The Steps to Determine Your Key Brand Attributes
What are brand attributes? They are the characteristics making up the personality of a business. So, what are your brand’s attributes? If you’re not sure, then you need to take some time out to identify the characteristics of your brand. This time should be spent doing the following activities that will help you to determine your key brand attributes:
1. Answer a Few Important Questions About Your Brand/Business
Are you serious about discovering your brand attributes? If yes, then you must answer the following questions regardless of the type of business you run:
Who are you?
You need to determine why your business exists and what could make it instantly recognizable.
What do you do?
It should be immediately apparent to people the products and/or services you offer. This should reflect in your brand logo and sales collateral. For that to happen, you must be sure of your brand identity. If people are searching for your brand identity, then it is likely that you don’t have a specified brand identity.
What do you do better than anyone else?
You must find out what it is that makes you better than your competitors. To determine this, you need to find out the elements that distinguish your business from competitors. How is your product or service offering different from what your competitors are offering? This must be loud and clear to you. By ensuring this, you will minimize the risk of customers leaving you for your competitors.
Who is your target?
This is where your market research comes into play. To know your exact audience, you need to do thorough market research. You can never have ‘too much’ data on your target audience. The more information you have about them, the better it will be for your brand. This is because the more you know your audience, the better you will be able to target them with your advertising and marketing. The message you convey through the marketing channels will resonate with your target audience.
Answering the above questions is essential to position your brand appropriately. It is vital to keep in mind that brand positioning is about the entire customer experience rather than just your marketing, design, logo, brochure, or website.
2. Focus on the Benefits That Your Customers Desire
Do you want to become an expert on your target audience? Then find out what they expect and desire from the service/product type you offer. Let’s suppose you sell clothing, and your target audience is working men in their 20s and 30s. Now, you need to decide how you want to be known to this target market.
Do you want to come across as a men’s fashion brand that is a less expensive alternative to the high-street brands that offer the same type of clothing as you? Do you want to be known as an exclusive brand that sells chic clothing for a premium price? While the target audience is the working men in their 20s and 30s for both niches, the income-bracket they target is entirely different.
When we talk about working men in their 20s and 30s, there is a disparity in the incomes, tastes, and preferences of people making up this segment. Therefore, you must know your exact audience/target customers and their tastes and preferences to reach out to them effectively in a manner they desire.
3. Ensure Brand Consistency
When it comes to branding, there are a few things more important than consistency. Whether you do it through advertising, word of mouth, or direct interaction, once you have established your brand expectations, you cannot deviate from it. If you do that, then it can devastate your target audience, which will have an impact on your brand and business.
Once you lose a segment of your target audience due to unfulfilled promises, it can be tough to win them back. The point is that you should be consistent with your brand messaging and presentation instead of chopping and changing it now and then. Your brand must come across as reliable and dependable to your target audience. However, that will only happen if you ensure brand consistency, which means being consistent with your brand messaging and presentation.
4. Align Pricing with Your Brand’s Perceived Value
What would your reaction be if you walked into a Motorola outlet to purchase the latest smartphone and saw the price tag read ‘$1300’? You would probably be shocked. Ultimately, you would walk out of the store without buying the smartphone.
Now, picture another scenario where you walk into an Apple store to buy the latest iPhone and see it priced at $1300. This time your reaction would be less dramatic, and you would probably accept the pricing. This is because of the perceived value of iPhones.
The reason that $1300 pricing is unacceptable for a Motorola smartphone but completely acceptable for an iPhone is that Motorola’s smartphones have a much lower perceived value than iPhones.
The point is that if the pricing of your products and/or services is not aligned with the customer’s perceived value of your brand and products/services, then your branding efforts will come to nothing. To align your pricing with the perceived value of your brand and products/services, you need to pay careful attention to your brand messaging, design, and positioning.
5. Build Brand Equity with Appropriate Marketing Activities
To come up with appropriate marketing activities, you need to once again focus on your target audience. I’ll use the example of social media to explain this.
Social media is a relatively new medium of marketing, and many businesses believe that they need to get into the thick of things right away. This is an excellent idea if your target audience spends a considerable part of their day or week on social media. However, social media marketing will serve you no good if your target audience is not active on social networking sites.
In such situations, you will have to look for other marketing channels that can help you to better reach out to your target audience. If you don’t do that and continue to spend time and money on social media, then you will only be wasting resources. This ties back to the previous four steps for determining brand attributes.
You will have a consistently successful brand only if everyone in your company knows what you do, understands the target, maintains proper positioning, and delivers on the brand promise. Delivery of the brand promise must happen at every interaction point with prospects, customers, and partners. The interaction point includes everything, from your advertisements to your point of sale and more. One of your greatest assets in this regard would be a defined brand personality, which is the combination of your different brand characteristics or brand attributes.
To properly position your products and/or services for everyone in your target audience, list out all the brand attributes for all current and potential audiences. You can do this by filling out the following table that is designed to help you determine the different kinds of your brand attributes.
In the table below, the brand attributes are broken into five different categories—assets, offer, approach, skills, and mission. You need to list the most important things for your brand in each category.
List three attributes under each category that are most critical to the success of your business and brand.
The P.I.E. Approach
Filling out the above table is not the only way for you to determine your brand attributes. You can also identify these attributes using the Potential, Importance, Ease (P.I.E.) approach. This is an approach that can help you to come up with your ideal attributes.
Answer the following to come up with your ideal brand attributes using the P.I.E. approach.
What Is Your Potential?
This is the attribute or set of attributes that convince customers to choose you over the other options in the market. List the attributes that have the highest potential of luring customers to use your brand rather than your competitors. These attributes are your best bet of winning a sizeable share of your market.
What Is Your Importance?
List down all the characteristics of your brand that you can think of. Rank them based on their power to influence a purchase. To get a better idea of this, research how the top brands rank their brand attributes for the same.
What Is Your Ease?
This includes the cost/price of an attribute and how it fits in with your brand’s overall personality. It also consists of the believability factor, i.e., if the delivery of the particular attribute is believable to the target audience. For example, if you manufacture computer chips, but promise the entire P.C. experience, then no one will believe what you promise. So, all the brand attributes you come up with must have a reasonable cost/pricing that fits with your brand’s overall personality and is believable.
By using the P.I.E. approach, you will be able to come up with your brand attributes. Once you have listed your brand attributes in the table above, start to sort out your attributes based on the most significant potential, importance, and ease. Here, you need to be laser-focused on what attributes matter most for your brand and what attributes might compromise the brand. Keep the former and do away with the latter. By doing this, you will come up with your brand attributes or the characteristics that make up the personality or identity of your brand.