A product's quality alone cannot guarantee success. Quality is of course one of its most essential components but product branding is what makes successful brands. It is what tells your potential customers to choose you over your competition. It is meant to help convince them that out of all the various brands available that offer the same product line, it is your brand that will satisfy their wants and needs.
Internationally-acclaimed brands utilize product branding consistently and effectively. If successful, Successful, it gives life and a unique personality that stays on the minds of customers, reeling them in and bringing them back. It is a type of branding included in the extensive branding process.
What is Product Branding?
Simply put, product branding is the process of creating a unique identity for a single product. It is when one associates branding elements such as the product name, logo, and product design. Using these elements correctly makes the product recognizable, setting it apart from others that are otherwise unnoticeable.
Much of product branding relies on a customer's emotional response. The "feel" of product brands is part of what drives buyers to make a purchase. To reach your target market, one must know how to establish and leverage emotional connections. This is exactly what product branding is for.
The difference between Corporate Branding and Successful Product Branding
Crafting a strong brand identity enables your brand to leave impactful, lasting impressions on your customers, both old and new. It is the way your brand presents itself to its potential customers as well as how it interacts with them, within the spaces of the stores and the four corners of their screens.
Corporate branding includes the company values, visual identity, as well as tagline. Despite these, the products made by the company can have a separate identity through product branding. This helps distinguish the product from the other range of products that the company has to offer. In doing so, the corporate brand becomes secondary to the product brand. This can also be considered a kind of brand extension.
Corporate branding, then, is a type of branding for the business, while product branding is meant for products. Corporate branding remains the same throughout the company, but product branding can differ from one product category to another.
Product Branding Strategies
The product branding strategy involves the right elements and the right actions. While there may be some intangible elements within these strategies, there are some aspects that are defined and controllable. These principles will help make your product brand strong and successful.
All marketing campaigns must begin with research. Obtaining information from your customers comes first. This will help you address the needs of your target market. After this, you can then work on creating a brand that resonates with them. Consider asking these questions:
- What is the purpose of the product?
- Who would use this type of product?
- Why would your target market choose your product over your competitor's product?
- What does this market segment value?
- How can I connect with my audience on a deeper level?
- How do people currently see my business?
- How do I want people to see my business?
Questions like these will help you put in the shoes of your target market and see things from their perspectives. The answers to these questions will help shape the kinds of messages you want to convey to your customers. Additionally, conducting customer satisfaction surveys can help you determine what they are looking for and see how you can address their needs better with a new product with a strong brand.
Your competitors are also in the minds of customers. Like you, they are also fighting for visibility. Take note of these brands and ask your customers how they feel about them. Also, there may be factors that they consider that would make them switch to your product, so you need this information too. Competitor research enables you to know which areas they fall short on. You can capitalize on these in your marketing communications that will help in branding your product's identity.
Consistency is Key
Whatever approach you take to your marketing campaign, maintaining a consistent message is crucial to its success. A brand style guide does exactly this. Basically, it is an instructional manual on how your company should be represented. The details such as the color palette, placement, size, your company values, imagery, as well as the brand's tone and voice are included in this guide. The style remains the same throughout your marketing communications: the website, the customer service you provide for the product, business cards, posters, and other printed materials, and where you display the product. Apple, for instance, is best known for its consistency.
Your brand identity needs to be evident in your advertising and marketing efforts. A consistent message on various platforms brings more eyes to your brand and makes it easier for you to build consumer trust.
How to give Personality to Standalone Products
Marketing a standalone product is a lot like marketing a new business. Since it is not part of the range of products your business already has to offer, it needs a new voice, a new personality of its own. These three key points will help you create a strong personality for your new product.
Of course, it is imperative to be able to differentiate your product from that of your competition. Take for example Coca-Cola products. Taking a look at any of their products instantly tells you that it's a Coca-Cola product. It doesn't matter what variant it is; whether it's the new Coca-Cola Starlight available for a limited time or that strange-looking Coca-Cola with Coffee in a can, you would know that it's a Coca-Cola. If you are creating a new cola product, then, it's important to use elements that won't confuse your product for someone else's.
Also, being able to differentiate your product within a single brand is important as well. When you are creating several products within a type of product, you need to make the difference between one and the other apparent. The sports company Nike is a good example. Its line of socks is easily distinguishable, with names like Nike Everyday for everyday use, Nike Elite for basketball, and Nike Spark for running.
Reaching a specific Submarket
Certain audiences are on the lookout for a type of product that fits their niche. Having a specific audience in mind helps you determine the voice and tone you would use that will best appeal to them. The kind of branding that you want limits itself to appeal to a specific demographic. You can use a certain language, events they are interested in, and other concepts unique to this submarket in your marketing communications to achieve the best results.
Illustrating the Product
Product branding gives your customers an idea of what to expect with one look at the packaging. The name, the logo, and any other images on the packaging have quite an important role, then. Take a look at Starbucks' packaged coffee. It has an instantly recognizable logo that sets it apart from other packaged coffee. Also, the logo implies that the customer will get the same quality coffee Starbucks has to offer in their physical shops.
Don't miss out on the benefits that product branding has to offer, especially if your company already has a well-built brand. A unique personality and identity in each product address the psychological aspect of marketing, enabling you to enhance consumer trust by leveraging emotional connections between them and your customers. These associations drive the wheel of sales for individual brands in a broad range of products.