We\u2019re gonna ask you to do something a little different. Take a beat to think about the products in your bathroom. No, seriously. Envision your face wash, toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo. Consider the packaging\u2014how the colors, logos, package shapes, and even typeface all worked together to encourage you to pick that product off the shelves instead of its dozens (or even hundreds) of competitors. Now take that awareness and expand it. Bathroom. Bedroom. Kitchen. Living room. We are surrounded by product branding\u2014from the kibble we feed our pets to the clothes we wear out the door every day.\u00a0 When done well, product branding goes beyond getting items noticed on a shelf. It appeals to your audiences on an emotional and intellectual level, supports your overall brand identity, and transforms casual buyers into loyal brand evangelists.\u00a0 Defining product branding If you take it at face value, product branding is a pretty simple concept. It involves slapping design elements of your brand onto your product\u2019s packaging. Or even on the product itself. Those design elements include your brand\u2019s name, logo, taglines, and color palettes. Think Nike\u2019s globally-recognized Just Do It and that iconic swoosh mark.\u00a0\u00a0 But when you dig a bit, product branding goes well beyond colors and logos. It\u2019s a cohesive way of telling your brand\u2019s story When done right, it\u2019s a whole lot of strategy, and testing (and just a little bit of magic).\u00a0 Why bother with product branding?\u00a0 If you\u2019ve got the best in the market, you shouldn\u2019t have to worry about branding, right? Your product is so great it practically sells itself! Unfortunately, having a quality product just doesn\u2019t cut it in today\u2019s market. Whether they\u2019re shopping online or in the store, today\u2019s consumers have more options than ever before. It doesn\u2019t matter if you\u2019re selling granola or lawn mowers: without a story, you don\u2019t have a loyal audience.\u00a0 At its core, product branding gives your items their marketplace identity. And, according to Shopify, it\u2019s one way you can communicate with your customers before they ever spend a dollar on you. \u201cBranding is heavily influenced by the expectations you set in consumers through components of your products,\u201d they write. In other words, if you truly believe that you sell the World\u2019s Greatest Back Scratcher, how you brand that product plays a vital role in setting customers\u2019 expectations around its performance.\u00a0 How to get your product branding on point If that all sounds a little complicated, don\u2019t worry. It\u2019s complicated for everyone. Plus, in a market that\u2019s constantly adapting to the world around it (hello, COVID-19), the list of considerations just keeps growing. Luckily, there are some evergreen strategies for product branding to help guide your decision making even during uncertain, unprecedented times.\u00a0 Know your brand\u2019s identity Your product\u2019s branding doesn\u2019t just communicate its ingredients or how to use it. It communicates your brand\u2019s entire identity\u2014from the founding story to your commitments, values, and purpose. As you start your product branding journey, you might want to ask yourself:\u00a0 \tWhy does our company exist?\u00a0 \tWhat do we stand for?\u00a0 \tWhat problem does our company\/product solve for our customers?\u00a0 \tWhy those customers and not anybody else?\u00a0 The more specific you can get in defining your identity markers (and your customers\u2019) the better off you\u2019ll be. For example, \u201cWe sell computers to Millennials\u201d isn\u2019t going to cut it. Lots of people can do that. Instead, try something like, \u201cWe sell competitively priced, lightweight laptops to support Millennials\u2019 with an on-the-go lifestyle, because we believe in helping people work or play wherever they go.\u201d Now, see if you can hone that even further. It may sound counterintuitive, but the more niche your audience the more likely you are to make sales.\u00a0 Be wary of glitches in your messaging Imagine you\u2019ve built an athletic shoe empire from the ground up. You\u2019ve worked with athletes, scientists, and designers to ensure it supports performance. And you know sustainability is important to your consumers, so you\u2019ve built this shoe from recyclable materials. But then you ship these shoes across the country for distribution, and each mile ratchets up your carbon footprint. Or you package them in beautiful, non-recyclable boxes.\u00a0 When it comes to consistent product branding, things have to jive every single step of the way. Because today\u2019s consumers are savvier (and expect more) than ever before. So, if your brand prides itself on being clean, modern, and sophisticated, make sure those values are reflected in everything from your product\u2019s design to the packaging it ships in.\u00a0 Know what makes your product different and run with it Everyone wants to believe their product is The GreatestTM. But what does it truly mean to be \u201cgreat\u201d? Or \u201chigh quality\u201d? Instead of relying on blanket statements about quality\u2014or using buzzwords like innovative and cutting edge\u2014the strongest brands really dig into their differentiators.\u00a0 As Wix notes, your differentiators are \u201cthe excuse you give to a browsing shopper to select your product over the other guy\u2019s, whether due to some advanced feature you offer, or the message you\u2019re selling along with the physical item.\u201d\u00a0 Keep it consistent\u00a0 Whether you\u2019re launching your first product or your hundredth, consistency is key. Why? Well, consistent product branding tells consumers that your new product is part of your brand\u2019s family. This can be especially helpful if you\u2019ve already done the legwork to establish brand trust and have a loyal customer base.\u00a0 Imagine, for example, that you\u2019re a granola maker. Your customers love that you use organic, whole food ingredients. Your brand\u2019s wholesomeness is also reflected in your kraft packaging and sustainable processing. And you\u2019ve decided to launch a new cereal bar. If, suddenly, that cereal bar is a highly-processed sugar bomb in a plastic wrapper, it won\u2019t benefit from the reputation and goodwill you\u2019ve spent years building. In fact, it might damage your brand\u2019s reputation and have folks looking elsewhere for their granola needs.\u00a0 Of course, there\u2019s an exception to every rule There are two familiar bottles in the cleaning supplies section of just about every store: Joy dish soap and Dawn dish soap. One evokes sparkling white dishes and a clean lemon scent. The other conjures images of fluffy ducklings fresh from their oil-removal baths. Both are owned by Procter and Gamble, but their branding is radically different. Why? According to Canto, in this case, \u201cthe way each product is branded has given customers a better method to consider the unique benefits and function of each.\u201d In other words, the branding reflects each product\u2019s individuals benefits, instead of the company\u2019s. And it does so because that allows P&G to target multiple niche audiences. In instances like this, it\u2019s beneficial to think about the unique audiences for each of your products. Are they drastically different? If yes, how so? And how do your different products meet their different needs?\u00a0 Elements of digital product branding As a digital marketing agency, we\u2019d be remiss if we didn\u2019t talk about the digital aspect of product branding. Because, especially in the post-COVID world, how your product looks online is at least as important as how it sits on a shelf. In fact, it might be more important. According to Forbes, COVID-19 has massively accelerated e-commerce growth, which is up 77% from last year. Total online spending in May hit $82.5 billion, making digital product branding priceless.\u00a0 Things to consider in your digital product branding include:\u00a0 \tWebsite messaging \tConsistent logo use \tProfessional photography (especially if you\u2019re selling something that gets eaten or worn) \tSocial media presence Essentially, all of the little ways your audience can connect with your products (and brand) through the hundreds of different available channels.\u00a0 Good product branding tells your story It gets beyond using the right color palette and splashing your brand\u2019s tagline across the packaging. It\u2019s an opportunity to tell your brand\u2019s (and product\u2019s) story. And at Savy, we\u2019ve been in the business of telling stories (and telling them well) since 2007. Whether you need help launching a new brand, a new line, or a new product, we\u2019ve got a data- and experience-driven strategy to help you capitalize on the benefits of strong product branding. Get in touch to put us to work.