What exercises can I use to come up with an effective brand for my product?


Several things to consider when coming up with your product's brand identity:
1) Who is your customer? That will drive the look and feel, as well as the language of your brand.
2) Who are you? If at a gut level, you and your company(employees) are rednecks making the highest quality broadheads for elk hunting, you aren't going to button up your brand in a shirt and tie or develop an artsy-fartsy website. (See Duck Dynasty)
3) What specific aspects of your product and/or service are different than the rest of the market offerings? Ie. Why are you special?

These 3 questions, answered candidly, begin to make up your brand story.

The most powerful brands have learned that their messaging, packaging, sales process and customer experience delivery is less about what their product or service DOES, and more about how it makes the customer or user FEEL.

Branding a product or service is about carefully crafting a story(or a promise), that you are confident you can deliver on once they choose to buy.

In other words, branding is the discipline of aligning what you say about your product, service, team... with what customers actually get on the back-end.

Once you get really clear on these big picture questions, then the tactical stuff becomes rather easy (what should our website look like, colors, advertising channels, promotional pricing, referral programs, warranty language, etc, etc, etc.)

Of course you may be smart to hire a specialist to help you brainstorm and execute on this stuff- but the actual decision making becomes pretty obvious: which option in front of us best reflects who we are?

Answered 9 years ago

Make a word list, grab a thesaurus and a Latin dictionary, pour out your Scrabble tiles. Put on some music. Tear pictures out of magazines. Doodle. List every idea, edit later. Generate hundreds of ideas. Pick your favorites - a bunch of favorites. Draw the label as you'd see it on the shelf. Try it out as an email address. Answer the phone with it, see if the caller understands what you said. Screen the ones you like most for availability. Pick from the survivors. That's all mostly for the "name" part of the brand - a "brand" is something bigger, actually, but I guessed from your question that you were asking about the product name itself. Give me a call if you need some help with any of the "verbal" part of your brand strategy.

Answered 9 years ago

The best way to come up a brand is to brainstorm... Don't settle on the first thing that comes to mind find your niche ask yourself what you are good at... Who is your customer... I have a brainstorming questionnaire that helps me with the process it helps narrow the funnel.

Answered 9 years ago

This is a bit unconventional, but it's what I call the "Can A Kid Remember and Spell It Test"...

Once you have a name you like, find a kid who is around 3rd-5th grade and tell them the name, and see if they can repeat it back, and spell it.

The most important element of a brand name is that its easy to communicate via word of mouth, and once someone hears about you, they can easily find you.
So, if a kid can remember and spell it, you are good... if not, start over...

The second best piece of advice is DONT FALL IN LOVE WITH A NAME!!! Ego is a business killer, and I have seen so many companies come up with a clever name and fall in love with it, even if its bad for their business.

