When people walk through a retail store or browse an e-Commerce site, they're not judging products completely on features and performance metrics. A number of things influence their decision for a product, and it's not always what you would think. People will often favor a product that suits their personal style, comes in their favorite color, or represents their personal philosophy over one with a higher 'star' rating or more prolific advertising. Because of this, the way you build and present your brand has a huge impact on how potential customers will respond to it. People choose brands they can relate to because the product will be theirs, in their home or on their computers, therefore you want your brand to be relatable to your target audience.
Know Your Audience
Before deciding on how to brand your product, know who you are targeting and the message you want to convey to them. If you sell cosmetics, for example, a brand design focused around children snowboarding doesn't make any sense. However, that brand design would be perfect for a snowboarding company, or even one that sells goggles, helmets, or snow gloves instead. The cosmetics company would be better served with a brand design featuring an elegant ballroom setting, targeting women who want to feel glamorous.
Appeal to Personality
Why do ice cream brands include their flavor selection count in their logos and slogans? Because people love to choose and have favorites. Brands that are known for the 'just for you' style become more popular with people who value their personalities highly. Teenagers and young adults especially are known for wanting everything in their favorite colors and maintaining a personal style that is very valuable to them. These demographics will often favor a brand that allows them to personalize items over those that offer a reliable but boring selection.
Appeal to Lifestyle
When people buy things, they are adding to their existing lifestyle or some ideal lifestyle they are aiming for. What lifestyles can your product support? If you sell thermoses, for instance, you might make your logo a picnic basket on a checkered cloth to encourage the image of a family outing. With a minor change: a backpack on a checkered cloth you suggest that your product is for rugged outdoor activity instead and appeal to a different audience entirely. If your thermoses have cartoon characters on them, you're back to family but pitching to parents of small children, but if the thermos is black and features a cartoon from the 80s, you're pitching to the retro kids and hipsters.
Appeal to Philosophies
People who have a cause are often adamant about supporting it with every action and purchase, so aligning your brand with a popular cause is a great way to tap into a pool of enthusiastic and loyal customers. Green companies, for instance, that openly support the environment and put effort into environmentally friendly business procedures (from manufacturing to delivery) will find themselves in a special niche industry with environmentally concerned customers and B2B partners that work together to achieve their goals. Companies that shape their brand around supporting animals, on the other hand, will find animal-friendly customers in every standard demographic. Who doesn't want to save a puppy?
Customers will choose the brand they feel understands them and their needs, so careful and considerate branding is important in guiding them to the right choices. Design your brand with customers in mind, so they'll know you understand them and will cater to their needs and desires. Allow them to customize, help them imagine their ideal lifestyle, and appeal to their personal philosophies and they will choose your brand without even thinking about it.
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