff that have caused a personality change?
  • Do you want to go in a new direction?

Once you get a handle on the changes your company has experienced, you’ll have a better idea of which direction you’d like to take to avoid brand mistakes.

What types of brand personalities are there in the design world?

  • Minimalist – think Zen, space, and clarity
  • Professional – contemplate corporate, suits, and boardrooms
  • Sophisticated – envision high class, well-traveled, aristocratic
  • Playful – think fun, zippy, comical
  • Understated – visualize simple yet apropos
  • Creative – think cutting edge, hip, up to date


Jekyll and Hyde
I’ve seen many examples of brand mistakes where the brand does not match a company’s personality. For example, I was once called in to design an invitation series for a law firm. Their brand was old, stodgy, and staid.

I expected to shake the hand of a 60’s partner after walking through the front door. What I experienced instead was a young, hip professional with a biting sense of humor and a motorcycle to boot. So I ended up designing a very cool invitation that matched the company brand and it was a big hit that signaled a new direction for the firm.


The most common brand personality mistake I’ve seen is when a company’s brand personality is mismatched because it’s just poorly designed. In other words, the brand was not professionally developed, and it showed.

As I’ve said over and over again, investing in your brand is worth it because it presents your business in a positive light.

  • Your brand helps you land the affluent client.
  • Your brand helps you stand apart from the competition.
  • Your brand is your vision.

Very few people realize the work, expertise, and time that goes into designing a brand. Be willing to make the investment and avoid brand personality mistakes.

About Dana Ball

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