How to future-proof your brand

We’ve been in branding and marketing for many years and seen a lot of trends come and go. The most successful branding projects are ones that consider the future, and not just the here and now.

So how can successful brands ensure their survival in the marketplace of tomorrow? We’ve spotted 5 success criteria for new products:

Launch a brand not a product

We all know what it’s like. You’ve come up with a killer product idea. You spend hours deliberating over what to call it. You hit on the perfect name. You jump head first into your launch plan (this is going to be huge!). And the product becomes the brand.

So how do you launch new products alongside the existing range?

Start with the brand instead. By truly understanding what makes your brand tick, you’ll give yourself a head start when it comes to developing new product ideas.

Be Well & Truly innovative

What makes your product different from all the rest? Is it the packaging? The ingredients? How it’s produced? Be clear on your USP then get the message out there and leave your customers in no doubt as to how your product is healthier, better quality, cooler… than the rest.

Awesome example: the GAMA Innovation Award for Positioning went to a delicious new granola from Be Natural. Rather than making claims about it being nutritious, Be Natural took a different approach. The nutty mix is designed to be eaten with coconut water – so they’ve cleverly managed to tap into the dairy-free craze and set the cereal apart from its competitors.

Build brand loyalty

Make sure you’re always credible and transparent in your claims. If you consistently exceed customer expectations you’ll have loyal customers forever. Then you can let them do the hard work by raving about your products to their friends. Loyal customers are your best advocates and most likely to try your new lines too, so keep them sweet!

Invest in research

You don’t need us to tell you that packaging is HUGELY important. Even in our ‘always-on’ digital world. There’s nothing quite like seeing a product on shelf, touching it and comparing it with your own eyes. So spend some time and money researching your customers’ buying habits and use those insights to create perfectly designed packaging.

And remember to test your product at every stage of development. Don’t rely on assumptions, they can be wrong (we know from experience!). We help our clients measure and test every element of product design and packing, then distil that information to get down to what’s really important.

Be true to your brand

It’s best to stay true to your brand values when you’re developing a new product. Making sure it fits with your brand essence from the start – rather than post-rationalising what you’ve done afterwards – can save you heaps of time and money (as well as your reputation). Anyone remember Crystal Pepsi? Exactly!

We’ve worked on lots of new product launches and developing a brand story is where we truly excel. Our clients find an objective perspective can really help. Launching a new product is so exciting it’s easy to take your eye off the ball and forget about your existing products and how they fit. We’re here to make sure brands don’t lose focus and give them the right support to ensure steady growth and development across the whole brand.

We hope these tips help you build a brand that’s around for years to come.

If you’re about to launch a new brand or product please let us know, we’re total brand geeks and would love to hear what you’re up to. Or drop us a line if you’re facing any challenges, we might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Laura Bent
[email protected]

After 16 years as a Senior Planner and Client Director at award-winning advertising agency Big Communications, Laura set up Well & Truly. Laura has a degree in Psychology and believes that solid brand strategy leads to better creative solutions.

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