Answered 9 years ago

David Ogilvy wrote that behind a brand is always a product, but behind a product there is not always a brand. A brand is defined by a personality that makes it unique, in the same way that happens with human beings who for whatever reason stand apart from others. These characteristics make them unique and admired for the qualities that make up their personality. Personality is the patrimony of a few, and only those who have it remain in the collective memory.
The first key to the personality of a brand is recognition, which is the sum of both spontaneous and suggested awareness. Without recognition, there is no brand, but it is not enough by itself to create it. The second important key is the perceived quality, which is very different from the actual quality, since it is an emotional criterion whose value can be described as the extent to which the consumer perceives the quality of the brand, regardless of its basis in reality. You can have a great product or service, but if we are not able to convey its qualities to our customers, it will not be much use when it comes to establishing the prestige of our brand.
The identity of the brand is shaped by the attributes that its target audience perceives and is a basic element in defining its personality. The attributes must be clear and well defined. They can also be rational in nature—based on the physical characteristics of the products—or emotional in nature. The emotional attributes are usually the most important because they are the ones that are most strongly engraved in the feelings of consumers, those that cause them to identify with the brand and bind themselves intimately to it.
If your brand passes this test too, congratulations. But if it does not, do not waste any more time. Use your own smart tools to build a good brand and align all the members of your company in the process, because your future depends entirely on your success or failure in this pursuit. First, clearly define the values and attributes of your brand (which are relevant in terms of your business strategy), your vision of the market and your target audience. Then, create a corporate image of the brand that will guide all representatives of your company. Later you can worry about transmitting all that information through the available channels of distribution.
According to the prestigious Forrester Research, 76% of US advertisers believe the traditional 30-minute TV spot will be dead in the next five years. There are already brands like the Australian beer Foster’s Lager that have given up on television and instead address their younger customers via the Internet, using the slogan “Because TV stinks”.
The format in which the message constantly interrupts the content is no longer in fashion. Interruption marketing has given way to engagement marketing, and consumers these days prefer the kind of Advertisement, or Branded Content, where the advertising cleverly fuses with media content. Nor should we forget those who are known as influencers and bloggers. The former are well-known or have a very good reputation in a particular area and who are followed by thousands—sometimes millions—of people on social networks. Whether it is for social fame or for their authority on a specific subject, the fact is that they can be extremely useful to promote a brand since their followers hold their recommendations in extremely high esteem. Prominent bloggers often have a loyal contingent of followers who closely follow their recommendations on fashion, gastronomy, cosmetics, and many other topics that may be of great interest to brands. For example, thanks to the recommendations of the Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni, her endorsed products made more than 60 million euros in 2015.

