I think a lot of times people fall in love with their brand or a name, and I think that’s great. Brands can be a ton of fun, but it also requires focus.
Here’s an example. The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is an American multinational consumer goods corporation with a huge product portfolio.
If you are consumer focused, you go to the store and you look for a product that solves a specific need. If you’re looking for shampoo you might buy Pantene. That is owned by P&G.
Consumers of products never go looking for the P&G shampoo, however. And, with such a wide product portfolio, there is often the risk of one brand competing against another P&G owned product, cannibalizing sales from one brand to another.
For example, a shopper might buy Aussie hair products or shampoo instead of Pantene. These products serve different target demographics with different stories. But essentially, they’re all just soap.
It’s a tricky thing, and brand strategists at P&G have to be incredibly cognizant of their messaging and their audience.
But here’s one thing you’ll never see P&G do: lead with P&G in their marketing.
Unless, of course, you’re talking to investors, but that’s a different product and brand strategy altogether.
Another conglomerate of brands is Yum! Foods. This organization owns consumer recognizable brands of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, and the Habit Burger Grill.
Yum! is even less recognizable, unless you’re an investor in their stock. For investors, it makes sense to have an umbrella brand that makes the collection of brands easy to understand and talk about to that target audience.
Your Brand Requires Focus and Clarity
Here’s your key takeaway if you’re marketing more than one product or brand to an audience: know your audience. Know the problems they have, the aspirations they have, and recognize what they think when they are in the buyer’s journey. Lead with the solutions to their aspirational journey.
Don’t lead with your P&G: lead with the product that is going to solve their problem or achieve their goal.
Again and again.
Do it enough, and your brand becomes recognizable. In fact, you’ll get your audience talking about you, sharing your brand’s selling points. Better yet, they’ll share their own stories and journey with your brand, providing an aspirational testimonial that inspires others to take the risk buying your product or service.
But as soon as you start changing the names, changing the messaging, changing the story, or bringing in other brands, it adds diluted messaging.
Don’t make your prospective customers work so hard to understand who you are or they’re never going to trust what you do.
And marketing is, above all, about establishing trust. Your prospective customers need to trust that you’ll solve their problems and help them reach their goals.
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