How do you identify the brand attributes of your business? Many business owners spend significant resources fine-tuning their branding to build relationships with the target audience. After all that investment, planning, and brand strategy you’d expect a great reception, right? Here’s the sad truth; 54% of people don’t trust brands.
Why does this happen? There’s a variety of reasons, but two can make a tremendous difference when they’re identified and addressed:
- Your brand doesn’t have a personality
- You haven’t identified your brand’s personality
Brand attributes are the characteristics that make up the personality of your business. In order to establish credibility and trust with your target audience, you need to know how to promote your brand authentically.
1. The brand is properly positioned
Regardless of the type of business you run, the following questions must be answered to help identify your brand attributes:
- Who are you? Identity is everything in branding. Your brand should be instantly recognizable in all aspects of communication.
- What do you do? The products and services you perform should be immediately apparent. Don’t make people search for your brand identity.
- How you are better? How do you plan to be better than competitors? Determine the elements that differentiate your business from competitors.
- Who is your target market? (the more information you know about that target, the better) Your target market should want to interact with your brand without being force-fed advertisements every single day.
Remember, brand positioning isn’t just about your logo, website, brochure, design or marketing; it’s about the entire customer experience
2. The brand delivers the benefits customers desire
Becoming an expert on your target audience will help you define their expectation and desires. Let’s say the target audience is young women in their 20’s and you sell clothing. You need to decide if you want to be known as the lower cost alternative for fashion, or the chic boutique who sells exclusive brands at a higher price point. Both niches appeal to completely different segments of the target audience. Knowing your exact target audience will allow you to make branding initiatives that are strategic. Your brand can start making promises to that target audience once a strategic approach is implemented that allows you to consistently deliver a great experience.
3. The brand is consistent
Few things are more important in branding than consistency. Once you establish brand expectations, whether it is through direct interaction, advertising, or word of mouth, any deviation from that expectation can be devastating to the target audience. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible to get back a portion of your target audience after losing them.
Bottom line? Don’t flip-flop on your brand messaging and presentation. Everything about your brand should scream reliability and dependability from the perspective of your target audience.
4. The pricing is aligned with the perception of value
If you walked into Wal-Mart to purchase a box of macaroni and noticed the price was $6, you’d probably be stunned. Ultimately your disgust would influence your decision to put the box of macaroni back on the shelf and possibly walk out of the store. Now, if you did the same thing in Whole Foods that price would be completely acceptable. Why is it that $6 is completely ridiculous at Wal-Mart and completely acceptable at Whole Foods? Because products from Wal-Mart have a much lower perceived value than products at Whole Foods.
A business with products and services that aren’t aligned with the customer’s perceived brand value will quickly fail. Messaging, design and brand positioning are key to establishing a connection between price and the perceived value for your goods.
5. The brand makes use of appropriate marketing activities to build equity.
Once again we turn to the target audience to define marketing activities. Social media is a perfect example. Because social media is a fairly new medium, many businesses believe they need to get in on the action. This is a great idea if your target audience is on social media, but an equally bad idea if your audience doesn’t spend time there. You need to find mediums that provide access to a large portion of your target market, otherwise you’re just wasting resources.
Bonus: Everyone in the organization understands all attributes of the brand.
This statement ties back to the previous five methods for discovering brand attributes. You cannot maintain a consistently successful brand unless everyone in the company is familiar with the business, understands the target market, maintains proper positioning, and delivers on promises. The brand promise should be executed at every point of interaction with customers, prospects, and vendors. From the first advertisement, to the receptionist, the lobby design, and every other point of contact. A brand with a defined personality will be one of your greatest assets.