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Dissecting You Brand - Intro to The Art and Science of Branding

Dissecting You Brand - Intro to The Art and Science of Branding

Your brand permeates every facet of your business. That’s why companies who invest seemingly enormous amounts of money on a brand redesign are often happy to do so: basically, these business owners know that the brand will impact their long-term growth.


Take Pepsi, as an example. When they freshened their brand, they spent a cool $1 million dollars for the logo redesign.


Why that much?


Because they weren’t paying for graphic design. If they were paying for mere graphics, they could have hired someone to whip up a graphic for one hundred bucks. The reason they paid so much is because they were investing in a concept. And what’s more, their logo designer was capturing their entire brand and conveying it through a graphic.


Simply put, the average graphic designer doesn’t have the skills to create conceptual logos for branding purposes.


Even though a million dollars sounds like a lot, that’s by no means the most expensive brand.  The BBC paid $1.8 million to freshen their brand and logo. 

The consultancy firm Arthur Andersen, which was found guilty of mishandling an audit of Enron, didn’t just freshen their brand… they developed and built a new brand to the tune of $100 million.


Now, before you go knock over a bank in order to raise funds for brand development, do take note that you can do this on a budget.

The second bit of good news is that plenty of big companies have done their branding and logos in house, for very little money. Microsoft used an in-house team. Google’s original logo was created by founder Sergey Brin. Twitter did it in house, with the only cost being $15 to purchase a stock photo.


Point is, those who have the know-how to do it themselves can get it done very affordably or even for free. The good news is that this course will arm you with the tools and knowledge you need to create your own bullet-proof brand. So, while you may need to invest a little to create a logo if you don’t have design skills, you will be able to craft the concept once you’ve completed the course.


So, let’s break down what all you need to create.



Branding Anatomy

So far, we’ve just touched on what all is included in a branding image.  Now here in this section I’d like talk what all facets you need to consider as you start developing your brand.  In the next module is where you’ll learn how to actually develop and refine your brand image.


Here’s what we’ll be talking about in this section, which are the 5 P’s of Branding Anatomy:


1. Product Names and Titles

2. Product Packaging

3. Positioning

4. Pricing

5. Penetration


Let’s jump in…


1. Product Names and Titles


There are three approaches to creating product names and titles. These include:


1. Overall branding.

2. Product branding.

3. Hybrid branding.


The first approach is to brand your overall business, and then create a string of product names and titles that reflect this branding.


The “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series of books is a good example of this strategy.  Today you’ll find dozens of branded books in the series, such as “Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul” and “Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul.” 


Another example are the “Dummies” books, such as the “Windows 8 for Dummies” and “Investing for Dummies.”


Another example are the gadgets that Apple puts out, such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iMac. While the company brands the product alongside the name Apple, they further brand the product by creating names that start with the letter “i.”


A final example is Sir Richard Branson’s conglomerate of “Virgin” companies. Even though his companies are in different industries, such as travel and entertainment, they’re all still branded under the name Virgin. Examples include Virgin Books, Virgin Airways and Virgin Mobile.


One good reason for adopting this approach is that it allows you to focus on building one brand. And once you’ve built that brand recognition, you can apply that brand to all your related products or companies and reap the benefits.  Virgin is a really good example of this strategy at work.


The second approach to branding is to brand each product individually, without taking the overall company brand into consideration.  In other words, the individual product brand becomes more important than the company brand.


Let’s take the example of the PepsiCo, Inc, company. This company puts a focus on branding individual products separately.


A few of their beverage brands include:


·         Tropicana

·         Sierra Mist

·         Ocean Spray

·         Mountain Dew

·         Lipton Tea


And many, many more… including Pepsi, of course.


The point here is that PepsiCo, Inc doesn’t use the brand name “Pepsi” in all their beverage names. You drink Mountain Dew, not Pepsi Mountain Dew. You drink Lipton Tea, not Pepsi Lipton Tea. And you drink Ocean Spray, not Pepsi Ocean Spray.


As you might suspect, this is a bit more costly and time consuming to develop a different brand for every product you put out. However, the advantage is that it allows you to compete with your competitors more directly and position your products in the market.


