5 Powerful Sets of Brand Adjectives to Describe Your Small Business

how to choose brand adjectives and personality

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Building a successful brand goes beyond selling a product or rendering a service. It involves you having a solid relationship with your target audience and helping them perceive your business as one that aligns with their goals. You need to create an emotional connection with your target audience to achieve this.

One critical way to create that connection is by building a personality that resonates with your audience, using the right brand adjectives.

Brand adjectives are essential if you’re looking to build a powerful brand personality and create a strong connection with your customers and prospects. This article discusses brand adjectives, the brand personality framework, and tips to help you choose the right adjectives for your brand.

What are brand adjectives?

Brand adjectives are the words or phrases you use to describe your brand and its personality, values, and characteristics. They help you create a unique brand identity that helps your brand stand out.

For example, if you want to be seen as innovative and cutting edge, adjectives like “innovative,” “forward-thinking,” “futuristic,” or “disruptive” will fit better in your marketing messages. If you want to portray a reliable and trustworthy brand, adjectives like “dependable,” “trustworthy,” or “consistent” will be more suitable.

Brand adjectives enable you to create a consistent message across all your marketing channels, including social media, email marketing, content marketing, etc. Consistent use of your chosen adjectives helps you build a strong, recognizable brand that will resonate with your target audience.

Adopting specific #brandadjectives helps you maintain a consistent messaging across your marketing channels. Click To Tweet

What is the brand personality framework?

Just as humans have distinct personalities that shape their interactions with others, brands also have personalities that influence how consumers perceive them.

The brand personality framework is a tool that can help you define and communicate the unique traits and characteristics of your brand.

It allows you to shape how people perceive and connect with your small business brand on an emotional level. The framework consists of a set of five personality dimensions, each with adjectives describing the personality.

Here are the personality dimensions:

  1. Sincerity
  2. Excitement
  3. Competence
  4. Sophistication
  5. Ruggedness


How to define brand adjectives with the brand personality framework


Here are the top brand adjectives you should adopt if you want to adopt a sincere brand personality:

  • Wholesome
  • Honest
  • Down-to-earth
  • Cheerful
  • Family-oriented
  • Small-town
  • Sincere
  • Real
  • Original
  • Sentimental
  • Friendly

how to describe a brand personality with brand adjectives showing sincerity


Here are the top brand adjectives for the excited brand personality:

  • Daring
  • Spirited
  • Imaginative
  • Up-to-date
  • Trendy
  • Exciting
  • Cool
  • Young
  • Unique
  • Independent
  • Contemporary

how to describe a brand personality with brand adjectives showing excitement


Here are the top adjectives for you if you want to adopt the competence brand personality:

  • Reliable
  • Intelligent
  • Successful
  • Hardworking
  • Secure
  • Technical
  • Corporate
  • Leader
  • Confident

how to describe a brand personality with brand adjectives showing competence


Here are the top brand adjectives for you if you want a sophisticated brand personality:

  • Upper class
  • Charming
  • Glamorous
  • Good-looking
  • Luxury
  • Feminine
  • Smooth

how to describe a brand personality with brand adjectives showing sophistication


Here are the top brand adjectives to adopt for a rugged brand personality:

  • Outdoorsy
  • Tough
  • Masculine
  • Western
  • Rugged

how to describe a brand personality with brand adjectives showing ruggedness

5 types of brand adjectives you can choose for your business

Based on the brand personality framework, you can choose one or more of the adjectives to describe your brand personality.

Here are some examples of how some brands have shaped their personality and adjectives.

1. Sincerity

Often, a lot of brands are desperate to acquire customers and make sales. This desperation and competition from others make them taint their reputation and go out of character.

They end up going against their brand values, deceiving the customers into buying their products with high expectations, only for the products not to be worth it. Some even lie in their promotions, promising ridiculous discount rates with unachievable terms, return policies with hidden terms, etc.

