Product branding redefined.
Branding. It’s the talk of the town. What is it? According to this Bloomberg Businessweek report, branding is often confused with advertising or marketing design. Essentially, branding is the personality of your product or service.
But let me make it simpler. Branding is putting your product, idea, or self into a clamshell package and placing it on Aisle 11B, Shelf 2.
What we can learn from Costco.
Years ago, Costco introduced us to a new way of packaging. Clamshells.
Clamshells are those annoying plastic jails that house our purchases and are impossible to open, even with the best scissors in the house.
Annoying, yes. Genius? From a marketing standpoint, also yes.
Costco discovered that clamshell packaging served two purposes:
- Clamshell packaging makes everything look better, bigger, more substantive, more important, and easier to grab.
- Clamshell packaging made it more difficult for thieves to hide products in trench coats.
Ecological concerns aside, we can take a lesson from this packaging. Items in clamshell packages know exactly what they are and where they should be. Can we say that about our business product or service?
What we can learn from Target.
When a friend pointed me to Target’s gift registry for baby gift ideas, I was astounded at the list. But it wasn’t the bazillion items my friend had chosen that astounded me. It was the detail of the list. If I wanted to purchase a Nuk pacifier, I was directed to Aisle 46C, Shelf 1.
Target’s product placement is no accident. Someone at corporate earns big bucks deciding where to place each and every item in the store. Newborn socks near layettes. Sheets near comforters. Coffee filters near coffee makers. Toys near cleaning supplies. Much thought has been devoted to understanding consumers and their shopping habits.
Are we so sure of our product or service and its personality that we could place it in our market to that degree of detail? Do we know the aisle and shelf? If our customer looks for it there, will she be confused? Or will it make complete sense?
Branding = Clamshell Marketing
We aren’t in the packaging business. But we are in the business of defining ourselves in a way that is irresistible to our clients and customers. If we can understand packaging, perhaps we can understand ourselves. What is our unique selling proposition? Who are we exactly? Are we effectively communicating that personality?
Bizziwriter Nugget: If you wrapped yourself (or your product) in a clamshell package, what would you look like? Where would you hang? Who would you hope to attract?