No, I am not rushing the holiday season. I am talking about products and how they can represent your brand, in the continuing series on branding that started with this post on crafting your brand promise. It’s a series of 31 various ways of building your brand, finding authentic, unique ways to associate your company with your core capabilities, your company DNA.
Hence the gift package photo: do you create amazing products, and are products what define your brand? Even though many products are digital, they can still have the look and feel of opening a present and finding a “thing” of some kind that makes the recipient very happy.
I think immediately of Apple, and the “gift box” mentality of every new Apple product. They are packaged in the extreme. Their packaging is not functional, really, does not include many (or any) user instructions, and is way overdone and much more expensive than it needs to be. But when you buy a new iPhone or iPad or iPod or whatever they offer us next, it’s going to come in a very cool package that makes you feel that you’ve made a great choice. Or at least that’s how it works for me.
The current ad from Microsoft Surface RT points to its presumed superiority to the newest iPad. Siri acknowledges that she’s losing on features (according to Microsoft) and ends up saying, “Do you still think I’m pretty?”
Well, Apple afficiandos say “Yes, we still think you’re pretty and a whole lot more.”
So what kinds of products can define your brand? Products that you will think are pretty–and then some? Here are my newest examples. As a participant in the recent @salesshebang event, I was offered introductions to three new online products that are very relevant to my business. I’m happy to share them with you here.
One is Nimble, a fantastic CRM (customer relationship management) tool. If you are a small business leader, you need to check out this service. For a very low annual fee–and I mean VERY LOW–you can have a CRM that pretty much self-populates from all of your company’s and sales reps online accounts, plus allows you to create your own (Whale Hunters) sales process as a pipeline management tool. Follow @Jon_Ferrara on Twitter for daily info. Or go to the website and sign up for a free trial. When I am offered a substantive free introduction to a major product that can change my business, to me that’s a pretty box with a bow on top! Thanks Jon for that!
Another @SalesShebang sponsor was OneSource. They provided us with a one-hour intro to their service offerings plus a free trial. At The Whale Hunters, we spend a great deal of time helping our clients identify ideal clients that meet their Target Filter and then creating dossiers on each of these clients. OneSource has two products that are directly relevant to our needs and those of our clients, so we feel honored to get the gold and glittery package to try out! Again, products define the brand.
One more sponsor was Caffeinated Communications. They are an awesome marketing agency, very focused on growth, and offered each Sales Shebang participant a valuable piece of work in order to demonstrate their brand value and deliverables. They build their brand on product.
So,not every company can lead with product. BUT, if you are a product company, lead with that as your brand promise. Don’t undermine your product leadership!