The process of developing a distinctive identity for a product or service in order to distinguish it.
It entails coming up with a name, logo, design, and other elements that will be associated with the product. It makes it easier for customers to recognise and remember a product, and it can also be used to create an emotional connection with them. In this blog post we will answer the question, what is product branding
Product Branding vs. Corporate Branding
Product branding is a type of branding, but it differs from overall company branding in several key ways.
Corporate branding should be consistent across the board and should encompass the entire scope of a company’s identity. It may even reveal a company’s values.
Product branding is far more specific, it differentiates a single product (or a family of products) from competitors and other offerings from the same company. It can sometimes distance a product from the brand that manufactures it.
Is it a Good Investment?
Yes, absolutely: some degree of product branding is worthwhile.
Why? Because you want to sell more!
The goal is to set your product apart from the competition.
You’re also creating or narrowing the market to specifically target the people you want to reach.
If you don’t invest in it at all, you’ll end up with a sea of bland, poorly defined products.
And your sales will reflect this.
The real question isn’t whether or not product branding is worthwhile. It is the amount of money you should put into the branding project, this will be heavily influenced by the size of your company as well as the margins of your brand.
This isn’t rocket science: global mega brands spend a lot of money on product branding. Startups spend significantly less.
What Characterizes a Strong Product Brand?
It is not difficult or complicated to create a product brand, making an outstanding one? That’s a different story.
There are numerous intangibles at work in the field of product branding, as well as in branding strategies as a whole.
Implementing these will put you on the right track to developing a successful, memorable product brand.
1. A powerful product brand distinguishes itself from competitors (Even Internally)
For starters, strong product branding fosters differentiation. When you see a Pepsi product (the product brand family, not the parent company), you know it right away.
Even if it’s that strange new Zero Sugar Mango or the failed Crystal Pepsi — you can tell they’re Pepsi drinks in seconds. You’re not perplexed that Pepsi is a Sprite, a Coke, or a beer.
This distinction is critical when competing. You wouldn’t think of designing a hot new cola with a solid red can with a cursive font, would you?
However, it is also important within a single brand.
Consider the OtterBox. The primary product line of the company is phone cases. The OtterBox Defender and the OtterBox Commuter were its first two successful product lines.
We believe that both of these are very strong product brands. The Defender is a large, ultra-rugged case that protects phones from almost everything.
The Commuter is a slimmer but still protective case aimed primarily at (guess who?) commuters.
Consumers are rarely perplexed by the distinctions.
However, things slowed down after that. Symmetry, Aneu, Figura, and Lumen are later series. Some of those are obvious, but none of them speak with the clarity of the original two.
The distinction is simply not as strong.
2. A Strong Product Brand (or Sub-brand) Focuses on a Specific Submarket
Let’s go deeper into the Pepsi product rabbit hole. When you see Pepsi Zero Sugar, you immediately know what’s going on (spoiler alert: there’s no sugar). At first glance, this may appear to be a bad thing. It will almost certainly reduce sales. It’s not appealing to children, and it’s not appealing to people who dislike artificial sweeteners.
In fact, this is precisely what we want product branding to accomplish for us. The branding reduces the target audience to a specific submarket.
So Pepsi Zero Sugar is a fantastic product brand. It immediately narrows its market to those who want sugar-free soft drinks that taste (sorta) like Pepsi.
3. A strong product brand represents the product.
Finally, the best product branding conveys to consumers an immediate understanding of what is contained within the packaging. The name, logo, and packaging imagery all work together in this case.
Getting Good Results from Product Branding
We hope that this article has gotten you well on your way to developing your own product branding — one that succeeds in its specific market or submarket.