Product branding is all about the customer experience you provide through the items or services you release. Merchants can create the logo, name, packaging, and messaging or description used when introducing a specific product. However, without a detailed and remarkable product branding strategy, there might be very little chance for buyers to purchase or even notice it.
Product branding gives the products in your store, whether online or offline, an identity within the entire marketplace. With proper execution, your products will surely stand out against what the rest of the competitor offers and help you build customer loyalty.
This guide shares the deeper meaning behind product branding with its importance and strategies to consider for strong branding.
- What is Product Branding?
- Product Branding vs Corporate Branding
- Why Is Product Branding Important?
- Identify your brand
- Boost marketing
- Build product loyalty
- Create an emotional connection with the consumers
- Enhance employee satisfaction
- How to Build a Better Product Branding Strategy
- Product Branding Examples
What is Product Branding?
Product branding is the process or application of branding strategies to your specific product. This gives an item its own identity. Brand strategy can be associated with a distinct symbol, name, and design to create a recognizable identity for that certain item.
Product branding helps your target audience to know what to expect when they buy a product, especially those new ones who have no background or experience in trying your products. All of these are put together to connect with consumers emotionally. Shoppers tend to buy a product due to certain factors such as the vibe it gives off the moment they see it or when they are seeking new items.
Product Branding vs Corporate Branding
Brand identity, of course, is the visible image of your brand which makes you distinguishable. It defines all the interactions a customer has with your brand. When it comes to branding, there is product branding, as we mentioned above and there is also corporate branding, which both contribute to the overall impression of people to your business.
Corporate branding is a marketing term that refers to the designated brand image of a company. It is the image that a brand desires to convey. It typically includes company values, goals, brand story, visual identity, and even the tagline, which also has a major impact on consumers.
When establishing a corporate brand, you need to take into consideration the real identity of the business or company in order to portray it in the most attractive way possible. This story transforms into marketing materials, digital platform content, and more.
Meanwhile, as we explained before, product branding is when you reveal a product to the public with its own unique identity. It centers on the product itself.
One of the biggest branding differences between the two is their target. Corporate branding is directed to consumers, stakeholders, and shareholders — a very broad audience with diverse marketing techniques. Meanwhile, product branding goes for end users and has the ultimate goal of selling your products.
Why Is Product Branding Important?
New competitors are all over the industry, and you must think of ways to get ahead of them. This is where product branding enters, try to put a wide gap between you and them by investing in giving consumers the most recognizable brand strategy possible. The importance of product branding is known to many, but in case you are still doubting whether to invest in it or not, here are some of the reasons why we consider this important.
Identify your brand
All business promises good quality products, the best customer experience, great service, good value for money, and such. It somehow becomes the ideal goal of each and everyone, even startups are very likely to go with the flow just not to be left behind. However, some often overlook the importance of establishing their brand identity in the early stages.
Your product plays a big role in letting the consumers know what you really stand for. By having a clear product brand, you also narrow the market to the specific people you want to reach. Investing in product branding will help you avoid mediocre and poorly defined products.
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Product branding helps increase your brand awareness. Not just that, but it also comes with other benefits such as traffic growth, high sales, and boost marketing strategies. By being as distinct as possible, you are expanding your chance to be seen more by a wider scope.
Boosting your marketing can actually make or break a brand. Products that have high brand awareness can enjoy a phenomenon where it can be difficult for any competing brands to break through the niche.
Build product loyalty
You should always expect that there is little possibility of having repeat purchases. In this way, you will strive harder to get loyal buyers. Having consistent quality pulls in repeat customers as they will surely notice how dedicated you are to running your business. The fact that people are more likely to trust a branded product than unbranded items should be your main drive in building and investing in your product identity.
Product loyalty may also lead to brand loyalty, a chance for you to introduce your other services or products to those buyers who enjoyed one or two of your items. Never let go of this chance, always be detailed in every product you introduce to the market.
Create an emotional connection with the consumers
Customers are more likely to buy and recommend your product if they have a visible emotional connection with your brand. As long as you try to incorporate your identity with a clear mission, you can definitely bridge the emotional connection between the shoppers and your products.
Brands need to hone in on their own product journey; let them know how you build it and how you aim to deliver it into the customers' hands. You can brag about your product's quality but also find the balance by telling how you went on to achieve this certain item for the sake of giving buyers the best of all.
Enhance employee satisfaction
Successful product branding does not only attract new employees, but it also amplifies the job satisfaction level of the current or existing employees. Staff will also expectedly develop a sustainable relationship with the businesses they are working for.
When a business or product has effective branding, it will be really hard for people not to notice. This reaches even the influencers, content creators, and other concept builders. When a business acquires these kinds of people, they also increases their creative powerhouse. Consistent collaborations with the right people can help promote your product and uplift your digital presence.