All these are not associated with the ‘sincerity’ personality and will make customers leave your business.

Being identified as a sincere brand means living by your word. Your brand has to be transparent in its dealings with customers and always wear a cheerful, friendly look, irrespective of how tense the room is.

Brands that identify with a sincere personality are characterized by the following words – down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, and cheerful. They’re often family-oriented, start as small-town businesses, and are original, sincere, cheerful, sentimental, and friendly.

Dove USA brand adjectives
Source: Dove

If you want your brand to have this personality, you’ll have to adopt these traits and start using the words to define your business. Brands with this personality trait include Coca-Cola, The Body Shop, Dove, and Disney.

2. Excitement

To be perceived as exciting, your brand has to appear daring, imaginative, spirited, and adventurous. Brands with the excitement personality typically appeal to customers who are young and explorative.

Challenging your customers to go all out for their dreams is an excellent way to stand out from the competition and appeal to customers who are seeking new experiences that inject energy, boldness, and excitement into their lives.

Brands with this personality are often trendy, contemporary, and independent and use related words while describing the brand. You can do the same if you wish to be known as an exciting brand.

Nike brand adjective
Source: Nike

Brands like Nike and Red Bull correctly depict this, as seen in their messaging, colors, and design. These brands push their customers to go the extra mile to achieve their goals, encouraging them to go big or go home.

3. Competence

The competence personality describes brands that are reliable, intelligent, and successful. This is a brand personality dimension most associated with corporate organizations.

Customers expect competence from brands that handle the most critical things in their lives, such as health, finances, and safety.

Purpose-driven brands with this personality trait often refer to themselves as hardworking, secure, technical, corporate, leaders, etc. It is a fundamental brand attribute example.

Therefore, the only way you can excel in this dimension and have an authentic story is to exhibit competence and professionalism in your products, services, and marketing promotions.

general electric brand adjective
Source: General Electric

Brands that fit this personality type are found in the financial, insurance, healthcare, technology, and logistics industries. Examples include General Electric, Microsoft, Blue Shield, etc.

4. Sophistication

Sophisticated brands are elegant, charming, cultured, and refined. They often appeal to consumers who are of the upper class and are looking for luxury or high-end products or services.

Adopting this personality means your target audience is looking for premium, top-quality products, and experiences like high-class fashion, jewelry, travel, and luxury vehicles. Brands in this personality group use words like glamorous, good-looking, smooth, etc., to describe their brand.

Watchmaking Excellence in the making
Source: Rolex

Examples of brands in this personality dimension are Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Gucci, Apple, etc.

5. Ruggedness

Brands that represent ruggedness are typically outdoorsy, and powerful. Their products and services exhibit adventure, resilience, authenticity, and durability.

To incorporate the rugged brand personality, you must understand that your customers are all out for products that do the job consistently. Therefore, your products must do the dirty, tough tasks to satisfy them.

Jeep brand adjective
Source: Jeep

Brands commonly known for this personality type are often masculine, western, or anything related and are found in the construction, sports, and transportation industries. Typical examples are Yeti, Jeep, Timberland, Jack Daniels, etc.

Just as humans have different personalities, that's the same with brands. As different people are attracted to different personalities, that's how customers are attracted to unique personalities. Click To Tweet

How to choose brand adjectives to describe your brand personality

Describing your brand’s personality using the right adjectives helps you communicate your brand values and build a lasting relationship with your target audience.

Here are some tips on how to choose the proper brand adjectives to build a solid and memorable brand identity:

1. Understand your brand

Begin by gaining a clear understanding of your brand, its values, and its unique qualities. Consider the brand’s story with its mission, vision, and target audience.

This understanding will serve as a foundation for selecting the appropriate adjectives.

For example, if your brand value is focused on innovation, your brand adjectives and personality should be in line with the following:

  • Cutting edge
  • Revolutionary
  • Game-changing
  • Innovative
  • Futuristic

2. Identify your target audience

To select brand adjectives that resonate with your target audience, you need to understand who your ideal customers are and what they care about.

