Branding is one of the many important elements to a successful marketing strategy. If you own a business, you must focus on branding regardless of what type of product or service you are offering. With so many different companies in your industry labeled as your direct competitors, you need to find a way to brand your company and your products so that you can stand out and communicate value to consumers.
With the growing popularity of online shopping, it has never been easier for consumers to find what they are looking for at an affordable price. Because of this, companies are spending a lot more time branding so that they can show consumers what unique value they can offer them.
How Do Commodity Markets Differ From Other Markets?
While companies have known about the importance of developing a strong brand for years, branding has never been as important as it is today. Without branding, a company will not have a personality or be able to communicate what makes their products unique. But not all marketing strategies and branding strategies are the same. In commodity markets, companies struggle with the notion of slashing their prices just to compete with other companies who are putting downward pressure on pricing. Rather than price slashing, companies who are pushing commodity products need to learn how to brand these products so that they can turn their commodity product into a product that consumers stay loyal to.
Brands Help Your Products Long-term
Slashing your prices or planning a national advertising campaign will only help you promote your product and sell that product short-term. When you are pushing a commodity product, you need to focus on what is going to sell the product long-term. One of the best ways to ensure that commodity products have long-term longevity is to create a strong brand for the product and the company offering the product.
When consumers recognize your brand and associate your brand with high-quality and a good value, they are much more likely to choose your product over others even if it is a commodity. In the world of marketing, branding has become one of the key components to campaign success. Without branding, consumers have no way of distinguishing between your logo and the logo of one of your industry competitors.
Understanding What a Commodity is and What Makes it Different From Other Consumer Products
The characteristics of a commodity product are what makes branding so important. Commodity products are products that offer no real perceived differences from what a competitor is offering. These undifferentiated products are highly sought after and used on a very regular basis by consumers. Because of this, a competitive price is extremely important. Consumers can easily choose a competitor’s product over yours if there is a significant price difference. While producers need to compete when it comes to pricing, they also need to compete with a brand that communicates value and has a personality. Without branding, customers will not adopt the product as their primary brand of choice.
How Can You Brand Your Commodity Product
You might know the ins and outs of legal advertising and legal marketing, but branding a commodity product is a unique process. If you have been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to brand a commodity product, it is time to get creative and develop a sales proposition and a branding identity. Here are some tips on how you can brainstorm how your commodity product offers unique benefits and how you can differentiate the product so that consumers want to buy it.
* Understand How Consumers Perceive Your Product
You need to know how the people you plan on marketing to perceive your brand before you can start the branding process. This is why conducting an audit of product perceptions is the first step to branding. You should find out why current loyal consumers pick your product, how your competitors are currently positioned in the market, and what do the competitors value? When you do the audit, you are doing research to paint a picture of your market share, your product’s reputation, and what values the competitors brands are like so that you can go a different route.
* Defining What Differentiates You
While commodity products are very similar, there are different characteristics that will differentiate your product from the rest. All brands need to be unique. You might want to focus on new features of your product, offering the product in a bundle, communicating your guarantee, the reliability of the product, or how you can deliver the goods faster. Determine what sets you apart, define the difference, and you can start building the brand.
* Eliminating Objections
After you have a compelling value to communicate, you need to focus on the reasons why customers are not buying your product. Uncover some of the complaints consumers have about your product and find a way to eliminate the reason through your branding efforts. If it is poor customer service, work to improve processes at your call centers. If the problem is inconvenience, work towards offering more payment options.
* Your Image
Your brand image needs to have personality. Once you have a distinctive value that you can focus on, you need an image that ties into this value. Your image is a combination of words, graphics, and other elements that will evoke emotion. You need a logo, the right coloring, a message, and to ensure that the brand image is recognizable.
After you brand your commodity products, it is time to market your brand. If you have a strong brand, the marketing will speak for itself. Make sure to take time to integrate your brand into all of the marketing strategies and you can turn your brand into the brand of choice.
Written by Pete Wise, the SEO Manager at Network Affiliates; an ad agency for lawyers and doctors since the dawn of the internet. Their team strives to be the legal marketing agency. Check us out on Twitter: @Netaff