What Are Your Brand Attributes?
Knowing your brand attributes is key, as branding is a pretty hot topic at the moment. Everyone from Neil Patel to Gary Vaynerchuk is saying that it’s the big marketing trend of 2017.
The appeal of branding is really obvious. It’s a long-term play that can deliver serious results for your company. Just think about it: when people want to buy sneakers they don’t jump on Google and search for ‘companies that sell sneakers’, they search for Nike or Adidas.
If a company has really smashed their brand marketing, you might even search for the sneaker style too. Think about the popularity of Adidas‘s Stan Smith trainers – their brand characteristics are so strong that even their microbrands are thriving. Same for almost any product or service – when you think of fast food, you’ll probably automatically think of McDonald’s. Then, when you think of Mcdonalds, you’ll probably think of Big Macs! The cycle goes on and on…
4 Ways to Find Your Brand’s Attributes
To determine what is a brand, you first have to determine what a brand is made up of. Here are 4 easy ways to find this out:
- What is the culture of the brand? Is it informal, easy-going and want’s its audience to have fun? Is it more serious and determined to have world domination?
- What are the brand’s products or services designed to achieve? Do they want the customer to feel in power and on top of the world? Or, do they want their customer to feel like they need to invest in the brand in order to live their best life?
- Who is the brand audience? Do the audience all have something in common – same age group, location or other demographics? Does, in fact, the brand reach out to everybody with their marketing?
- What is the brand’s voice? If the brand has social media – this will be an easy one. Think of how the brand speaks when engaging with their audience – friendly and conversational, or super formal and professional?
Answering all of these questions will ensure you know what type of brand attributes you have, and better yet, how to tackle the world of branding…
Why Building Your Brand Is So Important…
The bottom line is people tend to stick with brands they know, which is why building a trusted brand is so valuable. Some of the biggest brands have done an amazing job at having great brand features – research has shown that people respond to business giants logos more than pictures of members of their own families! (Although, what that says about their personal relationships hasn’t quite been determined…)
The fact that building a solid brand up, with solid brand values and attributes, is coming back into fashion shows the development in the business world. For a while now, a great brand essence has shifted out of focus.
Companies – especially startups – have adopted a lean, relaxed mindset. Marketers are obsessed with quantifiable metrics and lean learning. The question is always “what small thing will deliver the biggest results?” It’s almost impossible to measure the return on investment with branding, so it’s understandable that we’re cautious about piling resources into it.
But Adwords – or the latest digital marketing buzzword – just doesn’t build trust in the way that having a solid, well-thought-out brand do. Gary Vaynerchuk’s explanation of why he bought a pair of Nike trainers pretty much sums this up: “I don’t buy these because Nike hooked me and chased me around the internet, so I gave up and I bought them. I do it blindly. Because it’s Nike.”'I don't buy these because Nike cookied me. I do it blindly. Because it's Nike.' Click To Tweet
…and why managing your branding is even more important
Trouble is, branding’s a fragile thing. It can take decades to build but just one night to crumble.
All it takes is a big backlash and your credibility’s gone. Or, at the very least you’re going to have to spend lots and lots of money correcting your error. In 2010, GAP shelled out for a new logo only to face a massive internet outcry because, truth be told, it was crap. So, what did they do? They changed it back less than a week later – subsequently pending even more money in the process!
Okay, if you take the view that “all publicity is good publicity” then perhaps this isn’t so bad. In fact, some people have argued that big companies have put out crappy logos on purpose as a PR stunt. The companies themselves (obviously) haven’t admitted to this.
However, even if it is true, it’s unlikely that every terrible logo design is a PR stunt – it’d be hard to justify spending that much money for bad press.
You could argue that GAP couldn’t have predicted the social media shitstorm they endured. After all, the way companies manage social media has come a long way since 2010, it was all relatively new then.
Yet, even now, brands continue to make the same mistakes time and time again. Take the life insurance company Metlife – they started off their branding with Snoopy and the other characters from Peanuts. But, in October 2016, the company moved away from that and towards a blue and green stylized M.
The problem with this is that a lot of people have pointed out that their logo looks very similar to the news site Diffen. So, what should have been a great PR opportunity quickly turned sour.
The point is, you’ve got to nurture your brand, along with your brand values. It’s there for your customers, not you. What seems to you to be an exciting rebrand could simply freak your customers out – it happened to GAP, it happened to Tropicana. Don’t let it happen to you!
Involve your customers in the process, and think before you do. Your brand is valuable and one false step can mean trust disappears overnight.
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