Finally, another invaluable source for building a brand is represented by the fans, those enthusiastic and unconditional people who use social networks to express their love for the brand. They are often highly active in their favourable comments and recommendations, providing disinterested and invaluable credibility, since it is known that users especially value the opinions of other users. Hence this is a kind of brand value that cannot realistically be achieved even with paid advertising.
No matter what, you will need to use conventional media and new media. Both used with intelligence are good tools for building your brand. Do it however you want, but develop a strong brand and personality, because only this way you will be able to sell your products. As my admired Naomi Klein says, “Firms can insist on making products, but consumers are only interested in buying brands”.
Over the years, technology products have become more and more like consumer products. It is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between a product and its competition, and emotion is gradually gaining ground in advertising messages, obscuring the concrete attributes of products. In a very short time, both technological advances and physical differences are being swept away by competition, making it impossible to base communication on the marginal advantage that would have once made a product unique and distinct from others in its category. The products themselves are no longer attractive per se and must take refuge in the perceived values of the brands that shelter them. Beginning in the late 1970s the consumer, who up to that point had not been accorded much value in the marketing process for products, began to play a relevant role. Because it is no longer enough to have good distribution, reasonable quality, and a competitive price to sell a product. Now the consumer must also be seduced by the brand, and that requires new strategies in which empathy and emotionality are basic factors.
In the 1980s, the golden decade of advertising communications, consumers began to buy brands instead of products, which in turn revolutionized customer relationships and the content of promotional messages. A few years later, the magical date of April 2, 1993, the famous Marlboro Friday, marks the beginning of a new era in the world of customer relations and especially in the world of brands.
Having understood this, let me now tell you the ways in which will help you build a brand for your product:
The definition of brand building is to generate awareness about your business using strategies and campaigns with the goal of creating a unique and lasting image in the marketplace.
Positive image + standing out = brand success.
Branding can be broken down into three phases:
1. Brand Strategy
2. Brand Identity
3. Brand Marketing
1. Brand Strategy will map out how you are different, trustworthy, memorable and likable by your ideal customer. It will convey your purpose, promises, and how you solve problems for people.
You can think of brand strategy as the blueprint for how you want the world to see your business. Brand strategy is a critical and foundational piece for building a successful brand. It’s one of the areas that most businesses overlook because they jump right into the design and marketing.
2. Brand Identity is the way that you convey this to the public with visuals, messaging, and experience. Your brand strategy will influence how you present your identity and align it with your purpose for the most impact. Your elements of brand identity should be applied across all channels consistently. It’s the way that your business becomes recognizable. This includes your logo, colours and fonts, website design, content, advertising, print or packaging, and more.
3. Brand Marketing is the way that businesses or organizations highlight and bring awareness to products or services by connecting values and voice to the right audience through strategic communication. In 2020, the amplification of your brand image can be done effectively through various digital marketing activities:
1. User Experience (i.e. your website)
2. SEO & Content Marketing
3. Social Media Marketing
4. Email Marketing
5. Paid Advertising (PPC)
To formulate these three exercises of Brand Strategy, Brand Identity and Brand Marketing you need to keep the following points in mind:
1. Discover the purpose behind your brand: Every successful brand has a powerful purpose behind it. It is what you wake up every day loving to do for other people (and the world) through your product or service.There are four questions you should ask yourself when defining a brand purpose:
i. Why do you exist?
ii. What differentiates you?
iii. What problem do you solve?
iv. Why should people care?
You will use these ideas to inform the foundation of your branding, through a tagline, slogans, voice, messaging, stories, visuals and more. Studies show that 50% of consumers worldwide say they now buy based on a company’s brand values and impact. So, dig deep and find those nuggets of truth which can distinguish your brand from others.
2. Research competitor brands within your industry: You should never imitate exactly what the big brands are doing in your industry. But you should be aware of what they do well or where they fail. The goal is to differentiate from the competition. Convince a customer to purchase from you over them. We are always thinking about how to make a brand stand out from what is out there already. Do not skip this step in the brand building process. Research your main competitors or benchmark brands. For instance, study how well they have gone about building a brand name. For a brand name to be effective, it needs to be easy for consumers to recognize and remember.
3. Determine your brand’s target audience: When brand building, keep in mind who exactly you are trying to reach. You will tailor your mission and message to meet their exact needs. The key is to get specific. Figure out detailed behaviours and lifestyle of your consumers. I’ll explain with a few brief examples:
1. Instead of “all Moms”, you could narrow down the niche to hone in on “single Moms who work full-time from home”.
2. “Techy people” is too broad. But “tech-savvy early adopters who manage a large team” can narrow the focus in.
3. If you are targeting “college kids”, there is definitely room to get more specific. An example could be: “college students studying abroad in Europe during the summer”.
4. “Anyone who needs a job” is certainly not a niche target market. However, “retirees looking to return to the workforce in an executive position” can be.
As you can see, targeting a niche requires committing to something extremely focused to start. You will come to realize that the competitive advantage when branding your business is to narrow your target audience focus. This can help ensure that your brand message comes across crystal clear to the intended recipient. Solidify a picture of your consumers, then learn how to create a brand identity that they can understand and relate to.
Your Brand Buyer Persona: Brand creation relies on truly understanding the buyer persona. Here are a few of the things to document when describing your ideal customer:
i. Age
ii. Gender
iii. Location
iv. Income
v. Education Level
To get even more definition for your brand’s buyer persona, dive into these details:
i. Motivations
