Branding is an important step in getting your product to market. A strong image will not only support your product, it will bring your vision to life. A product is nothing without a vision, and a vision should be explained through a story.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Simon Sinek (1) shared a talk about the power of WHY. It decoded and unlocked an explanation of the importance of storytelling and the emotional aspect of consumers and how/why they decide to buy a product. It was told in a form that can be understood by anyone, whether an entrepreneur, marketing agency consumer or. Yet, we have to explain it on a daily basis.
We make decisions through emotions. FACT. With numerous products so easily accessible at our fingertips, we can buy anything and everything. But we don’t just buy a product, we buy the story attached to that product, whether we realize it or not. As Simon Sinek says, it’s stapled in biology.
Early adopters buy what they BELIEVE IN and feel comfortable doing so.
So, why did you start your business? Why do you want to start a business? Do you have something to say? Do you believe in something and have a product that could benefit others who have the same beliefs?
You need a purpose, because without a purpose, you are without a story and without a story you are going to run out of things to say. A great product can speak to your consumer, but for how long? How long until someone comes along and improves on your product?
Competitors will take your concept and improve on it. So if your product alone is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), you have already lost, even if you were the first on the market to create this concept. Time on a product can be limited, but if your storytelling is strong and consumers believe what you believe, you can create multiple products down the line and retain your market share, while growing your company.
From the offset, branding is crucial. It’s your soul. This is how you visually tell your story to both your current and potential consumers.
Dacia stands out for its unconventional spirit in the automotive world. The company took a different route when sharing their story with the world. They approached a consumer with an outgoing personality who doesn’t need to really associate themselves with the product itself. So they shared a vision with an outdoor spirit, equipping their consumer with the necessary tools, rather than just selling a car. They sold a story. It just so happens that the product is evolving rapidly, but the story remains.
Branding is not just an identity, but a visual language you use to communicate your story and product to the consumer. It’s used to separate you and your product in potentially saturated environments, telling a unique story or solving a problem.
Here’s the problem, many companies go to market with their branded product in hand, thinking the job is done. You have your logo, you have your website and typical social media outlets. You’re all set, right? Unfortunately not. When a voice stops speaking it is no longer heard. That’s why branding needs to be looked upon as a never ending story. Sounds like a lot of work? Well it is.
For Aqualines, we approached the product with a vision for the future. We started the project with the objective of creating an experience. This experience had multiple consumer groups, so we created a branding system to adapt to the potential market, but not limiting the identity to a small minority.
One of the key pieces of your branding will be your corporate identity, your logo. One mis-conception we often come across with people is they feel like the logo should tell the story. This is understandable to a certain extent, but is nearly impossible to explain either your concept or story through one individual mark. This is why it’s important to understand that your logo is used in a way to clearly IDENTIFY your company and help stand out from your competitors, but it is NOT used to explain your story.
Branding is a constant visual language that must live and breath on a daily basis. Sure, you will be equipped to go to market with guidelines to use this language, a logo, website, marketing material etc. But you must fully understand that the strength in your branding is the voice that it has been given from the offset. Branding will act as the spokesperson, communicating your story to the market and individualizing your product.
Yes, you are technically selling a product. Yes, your consumer needs to understand the functionality of your product. These are always important points. However, you will not be alone in your commercial environment. There will be others, selling very similar products to yours. But there is something very important to remember. They can not sell your story. That is yours for keeps. That is how you will speak to your early adopters, through emotion. So, sell your story and back it up with an exceptional product.
Branding not only gives your concept a voice, but it adds value. Campaigns come and go, but the value of your branding remains. With that being said, the importance of strategic branding is a must, for you will add constant life and visibility to your products. We worked with DAB motors to help bring their vision to life with a branding system that reflected the values of the company. This helped establish value through visual storytelling, creating an environment that reflected the forward thinking vision of the brand.
(1) Simon Sinek “Start With Why” – A great book for inspiration.
Photo credits : 1/ Dacia 2/ Outercraft x Aqualines 3/ Outercraft x DAB Motors