How to Brand a Product

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“The brand people feel, is just as important as the product you make”

Branding your product is essential if you wish to build a steady, reliable business and outrun your competitors in a market flooded with similar products.
The journey of branding your product begins with asking the following questions:

  • What is your product/service?
  • Does it have a market or can you create one?
  • Who are your consumers and what exactly do they want from you?.
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How does your product/service compare to them?
  • How can you differentiate your product/service benefit

Understanding your product/service in its entirety is a vital step in branding. Understanding it helps you find answers to the second question: is there a market for it?

Once you develop an acute understanding of your product/service and locate its relevance in the consumer psyche, you move on to the next step: researching and understanding your consumers.

You may have a certain thing to offer but this does not necessarily translate into your consumers desiring it. However, there are two approaches to this situation: create a product/service and through brute force, tact and guile create a market for it, or, thoroughly, through objective research methodologies understand what exactly your consumer needs and offer it to him. Keep researching as a consumer’s needs are transient: change your product or service accordingly.

Moving on to the next step: Who are your competitors? This is critical to the sustainability of your enterprise because if a consumer is offering a similar product/service at a better cost and also an enhanced experience, you might soon have to shut shop and walk the long road home.

Make sure your product/service has something unique to offer. This is the value proposition. A value proposition may be tangible or intangible as brand not only offer products/services, they offer an experience, a kinship, a culture, camaraderie – in short, a unique relationship.

What follows is again something that has immense importance. When you create a product/service you are making a promise to your consumer. It may be offering the best French fries on Earth or the best double tossed burgers. You have to live up to this promise. If you promised your fries would be crisp and your double tossed burgers would be doubly delicious, they better be. If they aren’t, you might as well spend your money on a good vacation to Hawaii because once the consumer is convinced that there is a gap between what he perceives and what reality is, he’s going to run from your brand as he would run from a wild, raging bull charging at him.

However, if your promise/experience creates a consistency, you’ve landed a gold mine. The customer will be a loyal friend to you and a tertiary stage of advertising.

Last, but not the least, invent, innovate and improvise. Consumers aren’t static beings. They respond unpredictably to unpredictable variables. Stay in touch with the changes happening within them; it’ll add to your fleet of your cars.

Creating uniqueness is also about creating a unique voice of conversation, creating a unique tone of visual expression and written word. The look, feel and tone of your brand should be consistent with the values it espouses.

Extend the voice of your brand to every aspect of your business entity. Let it reflect in your building’s architecture, the clothes/uniforms your employees wear, the way you and your employees behave in public space.

Lastly, be honest. It’s the best and most cost effective strategy. Remember, the consumer is not a fool, he is one of us. A little bit of you.

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