Creative Concepts: What is Brand Ethos?

Posted by Graciela Robertson on Jul 25, 2018 3:24:46 PM

A brand's ethos may sound like an abstract and elusive creative concept if you are unfamiliar with the term or the branding industry. When a brand's ethos is broken down, it represents the bare bones of a brand's identity and is essential for a brands success.


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Ethos is derived from Aristotle's' three "Modes for Persuasion" in which ethos is described as "an appeal to ethics," it is also described as "having character." The modes of persuasion are three different methods that are used within argumentation, as mechanisms to persuade an audience.

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In marketing, ethos is the connection between a brand and its audience. It succeeds when the perception of what a brand stands for matches consumer behavior. As brands, a strong ethos is what makes us authentic. Consumers evaluate brands based on their character and determine which brand has the most credibility and authenticity according to their lifestyle and beliefs.

Three Ways to Establish an Effective Brand Ethos:

1. Identify Your Audience

With the use of buyer personas, which represent your ideal consumer, your brand should be able to identify your target audience. Your target audience should be able to be described with a list of adjectives that characterize their consumer habits and lifestyles.


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Perception is a crucial factor that influences the consumer decision process. What your consumers perceive about you is what they will think of your product and brand, so you want to be a credible source.

2. Establish Your Tone

When it comes to establishing your authentic brand character and ethos, you need to consider your brands' voice and tone. You can consider your tone to be formal, or informal, professional, or casual.

One example of a brand that has a formal tone is North Boulder Dental, a well established local business offering high quality dentistry. Known for their exceptional service and staff, their brand ethos is caring, professional and trustworthy.


On the other hand, another brand that has an informal tone is Food Corps, a nonprofit that connects kids with healthy food to encourage healthy lifestyles as they grow.  They are a brand of action and a true force of change, connecting with schools and kids all over the the country. 


3. Convey Your Brand Ethos Using Design 

Elements of design can be used to visually demonstrate your brands' ethos. The use of colors, typography, and your brand logo encompass a visual representation of your brand ethos and brand personality.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Brand Loyalty, Brand Identity, Brand Design, logos, Logo, Creative Concepts