How To Nail Your Brand Attributes
A cup of happiness. A pinch of reliability. An ounce of empathy. All the ingredients you cook up in the pot of your brand. Those things all swirl together to concoct your entire brand.
These brand attributes are the individual pieces that people associate with when they think of you.
Let’s take a look at what those specific attributes might be and how you can determine your own for your company.
What the Heck Are Brand Attributes?
Brand attributes are all those qualities, big and small, that make a brand unique. Everything that makes it standout. All those values that immediately pop into mind when you think about a particular brand. Like the characteristics that make up a person’s essence. Same principle, different context.
Another way to think about it: the ingredients used to make a brand what it is. Sorta like how the Powerpuff Girls were born. You know, sugar, spice, and everything nice… plus a little Chemical X. But with a brand, those ingredients are the core values that infuse every aspect of it.
Those attributes seep into every aspect of a brand, informing font, color, visual, and even copy choices.
Here’s a shortlist of the attributes a brand can have:
- Relevance. A brand should have a product or service that solves a customer’s problem or fulfills their needs.
- Consistency. Being consistent helps to build trust. Providing a seamless end-to-end experience that’s consistent creates brand loyalty and makes a brand credible.
- Positioning. Can’t communicate your attributes if you don’t have the proper positioning in the market. You’ll want a rock-solid brand positioning strategy.
- Sustainable. A brand must evolve or die. So it must adapt to a customer’s future needs and innovate. If not, you could go the way of Blockbuster.
- Inspirational. A brand can inspire their customers to achieve great things by meeting their actual needs and solving their problems. Or it can be as simple as making a person feel a part of something bigger.
Brand Attributes Out in the Wild
Now that we’ve defined a few attributes, let’s move on a look at them out in the wild. Let’s start with a look at the most famous pop out there — Coca-Cola.
When we think of Coke, the “buy the world a Coke” ad campaign is the first thing that comes to mind. But so do its unique script font, the red cans, and the hourglass bottles. But all of those things roll up into the thing Coke is selling… happiness in a carbonated drink.
Let’s break it down a bit:
- Relevance. Coca-Cola has staying power. In 135 years, it has yet to slip into obscurity. It even survived the nearly fatal misstep of New Coke.
- Consistency. Despite the New Coke blunder, Coke’s brand has remained consistent as being within arms reach, absolutely sharable, and something that brings people together.
- Inspirational. This is Coke’s bread and butter. They excel at the inspirational. And it’s all centered around bringing people together.
Netflix started out mailing DVDs to people directly. Then moved into the streaming business. Now everyone wants to be a Netflix. Even the now defunct video store Blockbuster, which Netflix killed.
Let’s break its attributes:
- Positioning. Entertainment directly into your living room is one of the attributes of Netflix’s brand. First as mailed DVDs. Now as a streaming service and movie studio.
- Sustainable. Netflix was the first to innovate to provide TV shows and films at the tip of our fingers. Then it started making movies and shows of its own. Now it’s a model everyone wants to follow.
- Useful. Netflix became a lifeline for many of us during the 2020 lockdown.
Finally, let’s get physical with this example. Gyms will always remain big business, especially around New Year’s. But Equinox is the high-end of fitness centers. The Mercedes of gyms. Or the Royals Royce. We haven’t been… it’s a bit pricey for our blood.
Let’s take a lap around its attributes:
- Positioning. Equinox has positioned itself as the gym of the elite. The luxury of lifestyle brands when it comes to getting swole. And it markets itself as such in glossy ads with models more shredded than shredded wheats, flaunting sex and money.
- Useful. Despite its prices, the gym is useful as it helps clients get fit, or provides them with a place to do so with a lot of space to move around.
Identifying Your Brand Attributes
You can get a jump on defining or redefining your brand attributes through surveying your target audience. Lots of platforms you can use for this, and we highly recommend ours — Helio.
There are several ways to go about this. But we find that list questions are the best place to start.
Here are some of the ones in Helio that’ll help you the most.
Ranking allows you to understand how your audience prioritizes options in different situations, from feature concepts to orders of operation. You can even use it to rank yourself against other brands in the same space.
Or you can use it to allow an audience to rank the characteristics of your brand.
Card Sort gives insight into how an audience would group concepts and where you can match their mental model. This is a great way to see if your values align or are relevant to your target audience. You can also map the positive and negative emotions an audience has with your brand.
Everyone likes to group things in best or worst categories, which is what MaxDiff questions allow you to do. You can chart the best of your brand with the worst of your brand in the minds of your audience.
Test Your Brand Attributes in Helio
You can start sending out surveys to your target audience and test drive your brand attributes with Helio.