Seven key brand characteristics – compassion, honesty, truth-seeking, bravery, cleverness, humor, fairness – help define your brand personality. Businesses that understand and effectively leverage their brand personality can access and engage their target customer base.
Updated October 20, 2022
Brand characteristics are attributes that make up the personality of a brand or company. These characteristics are important because they attract a target audience with similar characteristics and values.
The brand characteristics that a company chooses to embody will have a significant impact on the audience the strong brand will cultivate and the future brand loyalty they might attain. When brand characteristics come together, they form a brand personality.
Brand personalities are higher-level descriptions of a company’s identity – e.g., "creator,""explorer," or "caregiver." Several brand characteristics and brand attributes 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 characteristics.
This article will dive into 7 different brand characteristics to target in order to capture the attention of a unique, specific audience and create a strong brand for your business.
Examples of Brand Characteristics
Compassion is a key brand characteristic of a ‘caregiver’ brand. These companies and small businesses 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 with an emotional connection
Compassion is a helpful component for any successful brand, but companies within the hospitality and health industries may particularly benefit from this brand characteristic.
An honest business aligns with an ‘innocent’ brand personality trait. Most companies could benefit from appearing authentic, honest, and transparent to their customers, regardless of their industry. This outlook helps with brand positioning within competitive industries that attract certain demographics.
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 with unique visuals or telling customer stories can make your brand appear more honest to prospective customers.
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 (their “brand awareness”) 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 and even business owners 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.
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.
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 potential customers’ dreams come true.
In taking on the magician personality, companies focus on how their offerings can transform consumers’ lives. One major magician brand experience 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, and other content within one brand.
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.
Hire a digital marketing agency to assist with your marketing campaigns.
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 brand strategy run the risk of being seen as boring, out-of-touch, or even irreverent.
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 marketing 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 that match the needs of their target audience and potential customers.
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.
Become a successful brand with the help of a trusted brand agency.