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Thought Leadership

Why Your Brand is More Than A Product

Brand marketing, like this image from a campaign for a textiles brand, is more than just the product.

When consumers think of their favorite brands, many are likely to zero in on the product or services they receive, but the truth is that there are many components that go into making up a brand’s identity. In fact, the entire customer journey is enveloped in branding, but when it’s cohesive and doing what it’s supposed to, it isn’t given much thought. But if a brand suddenly changes any one of those elements, such as Instagram updating its logo or if Louboutin was suddenly packaging its luxury shoes in trash bags, their customers most definitely notice. 

The Expereince A Customer Has Across Impacts A Brands Perceived Value

So what really is a brand? Is it the packaged goods one receives, the logo that identifies it, the organization that creates it, or the personality that sells it? According to the Aaker model of brand identity, it’s all of the above. Aaker recognizes that a brand is much more than just its offerings, and it separates brand identities into these four categories. It goes on to explain that brand equity is built by developing awareness, strengthening perceived quality, creating positive associations, and inspiring loyalty. All of which a company can do by investing equally in the above elements that make up their brand.

Focusing on all four also ensures that branding remains cohesive throughout the entire customer experience, from pre-purchase to post. Brands who solely focus on their products are robbing themselves of invaluable ways to connect to their customers through their organization’s mission and values. This is a huge loss considering the majority of today’s consumers opt for brands whose values align with their own. Additionally, a company could have the best product on the market, but if they’re not investing in marketing and advertising, no one is going to know how great it is. Or if they’re not investing in their customer support team, they’re going to receive negative reviews from unhappy customers later on, which will impact their reputation and brand equity. 

Brands That Invest In Post Purchase Have Better Results

Conversely, companies that understand that the product is only a portion of that process and invest in all four areas are likely to find the most success. Apple is a great example. They not only market their products, but their organization as well, touting the lifestyle that comes with being an Apple user. Their branding then continues through purchase with a white glove styled service that no other cell phone or computer brand offers and then again through post-purchase with in-store customer support. 

Ultimately, creating a full brand experience also puts less pressure on your product, because product marketing relies fully on finding a niche in the market and on completely differentiating yourself from anything else available in the space. Whereas a product with an established brand behind it, can use the value of its name rather than depending solely on the product itself. This is why luxury brands can stamp their branding on a t-shirt and the price skyrockets. Customers aren’t just paying for the cotton tee, they’re paying for their logo and the bigger idea behind it.

If your company is looking to create cohesive branding across the four quadrants that make up your entire customer journey, contact Unconquered for a consultation.