Think about their characteristics and values. Are they young and explorative, or more traditional and conservative? Or are they tech-savvy or more old-fashioned?

Ensuring you pick adjectives that speak to your target audience and align with their values will help you build a more memorable brand.

3. Brainstorm brand adjectives

Make a list of adjectives that reflect the personality traits you want to associate with your brand.

Think about the emotions, feelings, and qualities you want people to associate with your brand. Select from the brand personality framework. Do you want to be sincere, rugged, luxurious, excited, or competent?

Think about words like trustworthy, innovative, friendly, sophisticated, reliable, adventurous, and more.

4. Be unique

Using generic brand adjectives will make your brand blend in and get overshadowed in the competition, while unique brand adjectives will help you stand out.

To choose brand adjectives that stand out, consider what makes your brand different from others and choose adjectives that highlight those differences.

5. Use emotional words

Emotional adjectives are effective in building a solid brand-customer relationship.

Ensure that you choose adjectives that evoke the right emotions and feelings in the minds of your audience.

6. Prioritize

Review the list of adjectives you brainstormed and prioritize the ones that best capture the essence of your brand personality.

Narrow down the list by selecting the most relevant and impactful adjectives that align with your brand identity.

7. Test and refine

Once you’ve selected your brand adjectives, test them with your target audience and see how they feel about them.

Ask for feedback on whether the adjectives match what they perceive or expect from your brand, and make the necessary adjustments.

Doing this ensures your brand adopts adjectives that will reflect your brand personality and resonate with your target audience.

How to choose the right brand adjectives

Tips to choose the right brand adjectives

1. Keep it simple

Simple brand adjectives that are easy to understand and remember will help you build a more memorable brand.

Ensure you choose simple, straightforward adjectives easy for your audience to pronounce and remember, as this will help them understand what your brand stands for.

2. Make it clear

Select adjectives that are specific and precise, rather than using generic or vague terms.

Specific adjectives provide clarity and help create a strong and memorable brand image and reflect your brand story.

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3. Ensure consistency

Consistency is key in brand communication.

Ensure that the chosen brand adjectives are consistently used across all brand designs and touchpoints, including your brand website, social media profiles, marketing materials, and customer interactions.

This consistency of the brand elements reinforces the brand personality and helps build brand recognition.

4. Tailor your messaging

Adapt your adjectives and brand messaging to suit different communication channels and target audiences.

Customize the language and tone based on the platform and the preferences of your audience. Ensure that the messaging pillars and content writing are consistent with the overall brand personality.

Another indication that you’ve done an excellent job with your brand personality is that your audience engages with your brand and feels connected.

An engaged audience will identify with your content, share it, leave positive reviews, and even refer others to experience your brand.

5. Consider market research

Use market research techniques such as surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather insights about how your target audience perceives your brand and what adjectives they associate with it.

This will help you identify adjectives that are meaningful to your audience.

6. Be authentic

Choose adjectives that authentically represent your brand’s values and capabilities. Avoid selecting adjectives solely based on trends or popularity if they do not align with your brand’s true identity.

7. Limit your adjectives

While it’s important to have a range of adjectives that capture different aspects of your brand’s personality, avoid overwhelming your audience with too many.

Aim for a concise and manageable set of adjectives that effectively communicate your brand’s essence.

8. Evolve over time

As your brand grows and adapts to changing market dynamics, be open to reevaluating and adjusting your brand adjectives.

Regularly assess if they still reflect your brand’s evolving personality and resonate with your audience.

Build a powerful brand personality by adopting the right brand adjectives

Brand adjectives guide the development of a consistent brand identity across all marketing channels and customer touchpoints.

Carefully choosing and consistently using the right set of adjectives will help you establish a solid emotional connection with your target audience, differentiate your brand from your competitors, and build a robust and loyal customer base.

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