IF YOUR BREWERY WERE A PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE, AND WHY?
After defining your brewery’s values, positioning and brand essence, you can begin transitioning into the visual side of the house. Our next step on this path is to articulate your brand’s personality. We’ve found the best way to tackle this is to think of your brewery as a living, breathing person. Then, you’re simply defining what personality traits that person has. Understanding these attributes will pave the way for your next step—brand identity design.
To kick this off, answer the following questions. If your brewery is a person, is it:
- Male or female?
- Young or old? Middle-aged?
- Blue collar or high brow?
From there, list all the character traits you think apply to your brewery. Here are a few examples:
Fun / Serious / Confident / Introverted / Warm / Cold / Irreverent / Demanding / Exciting / Innovative / Traditional / Pragmatic / Acerbic / Romantic / Idealistic / Angry / Stoic / stubborn / Flirty(?) / Reflective / Respectful / Feral / Ironic / Ambitious / Dedicated / Honorable / Brilliant / etc.
Big Lug Canteen’s (Indianapolis, IN) personality celebrates suburban life and directly turns the oft-overly romantic side of craft beer on its ear. See more of this fun project here.
While there’s no magic number, we find that 3 to 5 personality traits is a good mark to aim for. Many of the words people use to define their brewery can be grouped together (whether they’re pure synonyms or are at least in the same ballpark, messaging-wise). The goal is to whittle down and refine into the clearest, most concise statement so your future communication and design work will be clear and consistent.
Similar to when you developed your core values: Once you’ve picked 3 to 5 personality traits that describe your brewery, take some time to write about what they each mean to you. Write about why they apply to you, and why this matters to your fans.
As we’ve mentioned a few times throughout the values and brand essence development process, it’s easy to settle for things that aren’t exactly ownable. Yes, you strive to brew high quality, drinkable beer. But so does every other brewery in the world (hopefully). I don’t say this to be cynical, but rather to get you to think, and rethink, these personality traits until they’re authentic to your brewery.
Here’re a few more questions to help make sure your personality traits are solid and true to you:
Is this personality trait true?
What processes do you have in place to back it up? Can you think of any anecdotes that illustrate it in action?
Are all of these traits relevant?
A personality trait may be true, but does it matter to your customers? Does this help you better keep the promises you make and fill an important need for them?
Do these traits differentiate your brewery?
Are these traits different from what everyone else is putting out there? Look around at your competition—how are other breweries talking about themselves? It’s common to see similar language like, “high quality beer,” “best ingredients,” “local,” etc. in this space. Don’t be similar.
A lot of companies make the mistake of aligning their personality with what they believe their audience wants. Similar to the politician who supports one side of an issue one day and is against it the next, it can make your messaging sporadic and perhaps worse, untrustworthy. It’s far better to build off of your core values and messaging to define a set of true, authentic and ownable brand personality traits.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. And no matter what you do, don’t be a damn politician.