Branding a new product implies differentiation. You want your product to stand out among the competition identified by its brand name.
This article will try to enumerate the challenges. The good news is that they are not insurmountable.
To do this, one must understand what has made a brand the market leader.
There are two factors that inspire the introduction of a new product into a market:-
The idea may not necessarily be original. A product already in existence for example is someone else idea, which is filling a particular need in the market. Over time, this product, with a registered brand name becomes famous, if it consistently meets customers’ expectations. This amounts to goodwill for which customers pay premium prices.
The owners now have an increased margin from which they can carry out promotions, and sponsor activities, which further promotes the brand name.
Brands may also cover services such as restaurants, supermarket chains and schools (educational services).
Many product brands try to maintain or improve on their ability to fulfill customer expectations thereby eliminating the need for a competing product in the market. They establish a brand department, which manages customer feedback and complaints.
Tasks required for a new brand name
A new product will have to compete with existing or well known brands which, in all probability have undergone the aforementioned processes.
The new producer must:-
Identify the strengths and faults of competing brands and hence design her own brand strategy.
Ensure high quality control standards to effect a consistent level of customer satisfaction in line with this strategy
Maintain a communication channel for customer feedback.
May try to learn from experience from the leading brand in the market..
Must enough time for customer acceptance to crystallize into increased sales and market share.
Must build on, or overcome country of origin goodwill.
Identifying the strengths and faults of competing brands.
There are two ways to do this:-
Buying or engaging the product for evaluation just to find out its weaknesses and strengths
Carrying out opinion sampling to see what customers like or dislike in the product..
With this knowledge in hand, you can design your product, its packaging and your campaign strategies. The package design and brand name should be registered as a trade mark, to prevent piracy
Capitalize on deficiencies of known brands. If no apparent deficiency, then your must undercut their prices if your product has the same good points, as their price structure will normally include a premium as a result of the acquired goodwill.
The pricing can only be determined after carrying out a cost planning exercise, which should include estimated cost of returns, when you offer money back guarantee or a new product warrantee, or other confidence building measures..
Also a you must carry out sampling to determine how much defecting or and new customers would be willing to pay for the product
See if you can incorporate a unique design peculiar to the brand name and a unique slogan.
The importance of quality control in the production and delivery of services to a brand cannot be overemphasized. A slip in quality may distort the brand image. This may be quite expensive to rectify.
Costumer feedback is fundamental to a business striving to develop a strong brand name. Glitches will make customers abandon a product, without the business realizing why. A small business should be flexible enough to effect changes in response to customer feedback.
Experience. It is usually said that experience is the best teacher. A number of pitfalls a business must avoid while striving to create a strong brand image may not be apparent, unless such is learnt from experience. A way this can be avoided will be the recruitment of staff with considerable experience in the industry, or in brand marketing. Some small businesses go to the extent of organizing fake recruitment exercises just to glean as much information as possible from candidates during interviews. This practice should be avoided as many qualified candidates may stay off genuine recruitment exercises when the need eventually arises.
When all has been done, a business must wait until the measures taken crystallize into increased sale and market share. This waiting time can be shortened however with advertisements and promotional campaigns, if there is a budget for it.
A brand may be enhanced or hurt by its country of origin. Customers may rate a product from a country known for its enforcement of quality standards higher than one from another country known for substandard products. Brands produced from the latter may be expected to attract a discount when competing with goods from the former set of countries, posing a hurdle in brand recognition.