Brand Appeal or Product Appeal – Which has the best chance of success?

Pinnacle golf balls packageEvery business of any size needs to decide whether to build their brand or their product’s brands. For example, I focus on building GrowMap’s brand. For small businesses, you do want to have a positive brand image, but you might want to focus on product quality rather than your company name.

This post discusses the pros and cons of building your brand appeal or your product appeal.

Product Appeal versus Brand Appeal

Promotional marketing covers a wide range of areas, but you could quite easily, if you wanted to, catalogue it in terms of two main approaches:

  1. The brand appeal of a promotional product.
  2. And the appeal of the actual product itself.

From a business point of view, which offers you more? Could one be more beneficial to your company than the other?

Nike logo

The Brand

Established companies and corporations the world over can survive comfortably on the back of their brand names alone. The popular food chain McDonalds only need launch a new burger to have half the country sample it at least once, and a bad film made by Warner Bros is far more likely to be watched than a good film by Joe Bloggs of Manchester.

Brand appeal carries a certain power that sucks consumers into buying brand clothing and gadgets for the sake of the label. This notion of buying brands to ‘be seen owning brands’ is so strongly instilled in the public mind that in some instances, people are likely to buy counterfeit, poor quality products instead of durable, quality items simply because of the label. For instance, sportswear items from a market stall with a fake Nike or Reebok logo are more likely to sell than an unknown and un-trusted brand.

Cathedral cheese package

The Product

By focusing all marketing efforts on the product itself, you demonstrate willing and this lets customers in on what you have to offer. Branding can often hinder business in some cases as it does away with care and consideration for the product.

Buyers of brand will often go in with blind bias, shunning anything new and original and viewing brands as trustworthy and safe. But people can often undervalue the power of an impartial product that can be singled out on its own merit.

One of the most desirable phenomena in marketing is the product
that can sell itself. When done right, product appeal can be a
powerful thing in marketing.

An unlikely product appeal success story comes in the form of Cathedral City cheddar. First launched in 2007, their brand of ‘mature, yet mellow’ cheese was featured in an array of ad campaigns and became an instant hit with consumers due to the quality of an old Cornish recipe.

And it’s still gaining popularity. In 2012, Cathedral City ranked as the 10th most popular food or drink in the UK, being considered more popular and trusted than Starbucks! Not bad for a modest cheese recipe.

By taking the right marketing approach, there’s no reason why a product of genuinely high quality can’t take its chances in the big bad branding world and (eventually) come out on top.

Branded promotional items are all well and good for established companies, but if your business is up and coming, turning your attentions to the product’s appeal is your best bet.

Consider putting your brand logo on products you and your sales team use every day such as these useful branded folders. Whenever you pull them out they are silently advertising for you.

You can also give these folders (and many other useful promotional products) to your best clients to keep your brand top of mind when it comes time for them to buy what you sell.

Small businesses should be taking advantage of opportunities to remind their customers to come back. Promotional products are the least expensive form of persistent advertising.

I keep a jar with pens in it as a fast way to get a phone number or website address to share with someone or when I need to speak with them.

A smart company who wanted bloggers to write about and recommend them would send out mouse pads, wrist wrests, pens – anything useful that a blogger would be likely to keep close at hand.

That is one of the first things I recommend to every ecommerce store I ever worked with around 2003 and I still recommend it today. Tuck a little gift into each order and watch your repeat sales grow.

Are you using your logo, brand and promotional products to increase your sales yet? You should! It really does work.

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Suzy Smith