Brand Attributes

How to Identify Key Brand Attributes

However you come to determine your brand qualities (for more info about this click here), you will want to narrow down your list and focus on about three to five descriptive words. Choose qualities that best represent your unique capabilities and attitudes. Think about how you would envision translating these qualities into a more tangible ” look and feel. ” Try to choose brand qualities that will lend themselves to creating a more focused, positive, and memorable impression that distinguishes you. Words like – witty, vintage, bold, intense, organized, daring, confident, imaginative, reflective, quirky, experimental, retro, edgy, outgoing, enthusiastic, focused, classic, raw, poetic, creative, playful, and wacky, are some choices you could use to describe your style.

Brand Statements

A brand statement (sometimes known as a brand position) is a single statement that communicates quickly and succinctly the core values of an individual or company as they relate to its strategic positioning within a particular industry.

Personal brand statement: A single sentence that strategically promotes who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re best at. It is a difficult process to develop such a statement as it challenges you to focus on your strongest positive attributes and then have the confidence to state them clearly and concisely. Be forward-thinking—take a stand, focus your message, and set yourself apart. A targeted message is guaranteed to make you more visible and memorable. Don’t worry about including all your talents and skills in this statement. You shouldn’t include everything you can think of—this will only water down your message. Besides, there is a baseline level of skills and experience that should be true of most people in your industry. Such expectations should be demonstrated through the actual work in your portfolio. Your brand and subsequent portfolio design should, however, go above and beyond a generic description and focus on what makes you special. It’s better to be targeted and have something more unique to say than to be too generalized and like everyone else. Your brand statement will be used as a guide, a touchstone, in the expression of your portfolio concept and design. A personal brand statement can also provide the basis for the development of a visual identity if you decide to create one.

Sample statement:

I am a [state professional title (photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, etc.)] with strong (amazing, leading, etc.) skills in [list core skills] who is [list brand attributes (qualities)].

Exercise: Brand Book

Need help? Think about your brand like you’re telling a story about it—one that captures the essence of who you are as a creative professional. In advertising, most brands have a “brand book” that tells their story.

A brand book is the story and personification of a brand—its ethos. It answers the questions: What does a brand sound like? Feel like? Look like? What’s its purpose? Its mission? How is it different from its competitors? What’s its unique personality and characteristics? How does it think and perceive the world? How does the world perceive it? Through visual elements and copy a brand book tells its Story—written in the first-person narrative form as if the brand (or company it is representing) is speaking. – Christine Pillsbury, Creative Director, Beam Interactive and Relationship Marketing


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