How to Build a Better Product Branding Strategy
Constructing a product from start to finish is a very demanding job. Whether you are creating a new product for your business, designing a new item for a collaboration project, or rebranding an existing item, the process takes a lot of time, money, and thorough research.
Below are some of the steps you must consider in order to have successful product branding:
Research Your Audience
First, you have to define your goals and objectives for your product branding. Answer questions like:
- What are you aiming to achieve with your product identity?
- Who are you trying to tap and why?
- How do you want them to recognize your brand?
Paying much attention to your target audience during the early stages of product branding lets you build a vision regarding different aspects of the product you are working on. This will include brand messaging, design style, font style, and color palettes. By knowing your audience's preferences, wants, needs, and ideas, you can create a product identity that resonates with them.
You can utilize online tools and platforms to collect data and insights about your target audience. You can do surveys, polls, analytics, blogs, reviews, and such to get the information you need about them. These will help you learn more about their demographics, behaviors, and expectations.
Establish Your Product Mission
The whole point of a product branding strategy is to execute your mission. So, when developing your product branding, you must consider all your short-term and long-term goals. All these will be your guide in producing the branding you want to live on.
Try to think or imagine where you want your business to be a few years from now. Keep your core objectives at the center of your strategies as you decide how to correlate them with your marketing efforts.
Consistent branding is very crucial for a business but is easy to maintain once you get a hinch about it. Staying within an identity takes a lot of effort and dedication. Maintaining your product's uniformity means having the same standards at every angle, regardless of any conditions.
If you are consistent, you help customers recognize and associate with your business. Product consistency solidifies brand identity and its authority in the industry. It also enhances your company’s recognition and its image in each customer’s mind.
Don't forget to have clear rules and guidelines for all your product outputs. Shoppers often interact with visual and written content before the product itself, so better to have an excellent visualization or packaging when building your product.
After finalizing your product, secure the guidelines and standard processes for your staff to follow while creating and sending out the items in different marketplaces. Implement strict protocols to prevent team members from negatively affecting the set standards.
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Include Your Team
You can always ask for opinions or points of view from other people, especially your team. They can somehow contribute to building strategic approaches regarding your product identity. Of course, you must inform them ahead of time about what you are really aiming to achieve in order for them to assist you in thinking rationally for the betterment of the product and brand as well.
Let them know that you are open to suggestions and that their insights are well-appreciated at all costs. Suppose, you don't like their ideas, make things clear in order to straighten their visions and connect them back to yours.
A well-built team affects how consumers see the entire business. If you have a smooth internal work relationship, then it will surely reflect positively on every product you release.
Product Branding Examples
To get you inspired, here are some of the brands with outstanding product branding that are dominating the market even after years since its release.
The most popular phone brand among United States consumers is undoubtedly Apple. Apple iPhone, iPad, and Macbook are the products that own their entire category. Aside from the excellent performance of the products themselves, their product branding helped each of them stay at the top of the game. With their overall visual and sleek product packaging, every detail of Apple’s product branding provides a unique experience for customers.
The product branding strategy of the iPhone was so effective and it includes their simplicity and sensory experience, which allows the product to speak for itself.
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Coca-Cola has been around since 1892 and its relatively strong product branding is among the reasons why they are still in the industry for this long time. A Coke product is familiar to everyone, seeing the color and font of the company automatically brings its taste to consumers' mouths. Coke's packaging has a logo that uses a script font that hasn’t changed much for decades, and a color palette that only revolves around shades of red and white, as well as its very recognizable can or bottle, which have been around across different generations. Despite Coca-Cola's several brand relaunches, they have kept the main brand formula the same.
In this era full of coffee shops on every street, Starbucks remains thriving for the best. You could be sitting in a park, roaming around the mall, or traveling through an airport in any country in the world and recognize the green Starbucks iconic logo put on a simple white cup. Tall, grande, or venti, which are the Starbucks' cup sizes, will already remind you of what coffee shop others are referring to.
Starbucks has a recognizable logo, great quality coffee, and a very familiar ordering experience anywhere in the world. Different countries yet the same coffee feels, well, this is the result of successful product branding.
Product branding refers to the way people perceive your items; these are visible reflections of what your company actually means to them. Company branding is often seen as something that may develop naturally throughout the life span of your business, and this same goes with your product identity; however, it is a very critical aspect of success, which requires going beyond and above just to get things done correctly.
In the middle of very competitive markets, businesses must always find ways to differentiate themselves in order for consumers to quickly determine where they are going to purchase their goods or services. Business owners should try achieving this differentiation not only through lowering the cost of their products or services. But by also going through a very well-executed product branding.