01.09.2021 > news and events

Product branding

BREATHING LIFE INTO A PRODUCT

TAGS: BRANDING /
GRAPHIC DESIGN /
COMPANY PROFILE
What brings a consumer to choose one product over another? In product branding, strategic narration allows you to link concrete and emotional advantages to a product, bringing out its distinctive characteristics and thus making it indispensable for the consumer.

BRANDING A PRODUCT MEANS GIVING IT A PERSONALITY

It means defining its name, visual identity and a tone of voice. Basically, giving it the characteristics of a person by which the surroundings obtain impressions, feelings and opinions on that same person. And that’s called having an image. But the process doesn’t end there – it continues by keeping the brand’s consistency and presence and thus obtaining trust.

Before you start creating your product’s personality, to make it a part of the gang you will need to know the characteristics of that gang, how it communicates and what it wants. But also who you will have to compete with to enter. So, market research and target definition are your starting points, otherwise your new created personality may not be accepted.

Anyway, to go more into detail, we will separately explain the branding elements listed above - although they very much intertwine and the development process is closely connected.

Naming

The product name needs to be simple, powerful and memorable, that’s for sure. There are also different directions to decide from when creating it. It can be literal, and simply describe the purpose and use of the product. It can be a wordplay that, put together, create a non-existent word which describes the use of your product. Or it can be made of phrases or non-words that have absolutely no link with the product. The options are many.

The crucial aspect to understand when naming is that the name itself will not decide on its own on the failure or success of your product although it needs to follow some rules. It is “only” a part of the branding process that has to be accompanied by other as important branding elements, and then followed by well-planned and consistent activities and communication strategy.

A lot of start-ups get stuck at the beginning trying to find THE perfect name. Even though it’s important to choose the right one, how you treat and communicate it later on will be more important.
Therefore, instead of losing months on endless proposals, put on paper some realistic objectives and guidelines for your future name, entrust the solutions of professionals who will follow your clear brief and give you some options, take courage, pick one and keep on doing the right thing!

You should also know that the naming process can be especially challenging because of the fact that the market can be very saturated and it’s sometimes not so easy to find an option that suites all the demands and is not already taken.

Visual identity

A LOGO IS NOT VISUAL IDENTITY. IT’S A PART OF IT.
Visual identity is a system made of different visual elements which, by defined and standardized use, become a unique world around the product that helps it become recognizable to the user, even if he sees only a section of that world. This is why it’s important to be consistent in applying always the same, defined visual elements, that over time become a part of the user’s subconscious mind. That’s the goal of any branding.

As for product branding, the visual system has to be defined also because most of the time there are more products in one line, for example more flavours, more kinds of packaging etc. The developed system has to be consistent, recognisable and applicable to any kind of packaging, flavour or line variation, making it immediately clear that all the different variations are part of the same umbrella brand. When designing various labels, graphic elements, shapes, colours, headlines have to have a clear mapping, defined sizes, positions and uses. So, the logo is the foundation, but there’s a whole house that needs to be built afterwards.

Tone of voice

All the branding elements serve to communicate your product to your target.

Tone of voice is the language and the approach you choose for communicating it. Is your product fun or serious? Monochromatic or colourful? Is it formal or more on the personal side? It is basically your product’s behaviour.

Tone of voice is not only verbal, but also visual, and it is logical that the visual identity also needs to be in line with the chosen behaviour. For example, if you choose to launch a high-end product, it is obvious that the visual and verbal communication need to be minimal, classy and smart, rather than playful, funny and colourful. You will probably apply the latter to a product with a different purpose or meant for a different target.

In that tone of voice, you will choose a slogan or a mission statement, define headlines for campaigns and write copy and communication elements for different channels.

We could go on for days discussing about the topic, but let’s contemplate on the basics for now and resume: (product) branding is a long-term process that starts with fundamental and well defined visual and communication elements based on research and strategy, continues with consistent presence and planned activity and hopefully ends with a satisfying and stable relationship with the user.

Contact us for more information, tell us about your project and let’s brand together!
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29 Nov 2021 / Morana Mikulandra - Creative Director