Your Product Is Your Brand

Your product is your brand. Its value to customers should be at the very core of how, when, and what you communicate to the world. Apple, Coca-Cola, BMW, Disney, and Intel have powerful brands because they are leaders in their respective industries, not the other way around.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get creative about it.

Faced with a dilemma of how to gain awareness as “The Computer Inside” with lower-priced competitors chomping at the bit for market share, Intel took a page from consumer marketing. More specifically, ingredient branding like NutraSweet on Diet Coke cans, Teflon stickers on pots and pans, and Gore-Tex labels on clothing.

That’s how they came up with the groundbreaking Intel Inside branding and co-op advertising program which paid PC makers to use the now-familiar Intel Inside swirl in ads and on computers. The year after the campaign launched, Intel became the world’s biggest semiconductor company, a position it hasn’t relinquished since.

Today, Intel is one of the most recognized and powerful brands in the world. And while that’s a great story about the power of branding as a strategic-marketing tool, the truth is Intel would not enjoy the reputation and market share it has today if not for the fact that it designs and manufactures industry-leading microprocessors.

Contrary to popular belief, branding is not about names, logos, or advertising. It’s about reputation. It’s the sum total of customer perception through experience with your company, its products, and its services. But make no mistake: It’s mostly about their experience with your products and services.

Many predicted the Internet age would kill branding. While ecommerce and social media did sort of level the playing field, I would argue that brand reputation is more important than ever. Consumers are so overloaded with information and overwhelmed with competitive offerings, they have little time or patience to deal with crappy products and customer service anymore.

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