7 Irresistible Tips To Transform Your Product Into a Brand
Join Entrepreneur's The Goal Standard Challenge and make 2017 yours. Learn more »
Apple is a brand that everyone (well, almost everyone) loves. It’s a brand that’s a borderline religion. A brand whose fans await each of its new products with giddy excitement – standing for hours in rain, snow, or sleet, just to get their hands on its sometimes overpriced but undeniably stunning and extremely powerful gadgets.
So how did Apple become Apple?
How did its makers – along with the other successful brands around the world – take everyday products and services, and turn them into brands that millions adore?
And more importantly, how can you do the same for your brand?
1. Create a solution to a problem
First things first. Your product should solve a unique problem or solve a problem uniquely. There are myriad ‘me-toos’ out there and you’re just going to join their ranks, if you don’t.
Think Apple. Think solution.
Think Sony. Think solution.
Think Xerox. Think solution.
Think Practo. Think solution.
Think Zomato. Think solution.
Think Redbus. Think solution.
Would you disagree that these are brands? Or that they solve a problem? Solve one – even if it creates a category. Customers don’t care about brands, they care about categories.
2. Carve an identity
Most marketers define branding as creating the logo. But believe me, the single most important branding decision you’re likely to make is what to name your product. Is it something memorable, interesting, short, easy to pronounce (for some reason, even advertising and branding agencies get this wrong!), and age-agnostic? Then of course, give it a visual identity – a logo, tagline, and a design language. Every mention or look of this should conjure up your product thought. Let your messaging, voice reflects the product attributes. And as Apple, aptly shows us, the simpler this is, the better. Clutter is so last season.
3. Humanise your product
Think of all the attributes of your favourite friend. Are they helpful, trustworthy, connected? Now think of your favourite brand. Doesn’t it share some of the same characteristics? If yes, then that brand has won at humanising itself. Some of the best brands today talk to their audiences like they would to a friend – answering queries and responding to feedback in a timely, effective manner. They talk instances and experiences aka use cases. Humanise the product – help people relate to it better.
4. Create an experience
As Maya Angelou says, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Go beyond mere functional messaging to create a larger-than-life experience for your customers. Stress on the emotional benefits of the product. Go further – make your message aspirational by giving them a glimpse of a better lifestyle. Red Bull does this very effectively by sponsoring events such as Flugtag, thus helping customers perceive the brand as a dynamic, energetic entity.
5. Be consistent in communication
In other words, don’t be schizophrenic. Speak the same language through all your company’s sub-brands, even if the message (i.e. the product benefits) differs. For example, look at the Virgin Group. Each of their ventures, such as airlines and hotels, have the same edgy appeal (and Richard Branson’s unique stamp) all over them.
Then again, don’t be sporadic in communicating with the customer. Plan your campaigns strategically to remain at the top of the consumer’s mind. Think hairdryers. Think Philips?
6. Extend your brand
Once you’ve got your branding down pat, think about your service. Your brand is not just your product. It’s also the way you interact with your customers. Display your brand’s core values at every customer touch point – the way you greet customers, how you answer calls, or how you respond to customer complaints. A product truly becomes a brand when it becomes a positive experience for a customer at every touch point. Get the drift?
7. Continue to evolve
A static brand is a dead brand. Keep up with the times. Help your product reinvent itself, but stay true to your attributes. And a big word of caution: save your brand from the temptation of product line extensions. In a bid to increase market share, most products fall prey to multiple avatars. This lack of focus works only to spread you thin and diminish your brand power.
If you get a majority of these things right, there’s no stopping your brand from being the next Google or Apple. Cherry on the cake? Once your brand finds its following, your customers will become your most powerful brand ambassadors.
Millions of screaming, throbbing fans, passionate about your product or service. Now, isn’t that the dream?