Written by Richard Horwell, Brand Relations
However tasty your product you need to focus on the fact that 90% of a first-time purchase is based on the branding; it’s why a consumer will pick your product over their regular choice or over your competition.
But don’t confuse design with branding. Branding is the message you want to give your target consumer – and that message should be ‘BUY ME’.
Let’s look at what is required to develop your brand and get your message across.
To get your branding right, you need to ask yourself and others some questions:
1/ Where will this product sell and what brands will sit alongside it? How will my product stand out?
2/ What is my brand message? For example, is it based on health, functionality, spoiling yourself or great taste?
3/ Will my consumer be able to read the messages on the packaging from a distance, without picking it up?
4/ Does my brand look premium enough for the selling price?
5/ Why should a consumer buy my brand instead of their regular choice?
Getting the answers to these questions is the first step to creating brilliant branding.
Include something consumers already know
If you are attempting to break new ground with an idea or base ingredient then you need to add something to the mix that the consumer knows.
For example, we have just developed a drink based on the Stinging Nettle called Emunity. To help consumers to try this we’ve added ingredients and flavours they recognise, like gooseberry, cucumber and wild strawberry.
The key is making the messaging easy to understand and include elements that consumers can grasp instantly.
It’s all about them
Many consumers want to try something different, but that doesn’t mean they have all day to stand around in-store or go online to research every product. They need to be drawn to a brand that relates to them.
So, make sure your message conveys this. Always focus on them, not you.
Point of Difference
In order to have any chance of success in today’s market you must have a point of difference. This should be very clear in your branding and messaging on the packaging.
Think about what makes your brand different. Make a list of these points and then pick the MOST important ones. Highlight these on the packaging. The less important ones still need to be on there, but they can go on areas the consumer will read once they pick the product up.
Minimalism has become a trend with many designs jumping on the bandwagon. However, be careful not to be too minimal. Find the right balance between doing too much or too little. You also don’t want to waffle; let your branding do the talking.
For example, FYX is a new collagen drink we’ve been working on. The recipe, branding and messaging has been designed to speak to sports people rather than beauty fans, so the messaging highlights the recovery and muscle repair benefits of collagen. This is delivered in a clean, no-fuss style. Minimalist, but also balanced – so the consumer can quickly understand what the drink is about.
A name that is relevant
Start by researching your chosen brand name and make sure it is RELEVANT to your product and your audience. Be clever with your brand name, find something that is simple but conveys your product’s message, not just a name that sounds cool to you and your family.
For example, we worked with Can’O Water, which is a brand that has reducing plastic waste at its heart. They chose a simple, ‘does what it says on the tin’ name – after all it is water in a can, so why beat about the bush? They were ahead of their time and agile enough to adapt to the demands of their target consumer; they now make their cans reusable with close caps.
Consumers want brands to be transparent and they want to understand the brand’s heritage and values. Is the product certified to be Vegan, Fairtrade or Organic? Which of these will resonate with your target audience? More recently consumers are looking for certifications like ‘B Corporation’, which commends businesses that give as much consideration to their social and environmental impact as they do to their financial returns.
Wanting to buy from companies with matching values is an opportunity for new, indie brands as established companies can’t adapt quickly.
Successful branding speaks directly to your target audience. It will educate them about your product and draws them in to make a purchase. With the right branding in place your food or drink product will be off to an excellent start.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Horwell is the owner of Brand Relations, a specialist food and drink marketing and branding company based in London. Over the last 13 years, Brand Relations has been behind the launch and development of over 100 brands in the UK. Richard has also built up and sold companies of his own in the Food and Beverage sector. He has over 30 years’ experience in marketing FMCG brands around the world, having lived and worked in the UK, USA, Australia and the Middle East.