Thursday, December 14

A guide to product branding

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So, you are thinking of a new way to brand your product, service or website? The following is the first in an installment of many articles dedicated to how to brand your company or product and what it means to do so.

First, we have to know a few things:

What does “Branding” mean?

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from the competition.

In short the definition from any dictionary is:

  1. kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark, or the like: the best brand of coffee.
  2. a mark made by burning or otherwise, to indicate kind, grade, make, ownership, etc.
  3. a mark formerly put upon criminals with a hot iron.
  4. any mark of disgrace; stigma.

Now we can disregard the third definition and the others fit what we are talking about. I like to think of a brand in the business world as a mark, both figuratively and literally. It’;s who you are so you better not mess it up!

This is where we start in branding, with a name. Now many very successful brand names were born out of absolutely nothing. Great examples are abound of how companies simply made up a name that was somewhat familiar, but the consumer just couldn’;t place it.

What is important in a name?
Everything. Sometimes companies come up with names that don’;t translate well into other languages. Not only can this be a huge embarrassment, but it can get you in legal hot water. So from there we can move on to realize that a brand name has 3 distinct features:

It must be concise – too much or too unfamiliar letter combinations can throw consumers off.
It must be short – how many successful brands have more than one or two names?
It must be easy on the eyes – or the tongue as it were. If people can’;t pronounce the name easily you are in for a tough ride.

Next steps:
In our next series of articles on branding we will go more into the promotion and deployment of your new corporate image in greater detail.

A bit more about successful name branding:
A brand is often the most valuable asset of a Corporation. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value, and brand valuation is an important management technique. (wikipedia).

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