Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three Tips for Creating Brand Value with a Product that is Co-Branded

1) Leverage Your Distributors Sales Metrics and Satisfy Their Lead Times:
Many great products are made up of many other great products, more commonly known as components.  Yet sometimes these components make a huge share of the end products brand value, and in many cases they are co-branded.  Take for example, a Dell Computer with an Intel i5 processor.  This processor is the biggest part of the computers brand appeal outside of the Dell name brand.  For retailers who sell computers, understanding this in an effort to optimize sales requires sharing information with computer distributors so that they can order the products from manufactures to meet distribution lead times.  Retailers also need to know how well and what their distributors are selling in their respective markets so they can anticipate future sales and plan their marketing accordingly.  This does not mean that a large electronics distributor would share a competitors’ sales data, but it does mean that a distributor would share general information on a new product or model that an electronics retailer was thinking about marketing; some reciprocity is needed to better define the emerging markets and eventual marketing plan which considers the distributors lead time.

2) Market the Two or Three Branded Components of the End Product as One Better Product and Use Verbs:

Whatever co-branded product you are marketing, the end user buys it for its overall package, even though they may favor one branded component over another.  Knowing this means that all of the co-branded signage, displays, fliers, and even web-ads need to complement each other, not dilute each other or distract from each other.  This absolutely makes for a more complicated and challenging marketing mix.  Yet it makes for a more distinct marketing message, and a better customer experience (assuming your product is better than the market standard).  The better than average product you are marketing also brings in a higher market price because of the two or three branded components which in theory offers the customer more features and better performance – a  high end laptop or cell phone for example.  Most importantly, when executing the marketing of this product remember to market the product experience with VERBS, which in the cell phone or laptop space include: PORTABLITY-MOVING, SPEED-TRAVELING, CONNECTIVITY-COMMUNICATING, 3D VISUALS-LIVING AND SEEING.

3) Descriptively Communicate the Synergies of the Co-Branded End Product as a Value Added:

Lets face it co-branded products are often high price products, so customers expect to get more out of them.  This means that to market them you need to be able to communicate the synergies that the product offers.  This is one of the biggest marketing differentiators from products that are simple or single branded.  Take for example a Dell laptop with an Intel i5 processor and Harman Kardon speakers.  The synergies you get include: personalized home theater audio, crisp and fast movie and photo visuals, and the ability to multitask without compromising performance.  The value added is more performance out of one machine so you don’t have to rely on your desktop computer, your old projector TV, or your Sony Boom box - boy have we come a long way from the hand held CD player.

Jeremy Swenson, MBA, is an experienced marketer, marketing manager, communicator, sales person, and business analyst/academic.  He has extensive product experience with mortgages, loan/lines, checking accounts, savings accounts, money markets accounts, pay day loans, CDs, property and causality insurance, playing jazz, and even some basic experience auditing employee benefit programs.  Additionally, his background includes federal work experience as a Rural Associate Carrier with the U.S.P.S., and as an Enumerator with the U.S. Census Bureau (Dept. of Commerce) in 2000.  He has been active with the MN AMA since 2009 and serves on the Social Media/Marcom Committee.  You can reach Jeremy at jer.swenson@live.com. 
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