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How to Put a Brand on ANYTHING


I’ve always shared this in my workshops– you can practically brand anything! I may be biased (because I’m a marketer), but I believe that the core of any business is its brand.

A little Branding 101– a brand is anything you communicate to your customers. It can be your packaging, tagline, logo, colours, down to the service and the business culture. And when you think about it, your branding is what will make you stand out from your competitors. It’s what will make your business unique. It’s your own identity!

ALL products and services must be branded, if you want to exist in the long run. Even the simplest of products can be branded! Pencil, tissue, accessories, slippers– name it, you can brand it.

Now, it’s very rare that your business is in a monopolistic industry– meaning you have no competitor. 99% of businesses encounter competition, and here are a few branding exercises that you can try for the sake standing out, or even to grow and expand your business!

  • Know your objective, because when it comes to branding, sky is the limit. Yes, you can go wild in making your packaging bright red, or selling in ridiculously low price (or high price) to gain word of mouth, or having a famous top model endorse your brand. BUT, you have to know your objective first so you avoid overspending and unnecessary work.

What do you really want to happen? Are you an industry new comer who wants to attract awareness? Is your market already saturated, and you want to tap new market segments? Do you want to differentiate yourself from competitors? Or do you want to introduce a new way to use your product (i.e baking soda has a lot more use, not just in baking)?

Know what you want to achieve.

  • Know the need you are meeting. Whether you are a newcomer, or a business who wants to grow, meeting a need is very important. Because if there is no need for your product, why bother? There is always a need to be met. Sometimes, the customers already know what they need. But there are also times that they only realise that they need it once the product is launched.

Either way, there is always a need in the consumer’s mind that needs to be met. That’s why they buy products in the first place. Once you know your objective, find that need that you will solve for your customer. I read a case study about a lollipop brand that wanted to explore new market segments. After doing their research, they found out that lollipops can also be used for ex-smokers (to keep their mouth busy), people on diets (lollipops have less calories versus other desserts & snacks), and party goers and drug users (a better alternative to take rather than illegal drugs)! So they expanded their lollipop line to cater to these market segments, and it worked!

  • Know your positioning. Once you have your objective and that market need in mind, know how you want to be positioned– both in the minds of your customers and within the industry. “Positioning” can also be called brand impression– what you want your customers to think when they hear your name. And of course, the more unique this is to you, the better.

I’m borrowing this very simple yet very useful positioning statement template from the book, Advanced Brand Management: From Vision to Valuation by Paul Temporal:

A POSITIONING STATEMENT TEMPLATE

<YOUR BUSINESS>

is better than

COMPETITIVE SET <the main competitors>

for

TARGET MARKET <the customer group you are aiming for, with their needs & wants>

because it

STRATEGIC COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE <specific advantages your business has, compared to competitors>

with the result that

KEY PROPOSITION <the real emotional and rational benefits to be experiences by your target audience>

Once you filled out this template, you’re good to go! Communicate this to your customers in the best way you can.


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Thank you for reading! Hope my article helps your business.

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