You’ve got a great product. Now you just need the right label to make it sell. Or do you? Product branding is as much about your business plan as it is about what’s in the box, or on the label.

Here’s a brief overview of what really needs to go into your product (other than the stuff in the bottle!)

Brand architecture

Do you understand where your product fits with the rest of your product line? If it’s a natural fit then, of course, you’ll leverage off those existing products and follow a name through. However, if it’s a new product line, or if it’s your first product does it need a new name? Think about the long-term goals of your business and whether you see your business producing more products. Are you then changing the nature of your business? Or, are you hoping another company may swoop in and buy the rights? In that case, a new name might be in order? Or is manufacturing your core business and a range of products would be a natural business fit.

How do people buy your product?

Some products need to be seen to be believed. For example, Tupperware’s business model is tied directly to home parties where you get to see the product in action. Infomercials, another type of business and sales model in one, where the potential customer gets to really see or try the product before they buy. Or are your sales successful through a strong word of mouth campaign or attaching your product to an existing product line?

What does the consumer need to know first?

Some product manufacturers get so excited about the multitude of benefits of their product, that they try to say all the benefits in one go. Take a step back and think about the information hierarchy that could lead the customer to want to know more, in a clear educational pathway. Then think, are the most important points of difference in the name, tagline or advertising catch phrase? What is the consumer looking for - really? It’s said that the original cellphones only added the text (SMS) ability as a last minute ‘just because we can’ feature, not thinking that the consumer would ever use it. After all, a phone is for talking to people isn’t it? Just because you think the feature is important (or not), find out what your consumer really thinks.

What will the product price be?

Many new manufacturers fall into one of two traps. They either sell their product too cheaply in order to just ‘get it out there’ or, they price their product too high without consideration for how the product is presented (an ugly product package with an expensive price tag). If your price point is dictated by the cost to manufacture (including wages and profit!), but the market won’t pay that much for it, then you’ve got more to worry about than designing a pretty label. If you’ve properly positioned your product then you should be able to set your own price point.

Who will buy your product, and where does it fit in the market?

Though I’ve left this one to last, it’s one consideration you shouldn’t overlook. Before you talk about what your consumer really wants, think about who that consumer is, and who it isn’t. I can pay anything from $1 to $10,000 for a smartphone case(really!) It’s about what I want that case to do - Looking pretty; Being compact; Being robust; Lasting more than 12 months; Is it ‘the’ branded case to own - which is important. It’s hard to meet every one of these needs with one item. Knowing where your product fits, and within which market, is essential to successfully building a product brand.

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Amanda van Kuppevelt

Owner and founder of Delineate who's mad keen about client successes