Branding your business requires time, effort, and strategic thinking. Your brand is not simply a logo or product. Your brand is made up of what your customers think about your business, and the ways in which you provide value to your customers. When executing your marketing strategy, not only do you have to think about where to place your brand but also what type of message you want to deliver.
There is really only one consumer experience. When a young boy chows down on fried chicken at a local restaurant, all the elements of “branding” occur at once. There’s the ambiance of the restaurant, the quality of the food, the service and the environment – everything works in tandem to deliver the consumer experience. So the question is: when branding your business, which aspect of the consumer experience do you want to emphasize? This depends on how your business brand is positioned.
Defining CPG & Retail Businesses
Before we jump into the actual branding portion of this post, let’s have a quick overview of your business and how it is defined. As you know, CPG/Retail business brand fulfills two niches. Consumer Packaged Goods, or “CPG,” are products that are used by the end consumer on a regular basis. Retail implies the process of selling directly to the consumer. These two aspects can be categorized as follows:
- CPG – A business segment of the value chain that produces a consumer product (i.e. a wholesaler for toy figures)
- Retail – A business that sells products directly to the end consumer (i.e. a toy store)
- CPG/Retail – Business that produces consumer products for wholesale as well as the end consumer (i.e. a producer and supplier of a specific brand of toys)
Why is this distinction important? Your branding emphasis changes depending on how you want to market your product. Are you marketing a service? A product? Or perhaps the entire consumer experience?
The 3 most popular types of brand are Service brands, Retail brands, and Product brands.
- Service Brands – The branding emphasis is on the service surrounding the consumer experience. There is a focus on the brand’s history, knowledge, culture and authority. A sample tagline for a service brand would be “Serving happy customers since 1989.”
- Retail Brands – The branding emphasis is on the product as well as the consumer experience. Branding for a retail brand could cover convenience and ambiance as well as product quality and differentiation. A sample tagline for a retail brand would be “Serving unique goods that will satisfy you, every time.”
- Product Brands -The branding emphasis lies mostly on the product itself and its ability to resonate with its users. The branding decisions here would be to push the absolute value of a product feature (“better quality” or “cheaper price”) or the perception of the importance of a product feature (“quality over quantity” or “safety comes first”).
As you can see, retail brands need to emphasize both the product as well as the consumer experience to have an integrated, consistent message. There is often too much emphasis on the product, when an emphasis on the entire consumer experience may have a greater effect on your advertising. Think of your business first – what makes you unique and how does this resonate with your core audience? As a CPG/Retail business, your branding emphasis lies on the product as well as consumer experience – the link that connects the two aspects lie in your brand keywords.
You want to own the keywords that bring strength to your brand. Use a short phrase that combines an aspect of your product as well as the consumer experience. Tim Horton’s tagline “Always Fresh” can apply to both their coffee as well as their service. Unlike a product brand, Tim Hortons does not center their marketing solely around the quality of their coffee. Unlike a service brand, Tim Hortons does not center their marketing solely around the speed of delivery or convenience of their stores. As a CPG/Retail brand, Tim Hortons emphasizes the entire coffee experience and boils it down to a single phrase: Always Fresh.
Your first step to branding is to identify the aspects of your business that make you unique. Then, your second step is to create a phrase or statement that simplifies your philosophy into a statement that can support both CPG and Retail elements. Your marketing strategy is the third step in this process, outlining the specific goals that allow you to maximize your brand value. If you’re a CPG company that has a strong, unique product: emphasize your product features. If you’re a retail business, you could emphasize the consumer experience or your quality service.
Want to know how, specifically, to brand your CPG/Retail business? We’ll be releasing a Green Paper later this month to supply you with a brand checklist of all the elements you need to grow your business! Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when this Green Paper goes live.
WAIT WHAT? A Green Paper? Yes, White Papers are so 1999, green is the new white! This document will outline the specific best practices used in branding, as well as high-level strategic thoughts that will allow you to identify branding issue(s) and innovate your business to the next level. Contact us at our marketing agency in downtown Vancouver, or subscribe to our newsletter for more details!