More than ever before we are being contacted by consumer product start-up businesses to handle their branding. In this blog we want to pass along some basic insight as a foundation of understanding for new marketers.
Is Your Product Branding Successful?
Your brand is important to your company. It represents who you are, what you stand for, and ideally makes you stand out from your competition. So, what’s all the fuss about product branding specifically? Are you launching a new product? Want to make your product stand out from the rest sitting on the shelf? Unique and compelling product branding will introduce your consumers to the new product and keep them coming back for more. You want to be prepared with a top-notch branding strategy before launching a new product. These five essentials to product branding will successfully guide you to the top and help you be an outstanding brand.
Research and Identify Your Target Market
Identifying who you want your product to appeal to is essential in the branding of your company and its products. You most likely already identified your target market when you started your business; however, if you are featuring a new product that dozens of other companies sell, identifying the right group of people to target for that specific product will be extremely important. Doing research can answer questions such as, what is the age group? What are their likes and dislikes? Do they care about any important social or ethical issues? Are they free spirits with a different outlook on life? Are they environmentally conscious? Let’s say a new product you are launching is catered toward the younger generation. You know, the ones that always seem to have their nose in their phones. However, your usual target market has been those of the older generation who are more interested in reading the Sunday paper rather than scrolling through Twitter first thing in the morning. The branding tactics you use may not yield the results you are hoping for if you are using the same approach for both markets. Demographics may differ from product to product, this means researching how and where to engage the audience you want to target will be extremely important. Market toward the audience you want to engage for that specific product.
Build a Connection with Your Consumer
Is your brand making an impact on your consumers? When looking at a product we, selfishly, think about ourselves first. From a company perspective, being able to identify with a consumer through your product’s story telling will create a connection seeming almost unbreakable. Keeping this in mind, if your product creates a personal connection with your consumer, you are more likely to have a PAYING customer who feels like they share a personal connection with your brand and is willing to tell their friends about it. Evoking an emotional response in someone creates a connection to the event or story that triggered it in the first place. 65% of people surveyed have felt an emotional connection with a brand (Taylor Brands), but only 23% of consumers say they have a relationship with a brand (Freeman, Spenner & Bird). Forming a relationship is the next step after establishing a connection. Kind of like dating, you feel a connection with someone and from that point on you start to create a relationship. That relationship can be built off the story you tell with your brand. Creating a narrative around your product whether it is fun, adventurous, sad, or heartwarming is more likely to capture the customer and start the relationship consumers want to have with the brands they are buying from.
They buy from your brand because they trust it and believe in what it stands for. It could be anything from saving the planet to selling band aids with animals on them. If buying from your brand makes them feel like they are making a difference or giving them an opportunity to stand up for something they believe in, they will be that much more interested in supporting your brand. People don’t always remember what you say, but they always remember how you make them feel.
Often, we are drawn to looking at pictures instead of reading text (if you have made it this far into the reading, congratulations! Hats off to you!). It is just our nature to be drawn by pictures first. This means the design of your product’s packaging, everything from logo to the colors and fonts are done with purpose. Does it coincide with the fonts and color schemes of your brand? Do the colors visually reflect your brand? Does the packaging make sense with the product and company? Something that may seem as simple as colors play a role in your products branding. Colors like yellow and orange represent excitement and fun. Greens and browns are viewed as earthy tones, and purple is associated with royalty. Choosing colors that match what your product is trying to convey and staying within the theme of your company will enhance your product even more. Find a creative way to showcase your product through its packaging. Personally, I have bought from brands I normally wouldn’t just because I liked the package or container it came in. That aspect was enough to get me to switch.
A part of design that may not come to mind right away is usability, especially when it deals with product packaging that the consumer directly interacts with. If the design of your packaging is not user friendly, people could turn away from your brand, leading them to seek out a brand that accommodates that need. These aspects play a large role in the appeal of products to consumers. Better yet, if the colors and package design go along with the narrative you are trying to tell with your logo, tagline, and marketing campaigns, your imagery will come to life!
Focus on the Product
Obviously, the product should be of focus when it comes to product branding. After all, it’s right there in the name! It focuses more so on the product specifically, not necessarily the entire company. Specifically, product branding should focus on the competitive advantage it has and making this known to its target market. It’s important to show your audience why you are better than your competitors as opposed to just telling them. The whole point of this is to introduce your product to consumers in a way that captures their attention so that with a simple glance, they know what company it is. Your consumers will link this product brand to your company and from that point on, make a connection any time they see your brand. Whether that is through storytelling, color schemes, package design, or a combination of all three, taking notice to these aspects will provide you with that edge over your competition.
Use the Best Platforms for Your Brand
You have a killer brand built for your product and are on the verge of sharing it with the world, but where? Mentioned earlier, you want to be sure you are showcasing your product to the right audience in the right formats. The younger generations tend to be geared more toward quick paced social media, heavily influenced by the always on the go lifestyle and constantly looking for the next big thing. If this is your target market, in order to gain brand awareness from this group you would most likely be successful on the fast-paced Instagram and Twitter. Those of you (who may not prefer to be called old) in the more mature generation prefer using different platforms. Facebook is used more by those aged thirty and up as well as Pinterest. The latter is mainly a female dominated social site. Based on the demographics of your target market, each social media platform will engage a different group of people. If your product’s audience includes business professionals, LinkedIn might be the way to go. Perhaps your target audience doesn’t use social media at all, you wouldn’t want to spend time and resources promoting there when you would be more successful putting your product in a newspaper ad. Full advantage of exposure should be taken on multiple platforms, if applicable.
The success of your product branding will be seen through feedback on the product itself, whether that is in the form of reviews or the success of purchases. The mission and vision of your company contain the values you uphold reflected in your products. When it comes to product branding, the product you are representing should be a direct reflection of your company while maintaining its identity within its target market. Showcase your company through your products with these effective branding essentials. Give your consumers a piece of you along the way so that they understand how awesome your brand really is.
Need some help or not sure where to start? Visit thiel.com, we’d love to lend you a hand!