The third approach to branding is the hybrid approach.  This is where you display your overall company branding alongside individual product branding. The company branding allows you to tap into trust and familiarity, while the individual product branding allows you to better position your product in the market and compete.


One good example of this is to look at the car companies.  Each car company brands their overall business name, such as Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche and so on.  However, these car manufacturers also brand their individual cars, such as the Mustang, Corvette, and Boxster.


However, you’ll note that these individual product names are often paired with the company’s branding. 


So, you’ll hear people refer to:


·         The Ford Mustang

·         The Chevy Corvette

·         The Porsche Boxster


This allows the company to tap into the consumer’s trust of Ford, Chevy or Porsche, while still developing a branding strategy around the individual cars. And this is important, because these car companies create products that appeal to different segments of the population. Thus, Ford brands and advertises the Mustang in an entirely different way than they brand and advertise their family sedans.


Once you decide on your product title or product name, then you need to think about packaging.


And that brings us to the next facet of branding…


2. Product Packaging


Do people judge a book by its cover? You bet they do. People often make their decision about whether to buy a product just based on the product packaging.


And just to be clear, I’m not talking about just books here. Whether you’re selling snow shoes, software, books, videos, fish tanks, golf balls, or anything else under the sun, keep in mind that the packaging matters. People are going to form an impression of your product just based on the way it’s packaged.


Now, obviously, what you need to do is to create your packaging based on your overall branding.  We’ll talk about developing your brand more in the next module. But for now, keep in mind that branding is all about creating a feeling. Thus, the colors and the way you’ve packaged your product need to help convey this feeling.


Let me give you a few examples…


·         You’ll recall the “Dummies” line of books I mentioned a few minutes ago. Someone who is familiar with the brand can recognize these books from 50 feet away. That’s because they all have yellow covers with a black “Dummies” banner splashed across the top of the cover.


·         Take the example of Apple products, like Macs and iPhones. In all cases, you’ll see the graphical Apple not only on the product packaging, but on the product itself.


Now think about some of the products you buy quite often. Think about your favorite sodas, cereals, laundry detergents and candy. Think about how they’re packaged. Chances are, they’re all in branded packaging. They’re easy to recognize. And their packaging conveys the intended feeling.


For example, Quaker Oats cereal company in the United States packages their oatmeal in the familiar red, white and blue tubs with the Quaker man logo. Everything about the packaging and branding says, “This is a wholesome cereal.”  It’s the kind of food that parents feel good about feeding to their families.


Or take the example of Budweiser Beer, which is branded as the “King of Beers.” The product packaging says, “This is a good beer, a regal beer, the king of all beers.” Of course, whether you actually agree with that is an entirely different issue. But the point is, everything about the packaging -- from the colors to the logo to the font style – helps sell the beer.


Again, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling – you need to create product packages that reflect your brand. You need to create packaging that makes people feel good about choosing your product.


The next thing you need to consider is how you’re positioning your product. That’s next…


3. Positioning


The next thing you need to think about is how to position your product in your marketplace. This is referred to as your unique selling proposition. And it’s this positioning that answers the consumer’s question…


“Why should I buy from you and not your competitors?”


Positioning plays into your overall branding image because your slogan is often your unique selling position.


A few minutes ago, I mentioned Budweiser which carries the “King of Beers” slogan. In just three words, that positioning statement tells prospects why they should buy Budweiser as opposed to some other brand of beer.


Let me share with you a few other examples of how companies position themselves in their slogans:


·         Avis car rental company says, “We try harder.” This is a promise to consumers that they’ll get good customer care and be satisfied with Avis.


·         United Airlines used to use the slogan, “Fly the Friendly Skies.”  Most people don’t think of airline travel is a particularly pleasant thing to do. Thus, United Airlines tapped directly into this sentiment by promising travelers that they’ll enjoy their flights with United Airlines.


·         Folgers coffee claims that their coffee is “mountain grown.”  Truth is, most coffee is mountain grown. But Folgers staked claim to this unique selling position by being the first to include that as part of their overall branding. 


As you can see by these examples, just because you’re creating a unique selling position doesn’t mean that the factor itself needs to be unique. What it means is that you need to be the FIRST in your industry to claim that factor.


