Branding Process: The Value of Personality Exercises

Aug. 12023

A grid of slides from Matchbox Studio's brand strategy deck.

Brand Personality. A quick Google search will show you there are endless thoughts, opinions, models and ideas on how to find your brand’s personality the ‘right’ way.

A lot of agencies will even put their own name on their favorite methods, slap a quick copyright on it and make you think they’ve reinvented branding. (Pro tip: they haven’t.) We’ve found that defining a brand’s personality – how your brand behaves in the real world – isn’t as complicated as it might appear, and it’s actually one of the most rewarding and important aspects of the branding journey. So we thought we’d take a minute to share our approach: what our process looks like, and why it’s so helpful.

The Gist of It

At the beginning of our branding process we start with survey questions and workshop exercises that help us zoom out and start thinking more imaginatively about the brand. Thinking about what kind of car your brand would be or who your celebrity spokesperson would be may seem simple and silly on the surface, but every answer, no matter how basic it may seem, helps us draw insights and create open conversation about your brand. They help accomplish something essential: assigning real, visible characteristics to your brand. It’s going to define what your brand looks like, acts like, and sounds like – and what sets you apart from the pack.

Who We Are, Who We’re Not

The best part of brand personality exercises is that they don’t just help define who you are, but also who you’re not. Through these exercises we get to dig into the subtle nuances of your brand’s personality: are we more “playful”, or “quirky”? “Moody” or “zen”? What’s the difference? Why one and not the other? Defining the subtle differences in these words is a literal gold mine for the creative process, and helps create the kind of clarity you need for a strong and cohesive brand that aligns with the experience on-property.

Real Brands Talk to Real People

Brand personality exercises are also a reminder that at the end of the day, your brand will launch into the real world and communicate with real people. Branding exists for the customer, and the whole goal of brand personality is to find out which human, personable traits you’ll embody and lead with. This practice of empathy, or putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes, pays off in the long run. In fact, a 2018 study found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $775 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience. And where does it start? With the the building blocks of your brand’s identity, guided to life by your brand’s personality.


To sum it all up, brand personality exercises might seem a little unconventional at first, but once the ice has been broken and the conversation starts flowing, it’s easy to see how valuable these questions really are. By finding tangible traits we can relate to our brand, we can create a rich variety of nuanced personality traits that ultimately get refined by the creative process into a strong, effective brand identity. And as we know, a strong brand identity that comes to life and resonates deeply with your customers is one that lasts.

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