Defining the characteristics of your brand

At Captovate we work strategically with many clients to help them define their brand, we often conduct a branding exercise where we ask the team what animal, colour and shape represent the characteristics of their brand. It is fun and generates plenty of conversation and awareness of the company’s identity and values.

Some basics on colours. They will help to establish trust and familiarity with a brand. As a general rule colours can be categorised into two main categories: warm and cool. When you choose your colour think about the emotion you want to elicit from your customer.

When selecting your shape consider the angles, lines and curves and how they reflect the brand of your business. We have detailed these below. 

When thinking about an animal, it conjures up thoughts of particular trait that align with the animal. As an example in a recent workshop with Darwin Visual Arts two people selected the bird. They rationalised that birds are free to fly, they are elegant, can explore their environment and are fluid in their movement. The end result was the logo to the right. Can you see the inspiration gained by the bird? Try it within your team and see if you come up with a similar animal.


The King of the jungle. The lion conveys strength and stability. Companies  choose a lion to symbolise strength, courage, justice, excellence, and resilience.


A crocodile can be one of the most dangerous yet fascinating creatures. A descendant of dinosaurs, crocodiles symbolise courage, strength, honour, patience, cunning, fear and primal power. 


Companies who align with birds look to build trust with their customers. While in general birds can be symbolic of good luck, a hen is symbolic of fertility, birth. In Chinese culture, a rooster can symbolically mean both punctuality and honesty.


Across cultures as well as history, the snake has been viewed by many as a symbol of transformation, rebirth, healing, and even immortality. Snakes also have a venomous side and could even convey an evil undertone when used appropriately.


There is no shortage of animals that could represent your brand, and discovering your brand’s spirit animal is a useful exercise to try as it creates self-awareness, and helps to explain core company characteristics. If one of these animals doesn’t suit your company, Google those that do and see what characteristics they conjure up.


Triangles signify aggression, fearlessness, excitement, power, honour, mystery, and positive tension. A triangle also speaks of the satisfaction of needs and effective solutions. This shape doesn’t have a soft side. Instead, it’s extremely intelligent, authoritative, and in-charge.


Squares are logical, certain, unwavering, upright, trustworthy, and orderly. This shape isn’t right for products and services that depend heavily on creativity; however, if reliability and consistency are central to your brand identity, a square or rectangle might be the shape for it.


Circles and ovals suggest warmth, friendliness, all-inclusiveness, endlessness, security, and completeness. If you’d like to convey the message that your service will not end until all is complete, or that it will keep on going indefinitely.

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