Brand design agencies. Branding a product

A product is not a brand, and in our experience you should never confuse the two

Brand design agencies. Many companies launch products. A new innovation or a new way replacing the old way, assuming there is an old way. These companies only sell products. They do not sell their brand. They fail to create brand equity and ubiquity for their product.

Brand design agencies. Companies that launch “original” products, not brands eventually realize their rocket-science innovation is quickly replicated, ripped off, commoditised, duplicated, copied (call it what you want) by a ‘me too’ competitor with a better-faster-cheaper version of their original product. And so the blood bath begins. Clang clang, pow-pow, ratttttttttttatatatatattatatta and kaboom.

When companies launch products, their success rests entirely on the shoulders of the sales team. A head-to-head, never-ending battle of feature-function-benefit commences, marketing spend often goes up, ROI goes down, and margins crumble. We fire the sales team, we replace the sales team.

Then the company starts picking on marketing, change the packaging, new logo, new website, offers, discounts, incentives from the spurious tactical machine, change the agency because advertising and new collateral and guidelines will solve all our problems – the highly commissioned sales sharp agency executive nods. Cue a normal toxic brand intervention and the groaning marketing zombie and expense to exasperate the problem.

Over time, product patents expire, features hit diminishing returns and the “me too” competitors move into the marketplace. Companies that launch products have little if anything, to stand on when this happens.

Companies that launched a differentiated brand has a sustainable value that just cannot be replicated. They also have a springboard of brand awareness to launch new products within that same market category, thus further differentiating their brand from the competition. Yay!

Brand design agencies. Branding a product. A recent example

The point-of-view (POV) video camera category is a good example of the perils of launching a product rather than a brand.

Brand design agencies. Both Contour and GoPro launched their companies in 2004, and a new market category for POV cameras was born. However, one company launched an amazing product and the other had the foresight to launch a brand that now defines the category. Contour launched a sexy first-of-its-kind POV camera for action sports. It launched a product. GoPro launched an aspiration for athletes to “Go Pro” and capture their limelight moment with their brand (with “their” POV video camera).

GoPro launched a brand rather than just a product. It did so by laser focusing their brand value on providing a “single” aspirational emotion of feeling like a “pro.” Everyone knows when a camera is rolling, an athlete’s courage is fired up with adrenaline. And—in the athlete’s mind—a legendary moment and a great story are about to be captured. This is their chance to feel like a professional and they have the footage to prove it.

The GoPro brand first became an emotion athletes sought after and aspired to feel. Today, the GoPro brand name is a verb. “GoPro It” is synonymous with adventure and capturing POV footage of great moments. What athlete doesn’t want to be a pro?

OK the reality is that your friends, in my case capture me falling off my mountain bike, a portly 40 year old dressed in non-flattering dashing Power Ranger lycra crashing into a muddy ditch keeps everyone amused on Facebook, as everyone gasps, giggles, remarks “That’s gonna hurt” and then ask if I am OK?. .. . “No, ” I reply writhing in the water, mud and spiky gorse bushes clasping my man geography. “Don’t worry Cookie we got it all on the GoPro’s!” “F*** off you b******s” I reply in a soft wincing, and tearful voice.

GoPro also has become a byword for amazing, amusing, unfortunate life story with real footage. GoPro takes full advantage of the social, sharing and huge viral channels. There with some pretty amazing stuff shot on and associated with GoPro’s. From urban explorers, to a camera falling off a sky divers head falling falling falling then landing by chance splat in a pig sty where it looks like it was eaten?

The GoPro brand simply dominates the market despite its visually clunky design compared to the Contour product line.

Branding a product then is launch a brand, not just another product if you seek profit, longevity and a more impenetrable and resilient coating to your organisation because you will fall or get pushed into the muddy, slippery ditch of obsolesce and decline by your competition if you don’t.

If you think you could fall into a ditch or have fallen into a ditch, the AlignandPull team can help.

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