Why You Should Launch a Brand, Not a Product

Why You Should Launch a Brand, Not a Product

Why You Should Launch a Brand, Not a Product. Consumers pay a premium for Morton because, over time, the brand has created a perception of quality, consistency and trust. Both Contour and GoPro launched their companies in 2004, and a new market category for POV cameras was born. However, one company launched an amazing product and the other had the foresight to launch a brand that now defines the category. It launched a product. The company launched a brand by laser-focusing their brand value on providing a single aspirational emotion of feeling like a “pro.” The GoPro brand first became an emotion athletes sought after and aspired to feel. If the brands they use consistently deliver a positive experience, consumers form an opinion that the brand is trustworthy, which gives them peace of mind when buying. Why do consumers pay higher prices for brands compared to unbranded or generic products? We all have opinions about the things we experience, and we like to share them with others. Over time, product patents expire, features hit diminishing returns and competitors move into the marketplace.

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Why You Should Launch a Brand, Not a Product

Contrary to what many entrepreneurs may think, a product is not a brand. Many companies just starting out launch products — a new innovation or new way replacing the old way, assuming there is an old way. Here is where they’ve gone wrong before they’ve even left the gates: They should have launched a brand.

Imagine that you’re at the supermarket, looking to buy some salt. Do you pick Morton, or a lower-priced store brand? After all, salt is salt. Right?

Wrong. When it comes to consumer choices, brands matter.

Consumers pay a premium for Morton because, over time, the brand has created a perception of quality, consistency and trust. Leading brands like Morton are more than just products or services — they evoke memories and emotions associated with quality. When consumers trust a brand, it makes them loyal, and when they are loyal, they buy more.

Companies that launch “original” products, not brands, eventually realize their rocket-science innovation can be quickly commoditized by a competitor with a better-faster-cheaper version of their original product. And so the blood bath begins.

Take, for example, the point-of-view video camera category. Both Contour and GoPro launched their companies in 2004, and a new market category for POV cameras was born. However, one company launched an amazing product and the other had the foresight to launch a brand that now defines the category. Contour launched a first-of-its-kind POV camera for action sports. It launched a product. GoPro, on the other hand, launched an aspiration for athletes to “Go Pro” and capture their limelight moment with the brand. The company launched a brand by laser-focusing their brand value on providing a single aspirational emotion of…

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