Many business owners, especially the entrepreneurs think that they would invest on advertising and branding exercises, once the product has started rolling in the market. You will also come across some people who are not at all bothered about branding and advertising. Especially if you look at the small business sector, the owners are more concerned about developing the product and selling it in the market. Do they really bother about product branding?
Another interesting point to note is that, small business owners often look for a name or a certain kind of packaging or a certain color just because they love to see it. Sometimes the target market too falls in love with the story. However, in most of the cases, the target market fails to identify their “wants” with the product. The problem is that they are pulling the wrong end of the thread. If you need a sustainable and profitable business, you must recognize what your target market needs or wants to hear from you. They are list bothered about what you think. You must remember that they do not want to buy your product – they want a solution to their problem and they want it as they want.
If you are the only producer in your business category, you can plan your business strategy, as you want. However, if you are investing on an already established sector, you cannot wait for your product to get popular all by its own. You must develop a unique selling proposition to make the target market understand why they should invest in your product or service. In addition, in such situations, the ideal position is to start from the very beginning.
If you ask a seasoned branding expert about the most critical step of brand positioning, he or she would point towards the initial days of product development. Especially as almost every day a new product is launched for your target market, it is very tough to grab their attention in the initial days. Some people would say that there had been no new addition in their product category for last few months and thus the situation would be easier for them. You are making a great mistake here. Your target market also needs to buy other products from other categories for regular life. In the initial days, you must fight with everyone, especially to inform your target market that you belong to a specific category and you can solve one of his or her problems. There is no shortcut to this problem.
Now, many times, branding experts are assigned to re-launch a already established product in the same market segment. This happens when the producer did not pay enough attention to the branding of the product in the initial days of product development. There are both positive and negative sides to this problem. The positive side is that people already know about the product and you may have enough information to identify why the product is not doing as expected. At the same time you are bound to face some unique problems too. For example, if the product is not doing well, there are high chances that the target market has developed a negative impression about the product. It has developed a negative brand. Here you are assigned with another burden – you must erase the negative feelings about the product from your target market’s psyche before re-launching the old product.
So, what is the right time to develop a brand or a branding strategy?