Designing a Brand Around the Product

Two team members ideate on paper in front of a laptop.

Many companies work on their brand as a strategy for marketing their products. However, many overlook the fact that it may just be as effective, if not more effective to work on the branding of their products. If you think about it, most of interaction you have with prospects revolve around the product. Consumers look at the logo, the packaging, the advertising, the reputation and of course brand promise. The reviews and the product design of the product before they buy. If that’s not a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression, what is?

One of the great things about creating a brand around a product is that you have more liberty to experiment and be creative. There are a lot of restrictions to rebranding a company because being too creative or extreme can isolate an established group of customers and consumers. There is also an immense amount of equity behind the brand and company that you don’t want to damage. On the other hand, creating a brand identity for a product is less risky.

Even if there’s already an established brand for your product, you can create a similar product with a completely new brand identity to test if it resonates better with the marketplace. You can still keep marketing the established brand separately with no connection to the “new” product. If the brand fails to produce results, you can quickly scrap the idea and test another one fairly quickly.

While the product’s brand will eventually be associated with the core brand, it will take on a life of its own. People will start to think of the product brand as the core brand. In fact, many people will not even be aware of the company it’s actually tied to. After all, how many times have you heard “I didn’t know product x was created by company y!”

A good example of great product branding is Apple. They’ve been successful at creating brands for their most popular products from the iPhone, MacBook, to the iPad. One of the things that make their products stand out is their design. From the packaging, design of the product, to their marketing, you are presented with a sleek, modern, and minimalistic presentation that makes you think that it’s the coolest and most innovative product you’ve ever seen.

In reality, many of their products are not much better than the products of their competitors (some would even say inferior). The brand strategy for their products is so successful that consumers choose Apple products over others in the market despite having to pay a premium. Apple has created a cult of loyal followers over the years.

That’s why it worth the effort in creating a brand for your products. It’s worth mentioning that one of the great problems that product branding overcomes is the brand of the parent company. Just think about all the products Johnson & Johnson markets. Each of their products have their own unique brand identity, message, persona and audience. It wouldn’t make sense to push the Johnson & Johnson brand because it isn’t really appealing to consumers. The simple solution is to create a brand for a product or a product line to create an emotional connection with the target audience. This is a concept that you can easily run with to create some interesting results.