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25 | 09 | 19

Why We've Kissed Goodbye To Brand Values

By Cali Mack

These days, the term branding can feel a bit nebulous. Lots of people talk about it but no one seems to agree on a fixed definition or process.


Branding is associated with Post-It pontifications and people scratching perfectly coiffed chins.


It’s a breeding ground for dubious job titles - brand architect, brand experience evangelist and - my personal favourite - brand prophet.


Branding, brand values, brand strategy and brand identity have become so ubiquitous that they’re rendered a bit of a joke. Much like that spotty Zara dress… or PPI.

But branding doesn’t need to be this riddle wrapped in an enigma inside a mystery. Fundamentally, it's quite simple. To pinch a phrase from Teresa Monachino, branding is just attaching a personality to a product.


Humans are programmed to interact with each other instinctively.  By personifying products we’re therefore encouraging more interaction.  Product personalities dictate the nature of the interaction and who it is likely to involve.

Take butter, for example. If I put 3 lumps of unwrapped butter in front of you, you wouldn’t know which to choose.

But if I added their packaging you’d know your preference immediately. That’s because you react to the branding, and the branding is the butter’s personality.

The family guy – organising BBQs in summer and starting carol sing-alongs in winter.

Country Life is an old soul - likely to be into tracing family ancestry.

Lurpak would describe themselves as a ‘self-confessed foodie’ and takes photos of their food before eating it. get the gist.


Now that we’ve added personality traits to the butter, you’d probably be able to tell me what they’re wearing, what drink they’d order in a bar and who’d be most fun at a party.


Personifying brands like this makes them easier to characterise because people understand people. Furthermore, it creates more authentic and relatable brands because, like us, they’re flawed (more on that in a later post).


We’ve updated our Branding process to identify personality traits instead of brand values. It means that our strategy sessions sometimes feel more Myers-Briggs than Marketing Week. But it also means that we build better brands.


If you’re interested in hearing more about our branding process, drop a note to and we'll sort time for a cuppa.