For all the same reasons your company needs a brand, your product needs one too. We talked about 5 reasons your brand matters, and still applies if it’s about a product. While your product isn’t your company, it’s something that the public sees. Does it need to be a huge thing? No, but it should have an identity that can be separated from your company for any reason. By creating a brand for the product, it provides opportunities and options that would not be available otherwise. The brand can even be a play off the company branding. Marketing, testing new products, getting into new industries, or even going after a different demographic with the same product all become easier. So does selling the product or killing it to protect your core brand. Companies use product branding everywhere to protect and better sell each product they have.
You’ve seen product branding all over the place and probably haven’t really noticed what it is. Many large grocery stores have different product line brands. They have an organic line, meats, every day, cheap, etc. Each one has its own design that is separate from the grocery story itself. This applies to many other companies as well, from consumer products to cars.
Creation of brand trust and recognition tied to the product line more than the company can be very good, especially when your product lines are for very separate groups of people. Putting focus on the product, not the company, is important as the product is what matters. A benefit of this is also protecting your core brand when experimenting with new products or lines. If a product fails terribly, you don’t want that failure to affect your core brand because nothing has changed there.
By using different brands, even for the same product, companies can more easily sell their products in different markets. Car manufacturers are a great example, selling the same vehicle under a different brand in each country. They also create a cheaper version for a lower cost brand. Volkswagen Group owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, and Volkswagen. You’ve probably never heard of Volkswagen Group, but each “product line” is its own brand. If you see an ad for any of the brands, you would never know that these are all owned by the same company. Johnson & Johnson is another company that owns many “product lines” or “brands” (around 88 last time I looked). Keeping them all separate makes marketing and business easier.
Branding your product also makes business management easier, especially when you begin to cross into very different markets, or highly regulated markets where one side might have very specific requirements, and the other does not. A current relatable topic is any company getting into the Cannabis industry. It can also be anywhere that you want a protective gap between product lines. Doing this is a smart move when trying to get into a new industry. It’s also smart for creating a new product line or testing out something new that doesn’t tie into your primary business. The extent of the separation ranges from same product line, different product and name, to entirely separate business.
The brand for your product doesn’t have to be very in depth. It could be just a logo that gives it an identity of its own and is easily recognizable by the people who love that product. It’s common to have 3 layers of branding – company – product line – individual product. It could be full brand for the company, then logo, colors, & fonts for the product line, and just a logo for the individual products. Or more, of course.