7 Brand Characteristics to Make Your Business Stand Out

Sydney Wess
6/23/2021

Seven key brand characteristics – compassion, honestly, truth-Seeking. bravery, cleverness, humorous, fairness – help define your brand personality. Businesses that understand and effectively leverage their brand personality can access and engage their target customer base. 

Brand characteristics are attributes that make up the personality of a brand or company. These characteristics are important because they attract an audience with similar characteristics and values. 

The brand characteristics that a company chooses to embody will have a significant impact on the audience the brand will cultivate. When brand characteristics come together, they form a brand personality.

Branding Characteristics compared to personality types
Source: AdWeek

Brand personalities are higher-level descriptions of a company’s identity – e.g., "creator,""explorer," or "caregiver." Several characteristics will come together to create these personality types. For example, a caregiver brand is likely to be empathic, patient, and compassionate. 

Partnering with a quality branding agency will help your business develop and effectively highlight its brand characterics. 

This article will dive into 7 different brand characteristics to target in order to capture the attention of a unique, specific audience. 

  1. Compassion
  2. Honestly
  3. Truth-Seeking
  4. Bravery
  5. Cleverness
  6. Humorous 
  7. Fairness

1. Compassion

Compassion is a key brand characteristic of a ‘caregiver’ brand. These companies are seen as selfless and empathic in helping their customers.

Companies can foster compassion by taking action to show that they care about their customers and communities more than merely converting new leads. 

Companies hoping to develop a compassionate brand characteristic should consider investing in the following:

  • Stellar customer service
  • Community engagement: Donations or volunteering in the community you service
  • Empathetic marketing

Compassion is a helpful component for any brand, but companies within the hospitality and health industries may particularly benefit from this brand characteristic. 

2. Honesty

An honest business aligns with an ‘innocent’ brand personality. Most companies could benefit from appearing authentic, honest, and transparent to their customers, regardless of their industry. 

Despite being a highly desired brand characteristic, consumers don’t inherently trust brands. For instance, 36% of social media users believe brands regularly post clickbait or misleading content. Even more consumers aren’t at all interested in branded content.  

Companies have turned to humanizing their offerings to attain the ‘honest’ brand characteristic. Tactics such as posting user-generated content or telling customer stories can make your brand appear more honest to prospective customers.  

3. Truth-Seeking 

If your brand is truth-seeking, it most likely fits with the ‘sage’ brand personality. Across all markets, brands that appear intelligent and offer services driven by accurate information are sure to resonate well with customers.

In maintaining a truth-seeking status, companies can separate themselves from their competitors by showcasing themselves as the most learned in their fields. Putting information and the constant goal of improving upon accrued expertise can help a brand achieve this identity.

Brand managers must ensure that aligning with this personality doesn’t come at the expense of warmth. Brands that come off as fact-oriented may also inadvertently distance themselves from their consumer base as aloof. 

4. Bravery 

A brand that exhibits bravery would be considered an ‘outlaw’ brand. This brand personality refers to companies that challenge the norms of their industry as a means of liberating customers from the limitations set forth by the generally accepted way of conducting business.

This personality may seem like a natural one for market newcomers to take on, but businesses can maintain this identity for many years by employing the proper branding.

Motorcycle mainstay Harley-Davidson is one such firm. Freedom and innovation serve as cornerstones in its branding kit and messaging. Despite having existed for over 100 years, they continue to capitalize on a personality built around bravery, risk-taking, and going against the grain.

5. Cleverness 

Brands that hold cleverness at the heart of their identity would fit well within the ‘magician’ personality. These businesses use everyday avenues to make their customers’ dreams come true.

In taking on the magician personality, companies focus on how their offerings can transform consumers’ lives. One major magician brand that comes to mind is Disney, which has built an entire product suite around captivating, dream-oriented stories. Specifically, for each animated film they release, they develop associated product branding and lines – e.g., toys, theme park experiences, other content. 

While a media giant seems like the perfect candidate for this personality, clever marketing and advertising services can help any brand establish itself as a magician. For example, vacuum manufacturer Dyson became a household name in an unappealing industry through a commitment to differentiation through technological innovation.

6. Humorous 

A trademark characteristic of the ‘jester’ personality, humorous brands utilize messaging that indicates to consumers that they’re all about enjoyment.

Even if it may seem like an unconventional marketing route, humor has a proven track record in connecting with many customer bases. In fact, 53% of consumers say they’re more likely to remember and enjoy an advertisement if they find it funny.

Despite this potential for success, taking on humor as a brand characteristic requires a deep level of dedication. Jesters who miss the mark with their marketing run the risk of being seen as boring, out-of-touch, or even irreverent.

7. Fairness

Consumers tend to perceive brands with the ‘everyman’ personality as fair. These companies instill a sense of belonging in their target markets through a commitment to inclusion and community.

A brand that embraces fairness would avoid any exclusionary marketing tactics instead of focusing on making its products and services accessible to as many people as possible.

Blue-chip retailer Target is a prime example of a business that has taken on the everyman personality and incorporated fairness into its brand messaging. The brand has put together campaigns such as “Target Run and Done” to showcase its utility to all consumers and solidify its reputation as “America’s easiest place to shop.”

Brand Characteristics Elevate Company Personalities 

When attempting to build a cohesive image, businesses should understand and embrace their ideal brand personality. In doing so, they must identify and strive to maintain relevant brand characteristics.

Whether setting themselves apart from their competitors by being honest or humorous or connecting with consumers on a deeper level by being compassionate or fair, companies can up their overall presence through successfully leveraging brand characteristics.

author

Sydney Wess

Content Writer & Editor

Sydney researches and writes about marketing and tech trends for Visual Objects.