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Brand Development Step 3 - Develop Multiple Concepts

Brand Development Step 3 - Develop Multiple Concepts

The main thing to remember here is that you need to develop a brand image and a unique selling position that your market cares about.  If your intended audience really doesn’t care about them, then your brand and unique selling position will be weak and ineffective.


Let me give you an exaggerated example just to show you what I mean…


Let’s suppose you sell baby products, like clothing.  Chances are, you’re going to design a brand and unique selling position around comfort, convenience, love, security or similar factors… right?


Now imagine if you designed your brand around something like prestige or power. Imagine bold black and gold designs. Imagine a slogan that evoked power… perhaps something about “putting other babies to shame.”


It’s ridiculous, right? Unless this brand was part of a tongue-in-cheek humor campaign, you can bet that this particular brand simply wouldn’t work for parents who’re wanting to swaddle their newborn babies in safe and comfortable baby clothes.


Okay, so that was an exaggerated example. You’re not likely to make mistake of that magnitude. However, you may end up with a weak or ineffective brand if you don’t truly understand your market.


So, let’s quickly go over this key concept…


Understanding Your Market


If you’re new to the niche you’re working in, then you need to spend some time researching this market in order to get a better feel for what’s important to them


The upshot is that what you need to do is spend time with your market. In order to understand them, you need to crawl inside their heads. You need to find out what they like and don’t like about the current solutions on the market.

How do you do that?


Let me share three tips with you…


Visit Niche Communities


By niche communities, I’m referring to blogs, social media sites like Facebook, and niche forums.  Basically, you visit any site where members of your niche are discussing niche topics. Just spend an hour reading these discussions, and you’ll get a much better understanding of your market’s needs, wants, hopes and fears.


Read Product Reviews


Naturally, you should read the product reviews belonging to your closest competitors.  This is easy if your competitors have your products listed on retail sites like,, or similar places, as these sites tend to garner a lot of product reviews.


If you can’t find your competitors’ products on these sites, then run a search in your favorite search engine for the product name followed by the search term “review.”  Keep in mind that many of the reviews you’ll encounter this way are likely to be biased, as many of them are written by affiliates (as opposed to actual customers).


Once you find reviews written by customers, look for patterns across reviews. Just from the words they use, you may get a sense of what they’re looking for in a product.  For example, if you were selling baby products, you might see comments that directly reflect a parent’s desire to keep their baby safe. That might be a clue to you that a brand built on safety and security would work well for that particular market.


Ask Your Market


Finally, another way to get at what your prospective customers are looking for is to survey them.


The idea here is to simply ask your market what it is that they’re seeking in niche products. You can ask both open-ended and multiple-choice questions to find out what factors are most important to them. This will give you an idea of how to build your brand.


Developing Your Brand


Once you understand your market and you know what’s important to them, plus you know how your competitors have positioned themselves, then it’s time for you to start developing your branding concepts.


You’ll notice I used the plural “concepts” and not the singular “concept.” That’s intentional. The reason is because you should develop at least three good concepts, because in the upcoming steps you’ll be testing these concepts.


Now, as you already know, your branding is going to permeate every facet of your business. However, at this step we’re going to be concerned with two components of your brand image:


#1. Your unique selling position.

#2. Your logo.


Once you’ve developed your unique selling position and logo, then you can develop your product packaging, web design, sales copy and everything else around these two components. For example, your branding slogan will express your unique selling position.  And your web design will reflect your logo.


So, let’s start with the unique selling position, which is also called the USP…


Developing Your USP


As you learned earlier, your USP doesn’t actually have to be unique. In other words, your competitors may also possess or utilize this factor, but they just haven’t laid claim to it yet. 


Nonetheless, if you truly can find something unique about your business or unique about the product – if you find something that no one else offers – then that’s even better.


There’s a manual that accompanies this course, and inside that manual you’ll find planning sheets to help you brainstorm and develop a unique selling position.  Be sure to use those.  For now, let me share with you an overview of how to develop your USP.


The first thing to know is that your USP can be based on just about anything, as long as it’s something that it is important to your prospects and customers.  So, let me give you a list of some of the possible ways to uniquely position your business…


A strong or unusual guarantee.


Domino’s Pizza used to offer a delivery guarantee that if customers didn’t get their pizza delivered to their door within 30 minutes of ordering, then their order was free.  Dominos succinctly summed up this unique selling position in their slogan, “30 minutes or it’s free.”


