Which Comes First, the Product or the Brand?

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Posted December 12, 2010 in branding

Which comes first the product or the brand? Even though a company’s brand name products fall under the umbrella of their corporate name, most consumers are buying the brand itself. For example, Tide laundry detergent is a brand of Procter and Gamble. But when you go to the store to buy laundry detergent you probably don’t buy Tide because of its corporate name. You are buying the name you have associated laundry detergent with.

 

This is why the brand name almost always comes before the company name, like swiggies by HydroSport. The brand name should get top billing because that’s what the customers remember.

Employees care about the corporation. Customers care about the products. They work for the company and not the brand names they manufacture. The company name matters to the executives that work there. So that divides it into two different situations. The corporation has its own life separate from the brand.

 

Instead of using the company name and the brand together, you can put them both on the packaging. On the package make sure the brand name stands out and is bigger than the corporate name.

 

There’s another way to look at the brand names vs. corporate names dilemma. A corporate name will live on even if the brand name dies out. A brand name could be a trend or fad, yet the corporate name they fall under could continue to live on.

 

The brand name needs to be unique and different and something that resonates with your customers. The brand should connect with your customers on an emotional level. Don’t pick names that limit you too much. You never know what direction your business is going to go in or how big your product line will become. You also need to think about how your brand names and corporation name will play out around the world. Some names don’t translate very well. I found that out the hard way. swiggies goes under the name Garrrafit in Argentina.

 

A brand name, whether you use the product or corporate name, should be well thought out in advance. The positive side of having a successful brand is that it can become bigger than the corporation. The negative side of naming a corporation after a brand comes if the brand is unpopular, or even worse, if it’s surrounded by scandal. Rebranding down the road can be a tricky and expensive undertaking. I found this out too. swiggies started out as HydroSport. But when I started selling them to kids, they liked the name swiggies better. So did some of my retailers. So I had to have new logos, new packaging, etc.

 

Put a lot of thought in research into your branding before you get started. It’ll save you a lot of time and money down the road.

Filed under: brand name, branding, rebranding,