Again, look at Folgers – all of their competitors have mountain grown coffee. The difference is that Folgers was the first make the claim. Indeed, they even registered “Mountain Grown” as their trademark.


The same applies to you. When you’re thinking about how to position your brand in the marketplace, you don’t have to position yourself around some factor that no one else in your market has touched. You just need to be the first to really claim it among your competitors, which usually means incorporating it into your brand.


We’ll talk more about this in the next module.  But first, let’s hit on the topic of product pricing…


4. Pricing


Your customers have certain expectations when it comes to product pricing.  And one thing that really influences their expectations is how you’ve developed your brand. If your brand is somehow tied to pricing, then you better take your branding image into consideration as you price your products.


For example, brands that convey a feeling of luxury, sophistication, wealth, power, prestige, exclusivity and similar feelings tend to have high price tags. I mean think about it… if Rolex started selling $50 watches or if Ferrari started mass producing $50,000 cars, both brands would be severely diluted. Thus, pricing is an important part of maintaining the brand.


On the flip side, some companies market their products and services as being low-cost. The retailer Walmart is a good example of this, as at times they’ve even branded themselves with taglines like, “Low Prices Every Day.”


So, what happens if shoppers start finding that Walmart isn’t the low-price leader anymore? The brand gets diluted. And when the brand is diluted, people lose trust. Loss of trust of course leads to loss of sales.


Still other companies don’t stake claim to having the lowest or the highest prices in their industry, but rather they claim to have the best value.  One example is the hotel chain “America’s Best Value Inn,” which carries that branding right in the name of their hotels.


They may not be the lowest-priced hotel, but they’re not promising low prices. Rather, they’re promising the best value… or the most bang for your buck. That’s why these hotels tend to have amenities such as free breakfast, a pool, a gym, microwaves in the room, and many of these hotels even accept pets. In short, they give people what they want at a very affordable price.


Point is, you need to think about how your brand is going to influence your pricing.  In some cases, your brand may not heavily influence your pricing. In other cases, such as those mentioned a few moments ago, you can inadvertently dilute your brand by pricing your products incorrectly.


So, just keep in mind what your brand feeling conveys about pricing.


Now let’s look at our final facet of branding…


5. Penetration


By penetration, I’m talking about incorporating your overall brand image into every facet of your business.


This starts by developing visual and text representations of your brand, including:


·         Your logo.

·         Your slogan.


These two things tend to have the most influence on how you convey your brand image. And that means that once you develop your logo and slogan, everything else you create will revolve around these two factors.  Thus, your brand penetrates every aspect of your business.


For example,


·         The colors of your logo are going to influence your web design and product packaging.


·         Your branding slogan is going to influence the copy on your site.


·         Your overall branding image is going to influence how you communicate with your prospects. So, whether you’re writing a blog post, a Facebook post, a Twitter tweet, or you’re just emailing one person, your brand is going to penetrate these communications.


Now, a lot of people realize that branding comes into play when you’re designing a site or even writing sales copy, but they don’t give much thought to how their branding is reflected in their communications.


Let me give you an example…


United Airlines with their “Fly the Friendly Skies” slogan seems to imply good customer care. If a customer called the airline and ended up talking to a grumpy representative, you can bet that would reflect badly on United Airlines. And if enough people started reporting bad experiences with United Airlines’ customer care, then it would dilute the impact of the brand.


Point is, your branding really does penetrate every facet of your business. And that’s why in the next module you’ll discover exactly how to develop a brand that helps you grow your business.


But first, let’s wrap things up.


Final Thoughts on Branding Anatomy


As you just discovered, your branding influences everything you do, including:


·         Product Naming

·         Packaging

·         Positioning

·         Pricing

·         Penetration


Point is, you need to make sure that all your communications reflect your brand. And if you’re outsourcing some of your day-to-day business activities, then you need to make sure your freelancers and employees are all well aware of your brand and how this brand should be reflected.


For example,


·         Copywriters need to thoroughly understand your branding, including your unique selling position, in order to position and sell your products.


·         Customer service representatives must be taught how to reflect your brand in their communications with prospects and customers.


·         Content writers like ghostwriters must understand your brand and positioning so that they can reflect them in the writing.


Bottom line, your brand and the feeling you wish to convey should be reflected in everything that both you and you freelancers do.

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