When Does a Product Become a Brand? It becomes a brand the moment a consistent branding strategy is set in place and people begin to make the connections.
A brand is not as elusive as you might think. A brand is a consistent message that is triggered in a consumer’s or client’s mind. Every time they see or hear x they think y. In a way it is basic Pavlovian Theory. Think of the most common examples: the golden arches — McDonalds. Mouse ears — Disney… the red dartboard—Target.
The list goes on. The concept can be translated into a logo, a song, a saying “Where’s the Beef?” or even an idea: The Queen of Daytime TV. Every one of these examples has one thing in common it immediately brings up a product/service; not just in your mind, but in millions. Many brands transcend into global triggers.
In order for a product to become a brand it needs several things to be in place. First is the messaging. What do you want people to think when they are triggered? Messaging can say quality; it can say speed of service; great taste; low price… anything that is a positive thought about your product or service is a possible message that can be wrapped into your Brand.
Second consider the Look. Brand look is the colors, words, and other details that will be the trigger to your messaging. It will be how you are first perceived and it is important that it is attractive, appropriate and in line with your messaging.
A little blue bird — twitter: short bursts of shared conversation –tweets. This is a perfect micro package of message coupled with brand look. This is an integrated strategy. Having a brand strategy works for huge global companies and for small local companies.
Consider the brands in you neighborhood. You are never too small to have a brand strategy. We work every day with local companies or practices and create memorable effective brand strategies for them.
Daystar is a small non-profit. Creating their brand took looking at the message they wanted to convey – a safe place for women. It took placing their unique message and look through out their outreach efforts. Now people see the logo and there is immediate recognition.
Your Message needs to be clear. Your Look needs to be consistent. But the process doesn’t stop there. The message and the branded look are only as good as the delivery. How will you deliver the new brands look? How will you get people to see the relationship between your message and the new logo, jingle, or signature product? Will you use social networking, print media, word of mouth, special offers? Which delivery method will resonate with your customers?
Every time a customers and potential customers sees the branded advertisements, looks at the logo in a social network post, or reads a comment the brand reputation grows. Each time the Brand is becoming stronger in their minds.
Products become brands through a strong Branding Strategy. All three pieces need to be in place and to harmonize with each other. Take a look at the case studies. Each has a different appeal. What would you like to see for your product’s message or look?