Product. Brand. Raise your hand if you think they are one in the same.
Put your hand down and let us clear up some befuddlement. Great word, we know.
Your product is your commodity. It’s that simple.
Branding is the whole kit and kaboodle. But it’s not that simple.
Your brand is a promise to your customer. It ensures accountability and forms a trust between your product/service and the consumer. This promise, accountability and trust must permeate and be shared across the board from product development to delivery.
Brand images create expectations. With a successful product, this expectation becomes trust. Once established, brand trust should not be broken. It should not waiver. Consistency communicates reliability. Reliable brands are trusted, successful brands. Research shows even in a negative economy, a consumer will still pay more for a brand they trust. This continued trust becomes loyalty.
So be sure to kick off your branding campaign by understanding the wants and needs of your prospective and existing consumer base.
Brand before you Market.
A branding message must be clearly defined before moving ahead to a marketing campaign.
Logo, color palette and slogan are the supporting branches of your brand. These creative elements convey your branding. So take the time to create a branding message before you start getting creative.
So what can branding do for me, you ask? Stated simply:
Target specific customers
Create an image in the consumers’ mind
Give you personality
Creates a feeling/thought that will resonate
Form a consumer relationship
Builds customer loyalty
As far as “The Orange”...
"An orange...is an orange...is an orange. Unless, of course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist, a name 80% of consumers know and trust."
- Russell L. Hanlin, CEO, Sunkist Growers:
So before you dive into the marketing waters, take time to ascertain a clear branding message.