What attracts people to your product and keeps them coming back from more? As a brand strategist, you’ll probably answer, “brand”. The branding of a product creates a memorable feeling for the right target audience so they prefer your brand over its competitors.
But how does that work?
Why do people become loyal to a brand? Ask five people and you’ll probably get as many different “fluffy” answers. Yet, it always comes down to feeling a connection of some kind. That’s the goal of product branding.
Think of the Nike swoosh. You don’t need to see the word “Nike” to recognize the design and think “athlete”. When you see the swoosh, you might think of athletes crouched in the starting position to run a race. That’s the power of design, messaging, and consistency.
But why do people buy Nike over Adidas or vice versa? You can talk about innovation, comfort, and performance for either sportswear company but when it comes to pressing the “buy” button, the repeat customer identifies with the brand.
That’s the power of product branding.
On the product side, the advantages of a strong brand are consistency and constraints.
Constraints require focused problem solving and brand wise, that helps:
Simplify customer decisions
Help brands enter new markets
Allow more risks
Uphold brand image
Clarify a product's position in the market
Every strong product brand has a solid visual identity. From colors to logos and taglines, they’re instantly recognizable.
Apple - Apple carved out a place for themselves in the technology market as the easy-to-use and sleek technology tools that enhance your life. Apple enthusiasts spend a premium to buy these products knowing they’ll enjoy a consistent experience.
McDonald’s - The famed “Golden Arches” are the family-friendly spot near you. Their commercials tell a quick story of happy families spending time together.
Dominos Pizza - With a brand promise of “30 minutes or less”, Dominos built a juggernaut of a pizza delivery service. As of 2022, the brand’s worth US $8.29 billion.
Starbucks - Harold Schultz started the coffee chain to offer a “3rd space”. A place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee that wasn’t work and wasn’t home but had a sophisticated feel.
Coca-Cola - The cola that makes the whole world smile (or so their ads once claimed).
A world-class brand starts with a philosophy and from that philosophy flows everything else. Brand colors, images, messaging. There are four main components to product branding.
1- What’s your philosophy? What word or words would people use to describe your brand?
Some say Apple is excellent and consistent. The Four Seasons is a luxury hotel. Target is fashionable goods on a budget. What will your ideal customers say about your brand? How do you want them to feel?
2- Organize your business based on this promise. When every business choice stems from the brand promise, your customers will sense it. It would be off brand for Starbucks to add kiddie play areas to their stores just like it would be strange if Dominos suddenly started touting their commitment to gourmet pizza.
3- Communicate your promise - Your brand promise shines through in your messaging, color choices, channel distribution, and everything else. If your brand is Very Cerebral Consultant, silly TikTok videos won’t be part of the marketing mix.
4- Be consistent - Consistency is the key in developing a strong brand promise. A solid visual identity relies on high quality images with the right brand colors, fonts, and messaging. Strong brands also have excellent digital asset management. That way, creative teams can access the most up-to-date content from one repository.
In summary, good product branding is essential to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Once you determine your brand elements, you’ll want an efficient way of managing your brand assets. You can take control of your product brand identity with BOOM.