That’s a good example of a strong guarantee. Other examples include lifetime guarantees (which are often used by mattress companies) … or “double your money back” guarantees, which you’ll see information marketers offering from time to time.


The product is made in an unusual way. 


Folgers “mountain grown” slogan is an example of creating a unique selling position based on how the product is made.


Another example is the U.S. pizza delivery chain Papa John’s. Their slogan is, “Better ingredients, better pizza, Papa John’s.” While they don’t use unusual ingredients in their pizza, their point is that their pizzas are better because they use better ingredients.


Still another example of this is Harley Davidson, which claims, “American by Birth, Rebel by Choice.” That slogan captures the market share of consumers who want to purchase American-made products. In other words, it evokes a feeling of patriotism. But it also evokes a feeling of independence and freedom with its use of the word “rebel.”


You have some special qualification for creating the product.


This unique selling position tends to work well for those who’re selling information, such as books, videos or even seminars. That’s because you can easily establish yourself as expert or an authority in the niche.


For example, Joseph Sugarman is considered one of the top marketers and copywriters in the world, as he’s credited with the success of such products as BluBlocker sunglasses.


When Sugarman wrote a book about copywriting, he positioned himself by establishing his credentials and expertise right in the title of the book.  Check it out… the title of his book is, “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters.”


You can claim to be the first or the original in some category.


If you were the first to create a product or service, then you can use that a part of your unique selling position. For example, you can claim to be “the original and the best.” The Cheesecake Factory is one such real-life example, as you’ll see they position themselves as “The Original.”


However, you don’t need to be the first one in the entire world in order to claim this slogan. Instead, you can be the first one in your region, or you can be the first woman to do it, or you can be the first person under the age of 25 or the first person over the age of 50.


In other words, you can create your own categories and then claim to be the first in this category. For example, you can be the first person in London to offer a certain service, or you can be the first person in California to sell a particular product.


Your product is used in a different way than similar products.


A lot of beer commercials tend to depict nighttime party scenes or perhaps even scenes from sporting events. The beer maker Corona jumped on this and separated themselves with the slogan, “Find Your Beach.” In other words, Corona positioned themselves as a beach-party beer.


 All of their advertising is built on this slogan.  And all the images displayed in their advertising tend to depict Corona on a beach.


Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t drink a Heineken Beer on the beach. But Corona positioned themselves as the beach beer, the fun beer, so they’ve developed top-of-mind awareness with consumers.


The product provides some special benefit or enjoyment.


A lot of USPs are built on this concept of differentiating a company or product based on a benefit that the consumer gets when they use the product. So, let me give you several examples…


One example of this comes from the chicken restaurant KFC, which claims their chicken is “Finger Lickin’ Good.”


Another example of this is’s slogan, “Push Button Publishing,” which tells users how easy it is to use the service to create a blog.


Still another example comes from the credit card company Visa, which states it’s “Everywhere You Want to Be.” The idea, of course, is that consumers will be able to use their Visa anywhere in the world, which provides peace of mind.


Or take the chocolate candy M&Ms, which promises the candy “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands.”


Another example comes from Walmart, which currently uses the slogan, “Save Money, Live Better.”


And Disneyland’s “The Happiest Place on Earth” slogan not only captures the benefit, but directly conveys the intended emotion.


A final example: Energizer batteries promise long-life with the slogan, “They Keep Going and Going and Going.”


The product is the best. 

Porsche conveys this superiority with the slogan, “There is No Substitute.” Quite simply, they are the best.


The Hallmark greeting card and gift company also taps into this feeling with their slogan, “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best.”


The product fills a market gap. 


In the age of big sedans and huge sport utility vehicles being popular, Volkswagen developed the slogan, “Think Small,” which instantly differentiated them from the competition.


Another example is Apple’s Mac Pro, which had the slogan, “Beauty Outside, Beast Inside.” This filled the market gap where consumers usually had two choices: fashionable computers that didn’t do much, or powerful machines that were ugly.  The Mac Pro’s branding promised consumers they could have beauty and power in one machine.


The product is delivered in an unusual way. 


A good example of this is Burger King’s slogan, which is “Have it Your Way.” This directly differentiates them from other fast-food restaurants, where most people think they have to order exactly what’s on the menu.


