Product Branding. Is it another marketing jargon that leaves you puzzled? Perhaps, but one thing that is obvious from the get-go is that the term has something to do with the branding of a product. But that’s not all there is to it.
To shed some light on this topic, we can refer to Walter Landor’s quote that differentiates between a product and brand. Landor interestingly puts it this way – “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind”. Inferring from Landor’s statement, product branding is a blend of these two concepts. Projecting the image behind your brand’s product, product branding helps you distinguish your product from its competitors and stamp it in your customers’ minds.
To understand this better, let’s visualize the process and power of product branding.
Imagine you are surfing through the aisles in a supermarket for some cake mix. And you come across a whole shelf that’s full of cake mix packets in different colors, sizes, design, and price. As you are making up your mind, you come across a packet with a familiar white figure wearing that unmistakable chef-hat and scarf. Without losing a moment, you grab the packet and put it in your cart, glad to have found it before someone else did. Do you know what triggered that action? Is it the Pillsbury doughboy? The colorful packaging? The stellar reputation of this brand?
The truth is It’s all of these, tied together seamlessly through product branding done right. When your branding speaks up for your product, you can carve out an unforgettable feel about it. Similar to Pilsbury’s cake-mix case, product branding enables you to create a unique product branding strategy that makes you stand out from the mix.
Your product branding is for your customers, as much as it is for you. And no, conjuring up a product strategy out of thin air won’t do. To communicate your products’ stellar points to your customers in ways that stick, you need to know them inside-out. When you offer the right thing to the right audience in the right manner, there are fewer chances of things going wrong. Otherwise, you are just shooting in the dark, and losing crucial impression points while at it.
To set yourself apart from others, the first step is to know what your competitors are doing. This way, you can do what they aren’t, and make your own place in the market. Once you have narrowed down your customers and competitors, you can dedicate your product branding efforts to catering to them and not waste it.
For instance, niche brands fare better than broad brands when it comes to profit and brand recognition because of their choice of customers.
Whether it’s your product or branding, they need to have a design that draws people in. When your design aligns with your message and personality, you can imprint it in your customers’ minds to aid brand recognition. Your logo, font, color scheme, and other visual elements of branding are all important parts of your design. When you get them right, you can express yourself better, and engrave yourself into their heart and mind.
It’s true that your visual designs make you look good, but if you want your customers to give you more than a first glance, then your design should also be practical. Just as eye-catching as your package design, its usability counts equally. Especially when its a direct point of contact between them and your product.
Your design can only be called grand, when it speaks of end-to-end practicality, creativity, and consistency. For instance, Kleenex’s wedge-shaped package design was an instant hit and even boosted summer sales for the company.
From communicating your message to convincing your customers, branding does many things for your product. But before anything else, it helps you to establish a connection with your customers. Once you manage to form a connection with your customers through your brand, they will be much more willing to trust in your product and come back for more.
With constructive feedback and a memorable customer experience, you can not only form a connection but also build a community for yourself. The better you are at connecting with your audience, the easier it is for you to win them over on your tribe. This way, you can convert your customers into evangelists for your brand. We can find real-life examples of brand evangelists in Apple fans. They are termed as iSheep by the opposition because of their obsessive devotion to the brand!
Product branding involves numerous activities that you perform to bring your product and brand to the forefront. Juggling everything from target customers, package design, and advertising, it all comes down to just how well you can sell it. Telling your story through your colors, design, packaging, and message, you can captivate your audience and have them hooked.
Following through with your words, you need to ensure that every step of your branding strategy falls in place. Selling out your unique aspect to gain a competitive edge, your branding strategy needs to be more about showing than telling. That’s how your customers can relate with you, and also perceive you as a relatable brand.
After segmenting your target audience and designing your product, you may think that you are done with product branding. But then, you would be forgetting one very important thing, the right platform to showcase. That’s right, your product won’t get recognition from the right audience when they aren’t on the right platform.
For example, if your product caters to middle-aged women with aging problems, then promoting it on LinkedIn or Twitter won’t bring the same results as it would on Instagram or Pinterest. When you present your product to the right audience, you can expect a favorable outcome. For tangible results, you need to analyze feedback instead of simply settling for quantity over quality.
You’ll find that getting started with product branding is not rocket science when you follow the above guidelines to a T. When done properly, it can establish your place in the market, as well as your customers’ minds. It lends you a unique identity in the marketplace that will make your customers recognize you at the first glance itself.
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