ii. Goals
iii. Pain points
iv. Influencers
v. Brand affinities
Identifying the target audience for your services or products is an exercise that will affect and benefit all areas of your brand building process, particularly marketing efforts. You want the right person consuming your content, clicking on your ads, opting into your email list, etc.
4. Establish a brand mission statement: In essence, you will have to craft a clear expression of what your company is most passionate about. This is your why; the reason you get up every day. Before you can build a brand that your target audience trusts, you need to know what value your business provides. The mission statement basically defines a purpose for existing. It will inform every other aspect of your brand building strategies. Everything from your logo to your tagline, voice, message, and personality should reflect that mission. When people ask you what you do: answer them with your brand mission statement.
5. Outline the key qualities & benefits your brand offers: There will always be brands with bigger budgets and more resources to command their industry. Your products, services, and benefits belong solely to you. Starting a brand that is memorable means you dig deep to figure out what you offer, and no one else is offering. Focus on the qualities and benefits that make your company branding unique.
Assuming you know exactly who your target audience is give them a reason to choose your brand over another. It’s important to note that this is not just a laundry list of the features your product or services offer to the customer or client. Think about how you provide value that improves consumers’ lives (outcomes or results that are experienced).
Here are a few examples:
1. More authentic and transparent customer service
2. A better way to support productivity
3. Reducing costs with a more affordable option
4. Saving time on daily tasks
6. Form your unique brand voice: Your voice is dependent on your company’s mission, audience, and industry. It is how you communicate with your customers, and how they respond to you.
A brand voice could be:
1. Professional
2. Friendly
3. Service-oriented
4. Authoritative
5. Technical
6. Promotional
7. Conversational
8. Informative
There are endless adjectives and possibilities that can build a brand voice behind your messaging. Ultimately, you want to choose a brand voice that makes sense and resonates with your target customers. You will see that if you find and use the correct brand voice, you have the strongest chance of connecting with consumers. This is particularly important when publishing blog articles or social media posts. Maintaining a consistent voice will help your brand image become recognized on multiple channels in the same way. A community of followers, readers or subscribers will come to expect a certain brand voice and brand personality when they consume your content.
7. Let your brand personality shine: Customers are not looking for another cookie-cutter company that offers the same thing as everyone else. They are looking for an experience tailored to their needs, backed by genuine personal interaction. Make your personality stand out in every aspect of your brand building process. Be consistent with this brand personality across all points of contact.
It can be as simple as:
1. A conversational voice in communication (using “I”, and “you”)
2. Sharing behind-the-scenes content
3. Telling stories about real experiences
4. Describing your products/services in a quirky manner
8. Build a brand story and messaging: When building a brand, tell customers succinctly who you are.
Use the business voice you have chosen for your brand. Your messaging should be intricately associated with your brand and conveyed consistently. This part of the brand development process goes beyond your logo and tagline to define the key aspects of:
1. Who you are?
2. What you offer?
3. Why people should care?
A brand story is an opportunity to communicate on a human level, making a direct emotional connection with your consumers. What this means, is that the language you use should be understood immediately while striking an emotional chord.
Make it simple and clear. Most importantly: when creating a brand story, address not what your product can do but why it is important to your customer.
9. Create a brand logo & tagline: When you think about how to build a brand, visuals probably come to mind first. We have not even talked about these until this deep into the brand building process. This step may be the one where you need help with creative execution. The most exciting (and arguably the most important piece) of the brand building process, is to create a brand logo and tagline for your company. This logo will appear on everything that relates to your business. It will become your identity, calling card, and the visual recognition of your promise. So be willing to invest the time and money by creating something exceptional to reinforce the visual identity for your business. Hire a professional designer or branding agency with logo and identity design experience, to help make your brand stand out.
Their expertise will ensure that you get a unique and timeless mark for your business.
A designer can also develop brand guidelines, to ensure consistency for any future application of the logo and associated brand colour palette or fonts.
A strong brand style guide will include the following things:
i. Logo size and placement
ii. Colour palette
iii. Typography and fonts
iv. Iconography
v. Photography/image style
vi. Web elements
10. Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business: The brand building process never stops. Your brand should be visible and reflected in everything that your customer can see, read, and hear. If a client walks into your office, or a customer walks into your store—your brand image should be on display both in the environment and with personal interactions. Anything tangible–from business cards to advertisements, to packaging and product–needs the stamp of your logo.
On any digital platform, ensure that your brand looks the same everywhere. Use your brand style guide to create consistency with visuals such as colour and logo use, fonts, photography, etc. Your website is the most important tool for marketing your brand. When you design your website: incorporate your voice, message, and personality into the content. Profile pages for social media networks should be branded visually, and with your chosen voice for engagement. YouTube, Facebook Video and Facebook Live, Snapchat and Instagram Stories are all platforms that need to have content executed with your unique brand voice and personality. For those venturing into podcast audio, adhere to a theme that supports your brand message, value, and voice.
11. Stay true to your brand building: Unless you decide to change your brand into something that is more effective based on measured consumer response, consistency is key. Once you establish a brand voice, use it for every piece of content you create. Document all the brand guidelines you create and distribute internally for reference. Do not constantly change your branding. The inconsistency will confuse your customers and make long-term brand building more difficult.

Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 2 years ago

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