A brand represents the essence of a company, which is built upon the characteristics that your brand and company already have. Even if you haven’t yet mapped out a brand strategy and pinpointed your brand attributes, your company already has natural attributes — it will just take a few strategic steps to identify them.
The simple definition of “attributes” is: a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something. So brand attributes are characteristics that your audience sees as an inherent part of your brand.
Brand attributes are developed in the process of creating a brand strategy for a business. Your brand attributes are defined before the process of branding starts, especially before the visuals are created (such as logo design, website design, and stationery) because they will be reflected the most in the colors, shapes and overall feel of your brand.
What are examples of brand attributes?
Since brand attributes are the same attributes that a person can have, we can use a person as an example. If a person, let’s say Nick, is our friend and he is friendly, smart, welcoming, successful, professional — those words would be his attributes.
Now let’s apply these types of words to brands instead of people. Adidas is successful, smart, and professional (just like Nick!). When consumers think of Tesla, they think of innovation. Starbucks evokes feelings of consistency and quality.
Brand attributes also include the deeper values of a brand — not just the first impression that customers have, but the values and characteristics that customers don’t yet know about your company at first glance.
Brand attributes are made from the culture of a brand, its potential customers, the emotions those customers have, and its brand voice.
How to define brand attributes for your company?
A brand strategist typically follows these 4 steps when developing your brand attributes:
- Identify your brand culture. Brand culture includes where your brand is coming from and all the characteristics that your culture has. Examples could be smart, reliable, and knowledgeable.
- Describe the attributes of your potential customers. Potential customers are the people who are attracted (or could be attracted) to your product or services — so what are the attributes of those people? What traits do they share? Examples could be organized, local, and simple (look for positive attributes, of course!).
- Pinpoint your desired emotions. When discussing emotions related to brand attributes, we focus on the emotions your customers will have AFTER using your product or service. Examples include helped, happy, and understood.
- Define your brand voice. Brand voice is how your business sounds to others. Your brand voice can sound creative, friendly, or exciting.
After going through these four questions, your strategist will likely have too many words to choose from. At that point, they would choose one key word from each of the steps above — so for our example, you would emerge with a brand that is knowledgeable, local, happy and creative.
These characteristics are important for designing a logo, business cards, brand board, and website. Once your brand attributes are defined, your designer can make sure all your design elements align with those attributes so that your brand has recognition and consistency in how it sounds, looks, and feels to others.
If you’re a business owner and need to work on your branding or rebranding, brand attributes are crucial to your business’s success. You need to create a personality for your business so that your content, offers, and products can connect with potential consumers.
If you have any questions about brand attributes or creating a unique brand personality for your company, contact us. We would be thrilled to help you define your brand attributes and incorporate them into your design and messaging in order to scale your business.