Apple’s marketing creates raving fans who stand in line for hours and hours just to get the first shipment of any new product the minute it’s released throughout social media. People love Coca-Cola even when it tastes exactly the same as other products that cost half the price. That is successful product branding in action. Clearly identifying who the product is for and how you want the world to perceive it will guide the decisions you make through its development. These brands create products for their target market, creating loyal customers that believe these products make life better, easier, more fun and more cool.
If you’re developing a product, you should be developing its brand.
Define Your Product’s Unique Brand
Product branding is simply the process of branding a product. It’s the identity you give your product so it stands out in a sea of competitors and connects with the people it meshes with best. That unique identity is your product’s brand, and each of the tangible aspects of that brand is your product’s brand identity. Take some time to dig into who your product is for, where it fits into its unique market and which characteristics make it unique.
- Your buyer’s values: What do your customers care about? What are they looking for from a product like yours?
- Where your products fits into its market: Is it priced higher, lower or about the same as competing products—and why? Is it available on every store’s shelf, in select boutiques or from your online shop exclusively? Is it meant for a specific demographic among your buyers?
- The characteristics that make your product unique: What differentiates your product? Is your product the only option in its category that comes with a lifetime warranty? Or is it the only one they can get without having to leave the house?
Create Your Product’s Brand Identity
Your product’s brand identity is the collection of tangible “pieces” that make up its brand. Take the visual design elements you identified for your brand and use them to design the components that make up your brand identity. Product branding also goes beyond visual design. Branding touches every interaction the customer has with your product, like the packaging your product arrives in and the way they interact with your customer support team. You can take branding in a ton of different directions to build a stronger relationship with your audience, like collaborating with another product or service that’s on your buyers’ shopping lists. Make sure you include the following assets for an effective product brand identity:
- Product packaging
- Product labeling
- Copy voice
- Product names
A successful product and brand strategy develops brand awareness and identity that sets your products apart from the countless others solely based on brand name.
Implement a Strategic Brand and Product Plan
A well-designed strategy repeatedly reminds potential and current customers why they should purchase your product over others with similar characteristics. A brand strategy should position products relative to immediate competition. Decide whether you want consumers to think of your product as less expensive than the competition, higher quality than the competition or carrying more status than the competition.
Once your product has a clear, consistent brand, it’s time to get that brand out everywhere it makes sense for your brand to be. Nowadays, everybody must have an online presence. That means a website and social media. But which social media platforms you promote your product on depends on what your product is and which demographics it’s meant for.
For some products, print ads make sense. For others, they aren’t very effective. Similarly, some products have audiences that connect really well with influencers. Therefore, getting your product into those influencers’ hands and onto their platforms is key to reaching an ideal audience for your product. You might want your product available on every possible store shelf. Or, you might not. When a product’s only available from its creator, it feels more exclusive than products that can be found in stores.
Don’t try to put every single feature of your product or service on the page. Instead, focus on the most valuable UVP for each product. Then, stress that.
Maintain Your Product Brand
Product branding doesn’t end when your product hits the market. It continues through your interactions with buyers, any new products you release and business pivots you decide to take. A few examples of actions you can take after your product launches to build and maintain your brand include:
- Supporting specific causes and charities
- Running promotions, giveaways and contests
- Collaborating with other brands to create new products
Think carefully about the promotions that are most on-brand for you. For a pet food brand, donating products or a percentage of every sale to animal rescue organizations is a good fit. For a fashion brand, it makes sense to collaborate with another brand that your audience buys regularly—maybe a beauty or footwear brand.
Brand Your Product Successfully
Your product may be the best in its category but if you don’t put the work into branding it effectively, it will get lost in the sea of options your buyers must browse through. And if it isn’t branded appropriately, the right buyers can miss it. Other buyers may initially be interested, but turn away when they realize it isn’t what they need. Even if your product is in its earliest developmental stages, now is the time to start creating your branding strategy. It’s never too early to set your product up for success! ARA Digital Marketing makes it easy to create exactly the right product brand at a scale that suits your needs and your budget.