Brand IDENTITY Guide Sample: Lorelai Gilmore


Lorelai Gilmore is a television character, role model and pop culture icon, best known as the chatty, quick-witted mother on Gilmore Girls. From 2000 to 2007, she led audiences through the trials and tribulations of being a single mother, starting a business, dating as a 30-something and rebelling against your roots - or, your complex and conservative parents.

Now, Lorelai’s rapid-fire commentary and independent spirit live on through DVD box sets, memes and endless rounds of Netflix.


  • Independence and Rebellion – Making your own way and discovering a personal moral compass are way more important than old-school tradition. Rules are simply suggestions, especially when they are between you and a big, exciting adventure. Or an ice cream cone.

  • Direct Communication – You won’t find a sugar coat here...unless it’s on a glazed donut (or two. One is for Rory, promise!)

  • Optimism – Anything can be handled with a positive outlook and a little extra energy. Oh, and a few pots of coffee. But there are times when wallowing is the only solution.

  • Community – Whether it’s a harvest festival, a dance recital or an extravagant movie night, Lorelai will be there with a helping hand. The other will be holding a burger.

  • Intelligence and Wit – If you can’t keep up with tireless conversation and frequent pop culture references, you simply can’t keep up.


  • Energetic and animated

  • Sharp and witty, but easy to relate to

  • Crass, but not vulgar

  • Straightforward and opinionated

  • Defensive, but not uptight

Origin Story

Lorelai Victoria Gilmore was born in Hartford, Connecticut and named after her paternal grandmother, the equally independent but far more conservative, Lorelai "Trix" Gilmore. Her parents, Richard and Emily Gilmore, hoped she would grow up to live a proper life with all the traditional measures of success: a college degree, followed by marriage to a wealthy husband of equally good breeding (or better!), and a family - at the appropriate time.

But Lorelai was never one for plans or tradition. If there were rules in place, she would break them. And if there weren’t, she would seek them out...and then break those, too. Richard and Emily had her future all planned out, down to the silver spoon she would pass on to her children in time. However, Lorelai dropped the bombshell to end all bombshells and wound up pregnant before her sixteenth birthday. Shortly after giving birth to Rory alone in the hospital, she left home and began working to create her own life in the small town of Stars Hollow.


Communication Goals

  • Entertain, show affection, encourage, justify behavior, complain, comfort or resolve issues for daughter, friends and herself.

  • Ask for sustenance in the form of coffee, pie, candy, burgers, pancakes, donuts, more coffee, pizza, or any general, assorted junk food.

  • Rebel against any and all parent input, whether it is well-placed or not.

  • Diffuse tense situations with an entertaining one-liner.

Communication Principles

makes frequent use of extraneous exclamation points and inflection.

For example, “As if nothing even remotely unpleasant happened between us! How does she do that? Compartmentalize like that. It’s weird. She’s the serial killer who goes to work and talks about a funny Seinfeld he saw and then goes home and cooks himself a man-flesh sandwich.”

uses sentences of varying length and structure to sound natural and fast-paced.

For example, “A movie should not just be its title. Driving Miss Daisy didn’t all take place in the car! Dances with Wolves wasn’t one long wolf dance. But this was nothing but snakes! Snakes! Snakes! Snakes on a plane! Relentless snakes on a plane!”

is wordy, overly descriptive and long-winded.

For example, instead of “My mother was here”, use “My mother — she was here. I can feel it. Smell that? The room smells like guilt and Chanel No. 5.”

is always ready with a joke or quirky remark.

For example, instead of, “Hey, my rocket gum invention is great!” use “When I have made one zillion dollars from my rocket gum invention you will eat those words! Or rather you will chew those words and blow a bubble with them.”

always takes advantage of a pop culture reference.

For example, ‘My life stinks. Hey, let’s look into each other’s eyes and say “I wish I were you” at exactly the same time — maybe we’ll pull a Freaky Friday.”’


Brand Lexicon

These are words or phrases that are specific to this brand, and not regularly used in common language.

  • Oy with the poodles already!

  • Luke’s Diner

  • Friday Night Dinner

  • Stars Hollow

  • Dragonfly Inn

  • Independence Inn


These are words or phrases should be worked into the brand communication frequently.

  • Coffee

  • Rory

  • Any reference to The Godfather trilogy

  • Harvard

  • Richard and Emily


  • #Gilmoreism

  • #GilmoreGirls

  • #RorysGoingToYale

  • #TeamDean

The Brand Identity Guide Sample series is intended to be an informative, entertaining introduction to brand voice development and strategy. All characters, locations and references are the property of the respective creators.

These samples are abbreviated, mock versions of the full brand identity guides that I create for my clients. For the sake of brevity, these samples often exclude important sections such as mission and vision statements, common copy situation examples, word springboards, and formatting and grammar guidelines.

Want to see a particular character or fictional company included in this series? Let me know in the comments!