Situation: An information services company wants to launch a new product in an existing market. Their current brands are well-recognized with excellent reputations. Should they tie the brand to the company name or current products? How do you brand a new product?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Brand specifically for each product or market – just as consumer product companies brand the same product with unique names for each consumer or commercial market.
- A brand name is not the company’s identity – Apple as a company has created separate brand identities for computers, iTunes, iPods and serves multiple markets.
- Attend conventions and survey the target market and current providers. Network to meet people and ask questions about what is important to them and to their buying process.
- Think about the marketing funnel. The first element is awareness.
- What are the company and its current brands now known for?
- Build a brand with value that leverages the reputation and expertise currently valued by customers.
- Define the current and planned market segments and tie branding to them.
- Who are they?
- How do they do it?
- How will the new product fit?
- Look at ROI for each market and create a strategy for the optimum combination of speed and profitability of market entry.
- Tying meaning to a name can be a mistake. When one CEO named her company and service around a specific capacity, she limited the way that it was perceived. She is now considering a complete rebranding to open new markets.
- Hire expert consultants with experience in developing brands. While this is an investment at the outset, these individuals are better, cheaper, and faster than doing this yourself.
- Monitor the consultants to assure that they are spending the company’s resources wisely and addressing the company’s needs.
- Hire someone with a network to gather the data necessary to support the branding exercise, a project manager. Use more expensive resources to plan and manage the exercise, and less expensive resources to gather the data.