All those who consider themselves an entrepreneur should know that a product is not a brand. Most of the companies start out by launching products, and that is their biggest mistake, they should have launched a brand. You must realize that brand matters when it comes to consumer choices.
When some brand has created a perception of trust, quality, and consistency, people are ready to pay more. Some of the leading brands are not just services or products; they cause the emotions and memories associated with quality. And when consumers trust a brand they become loyal, and by becoming loyal, they start buying more.
The problem with the companies that launch just a product is that someone eventually realizes that their product can be very quickly replaced with a cheaper-better-faster version.
That is what happened with the POV video camera industry. GoPro and Contour launched their companies in 2004. But Contour launched a product, fantastic product, and GoPro launched a brand that has defined that category now. First POV camera was launched by Contour for action sports, but that was just launching a product. On the other hand, GoPro launched an aspiration for athletes to “Go Pro” and capture their spotlight moment with the brand. The GoPro brand then became an emotion athletes sought after and aspired to feel. And that is exactly why you should launch a brand not product. Here are some explanations and reasons why starting the brand is better than launching a product:
- Brands provide peace of mind.
It is human nature to seek safety and avoid risk; if they have a consistently positive experience with one brand they will consider that brand to be trustworthy, which will give them peace of mind when buying.
- Brands create difference and save decision-making time.
When you walk into a grocery store on every isle, there are more products than anyone can reasonably consider purchasing. The branding is what allows us to pick certain peanut brand over some generic product. The branding is what defines what makes the product more desirable and different from other products.
- Brands add value
It is well known that people are ready to pay more for a branded products than for other generic ones. That is probably because of the combination of the look, the feel, the quality and the brand’s stature in society. Companies that produce successfully branded products will make more money because the product commands premium prices.
- Brands express who we are.
Brands that we use make a statement about who we want to be and who we are. People can attach themselves emotionally to the brands they use because they become part of themselves. Nice example how brands can reflect the personalities and self-perceptions of their users is Apple’s campaign “I’m a PC / I’m a Mac.”
- Brands give consumers a reason to share.
When we form a nice opinion on something, we like to share it with others. That applies to everything, a good move, good meal, good book, etc. That can also be applied to a brand; we become brand advocates when we share positive brand experiences. Good brand gives its customers reasons to share the experience. And in today’s society, we get a lot of opportunities to spread our satisfaction with some brand.
Companies that launched only products will inevitably be replaced and will lose power. But brands will stay and continue to provide a sustainable value that can never be replaced.