The product taps into the person’s desires and self-identity. 


L’Oréal, which is a company that develops beauty products such as shampoo and makeup, carries the slogan “Because You’re Worth It.”  Thus, even if L’Oréal’s products carry a higher price tag, the slogan taps into women’s desires to pamper themselves and be beautiful.


Another example of this comes from the charitable organization The Red Cross, whose slogan is, “The Greatest Tragedy is Indifference.” Most people like to think of themselves as caring individuals, so this slogan taps into that sense of self-identity and even induces a little guilt if people don’t donate or help.


The product promises a good customer experience.


As mentioned earlier in this course, United Airlines made this promise with their slogan, “Fly the Friendly Skies.”


Another example comes from Marks and Spencer, whose slogan says, “The Customer is Always and Completely Right.”


Whew… These categories and examples should give you a lot to think about with regards to how to develop your unique selling position.  What you’ll want to do is start with your USP… and then boil it down to one succinct statement.


This statement can then be your slogan which you use on your website, products, marketing materials and everywhere else. Let me give you a real-life example...


Let’s suppose you were selling lottery tickets. You’d ask yourself what your customers want more than anything else?


Well, they want to win, of course.


Problem is, you can’t promise your lottery customers that they’ll win. However, you can tap into their HOPES of winning. You can get them dreaming about what it would be like to win. And that’s exactly what the National Lottery in the UK did when it created the slogan, “It Could Be You.”


Those four words instantly evoke hope. Excitement. Big dreams. And you can bet that slogan worked well to sell tickets.


Here’s another real-life example. 


The Subway restaurant came onto the scene at a time when all the fast-food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King were really popular. However, people often viewed these other fast-food restaurants as unhealthy and even a little disgusting since the food sat under the warming lights.


Subway realized what their customers wanted was an alternative to the typical unhealthy, warmed-over fast-food fare. And they expressed this desire in just two words: “Eat Fresh.” Simple, but it worked so beautifully that Subway overtook McDonald’s as the world’s largest restaurant chain in 2011.


Again, be sure to complete the planning sheets in the manual, which will help you develop your own succinct slogan based on your unique selling position.


Now let’s move on to the logo…


Developing Your Logo


As mentioned earlier, this is the part of the process where people often turn to the professionals. That’s because turning a branding concept into a graphical representation does require some skill.  As such, if you outsource this part of the process, don’t look for graphical artists. Instead, look for professionals who tout their expertise in creating logos and branding concepts.


Nonetheless, even if you hire a conceptual logo artist, you still need to give him or her an idea of what you’re seeking.


So, let’s talk about this for a moment…


Okay, at this point you already know how you want to differentiate your business or your products using a unique selling proposition. And you know what type of feeling you’d like your overall branding image to convey.


So, take a moment now and consider the following:

·         What colors convey this brand feeling?

·         What font faces and styles convey this brand feeling?

·         What types of graphics convey this feeling?

·         How can you incorporate your company, product or brand name into the logo?

·         How can you incorporate your USP into the logo?


Let’s look at a few examples…


The Jaguar car company carries the slogan, “Grace, Space, Pace.” Their logo fits both their name and brand beautifully, as it features a sleek silver jaguar gracefully leaping over the word “Jaguar.”


Another example is Burger King. The words “Burger King” are between two halves of a golden bun. The colors of the logo – gold, red and blue – are all royal colors, which reflect the “king” concept.


Another example is the Maxwell House logo. It isn’t clear from the name itself that Maxwell House sells coffee, but it’s clear from the logo. That’s because the logo depicts a coffee cup, and the logo also includes the slogan, “Good to the Last Drop.”


Now, all of those logos include graphical components to create the logos. However, some logos are simply text logos. In these cases, the font face, style and color are all carefully selected so as to make the logo recognizable and to help convey the brand feeling.


Examples include…


Clairol, which sells hair-care products. Their logo is simply the word “Clairol” with a simple black font on a white background.  Their slogan is “Nice and Easy.” Thus, their simple logo completely supports this feeling of nice and easy.


Another example of a text logo is Google, which is composed of different brightly colored letters. Google’s slogan is “Do No Evil,” and this fun, childlike logo embodies that branding concept.


As you can see, even the simplest logos are well thought-out, and they all do their part in supporting the overall branding concept. 

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