How to Brand a Product

Our step-by-step guide for how to brand a product.  Created with expert advice, tips, tools, & examples.


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

-BMW

Good products solve problems.  Even better products, convey how they solve problems through the eyes of their customers.  Why do we brand a product?  It’s simple.  Marketers have researched this for years.  Everyday, millions of consumers will make decisions about a product based on emotion; rather than logic.  Emotion is an intangible asset.  The emotion often lies, right in your brand.  The thoughts and feelings customers think whenever they use or see your product.

Product Brand Basics

Is branding a product different then branding a company?

A product brand is almost the exact same as your company brand.  Only we focus more on the way the customer feels when they use your product, rather then the “mission” a company brand may try to portray.

The biggest difference is a company can have any number of products, targeting different age groups or consumers.  In these cases, the product itself needs a brand.  An inventor is another example of someone who will be more focused on how to brand a product, rather then branding a company.  For the inventor, the product is the company.

Time to Brand That Product 

To explain how to brand a product, we’ll be using this picture {look up}.  See it?  Of course you do.  Let’s start with the big bubbles coming out of the word “branding”.  They are in bright colorful bubbles, because they are the most important.

Product Benefits

Start by listing the top 3 tangible product benefits (this can also be product features).  Keyword there is tangible.  Something that can be physically felt.  Let’s use this example to brand a shoe product:

The new gel shoe is lightweight.

Product Value Proposition

Ah, but here’s the ticker: customers don’t give two hoots about the new lightweight gel you invented.  Customers care about what’s in it for them, the value proposition.  Does the gel mean it helps your customer?  Of course it does.  But your customers don’t want to spend the time trying to figure that out.  That’s a purchasing roadblock left to chance.  

So, we’re going to translate each benefit to a non-tangible benefit for a brand:

It helps me run faster.

(John Doe Customer now exclaims: Yes! That’s what I want to do!  I’m so happy you invented this shoe, Jane Doe Inventor!)

Product Price

Let’s move on to price.  What does price mean to our customer?  Rate it as a 1, 2, or 3 compared to other products.  1 being the cheapest (ie: goodwill).  2 being mid-grade (ie: target).  3 being pricey (ie: Neiman Marcus).  Just like the yellow pages and yelp does:  brand product price

 

What this does is gives us a picture of where our product brand fits in the market in terms of price.  You have different types of customers in different ranges.  Obviously, Niemen Marcus customers would never shop at a Goodwill.  

Keep logos and product packaging consistent with the brand.  Some great companies I love that do a good job are:

6.  Core Values

What types of personality does your product brand represent?  What is the product’s core functionality? What kind of image do you picture your customer seeing when they use your product?  Core values can be loyalty (your product won’t break or disappoint them), or also simplicity (are you a simple product when all other products in your space are too complicated?)