Your Product Is Your Brand. Your Brand Is Your Product.
It might sound like advertising nonsense at first glimpse, but there’s a truth to it that is ignored all too often. Marketing often fails to see the physical product’s value even though the product is what the client buys, flashes on the street, and brings back home.
All too often, the product ends up as a distraction instead of being the main attraction.
Look at me – I’m different!
Every day new brands are being launched, and they all fight to get your attention. That increases the noise and gives less room for every product. Hence, a product needs to be able to talk for itself and appeal to the consumer within seconds. It demands a conscious brand position, a clear narrative, and, last but not least, a design that supports it. It’s relatively simple and something most marketing people would agree on. However…
KPI’s are a funny thing.
Most marketing people know what their target is for the next campaign. Many even proudly proclaim what the target is for next year. But how many can give a response to what their brand goals are? What justifies their existence? What is the core purpose, and who does the consumer aspire to be when buying your product? What are the longterm goals for the brand that every single campaign, event, initiative is supporting?
Now that’s suddenly a lot harder to answer. Although it shouldn’t be. It ought to permeate everything the marketing apartment is doing – without exception.
You are not rational.
Most marketing people also know that our purchase patterns and impulses are highly emotional. We do not buy products based on rational motives, although most consumers think that they do.
Despite having acquired a brand preference over time, you are instinctively receptive to a product that talks directly to your feelings. You are just a human, after all. This is also why any product must have a central role in everything that is being communicated.
The product is what the consumer consumes, what he/she holds walking down the street. The product reflects a brand and supports the consumer’s desired identity. The product is what you have in the fridge, on your dinner table, what you bring to the party, the soccer match, what you use in the bathroom, etc.
The product must support the brand one-to-one, but must first and foremost be a product. This is why Carlsberg is a beer, not just soccer, and why Tuborg is a beer and not just a concert.
Your (brand)preference comes from the emotions you associate with a product, that in turn, can be further supported by advertising campaigns. This is why brand and product are not two separate things but, in fact, one and the same. The first cannot and should never be a distraction for the latter.
The future is product-oriented.
Because of human nature, we will always love advertising that talks to our emotions. As such, there is a permanent need to stimulate an (emotional) sale through a well-targeted campaign.
Without an initial brand strategic effort and a corresponding design on a product level, neither branding nor product would have the desired long-term effect. It makes good sense to know exactly why you are selling what you are selling, and it also makes it much more profitable.
This is true internally in any company, where everyone will start moving towards the same goals, but it would also make for a much more clear external communication. With a constant increase in products, there will be more focus on the end-product, the association to the product, and the entire product experience.
Finally, this is why it’s a good rule to remember and remind yourself that; your product is your brand, and your brand is your product.