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Thinking

Thought Leadership for Healthy Food & Beverage Brands​

Beyond the Box: The Enduring Charm of Branding Companies Over Products

By Victoria Walling


Picture this: you’re cruising the grocery aisles, eyes scanning the shelves like a seasoned treasure hunter. Suddenly, a vibrant label catches your eye – it's not screaming, just quietly smiling with a promise of something good.  

 

You pick it up, drawn in by the story on the back, a real human voice talking about their passion for better-for-you bites that taste like sunshine. 

 

That’s the kind of brand that sticks with you, the one that doesn’t just fill your fridge, but fills your soul with a little “ah-ha!” moment.  

 

In today’s world of endless choices, it’s not the fancy bells and whistles that win our hearts but the brands that whisper, “Hey, we get you. We care about what goes into your body and how it makes you feel.”  

 

So, the next time you’re amidst the supermarket symphony, take a moment to listen for the soulful whispers – they might just lead you to a better-for-you bite that’s more than just a snack, it’s a little piece of human connection in a cardboard box.  

 

Now let’s talk about that delicate dance between branding a company and branding a product.  

 

While the latter might be the immediate go-to strategy, a savvy move is to zoom out and craft a narrative that transcends the boundaries of a singular item. 

 

Many companies grapple with whether to emphasize their overall brand or focus solely on their product.  

 

While a product might offer specific features or benefits, building a brand around the company itself can foster deeper connections and long-term loyalty.  

 

The Longevity of a Love Story 

 

Let’s remember that products come and go, trends evolve, but a well-established brand is like a timeless love story.  

 

It weaves itself into the fabric of consumer culture, creating a narrative that goes beyond the latest fad.  

 

Think about it – major brands like Coca-Cola and Apple did not conquer the world with one product; it was their overarching brand identity that stood the test of time.  

 

So, what sets branding a company apart?  

 

Think of it as building a personality rather than just highlighting product attributes.  

 

A strong company brand establishes a story, values, and a promise to consumers.  

 

It's like making a lasting impression at a party, not just by talking about your latest hobby, but by showing who you are. 

 

Take the better-for-you CPG industry, for instance.  

 

Brands like Annie's Homegrown and IQBAR aren't merely selling mac and cheese or protein bars; they're selling a lifestyle.  

 

Annie's Homegrown taps into the organic, wholesome image by emphasizing its roots in organic farming and sustainable practices.  

 

IQBAR, on the other hand, doesn't just market protein bars; it's all about transparency, showcasing the simplicity of its ingredients right on the packaging. 

 

These companies have mastered the art of branding themselves beyond their products.  

 

Sure, their offerings are fantastic, but it's the connection they create with consumers that sets them apart.  

 

People remember the values, the ethos, and the story behind these brands long after they've consumed the products. 

 

A Love Note to Your Consumers 

 

Branding a company allows you to build a relationship with your audience.  

 

It's not just about selling a product; it's about selling an experience, a lifestyle. 

 

Take the example of Nike, a brand that doesn't just sell sneakers; it sells the idea of pushing boundaries and achieving greatness.  

 

By focusing on the broader narrative, companies can forge emotional connections that resonate far beyond the checkout counter. 

 

The Lonely Product Syndrome 

 

Now, let's consider the lonely product, left to fend for itself without the comforting embrace of a robust brand.  

 

In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, a product-centric approach might leave your creation lost in the noise.  

 

Even a fantastic product can get overshadowed if it doesn't have a strong brand to carry it forward. 

 

However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows in the land of company branding.  

 

While it can build enduring relationships, it requires consistent effort and a clear, coherent message across all touchpoints.  

 

A misstep or inconsistency can dent the carefully crafted brand image. 

 

Product-focused branding might seem simpler, but it often lacks the emotional resonance that a company brand can evoke.  

 

Think of it as the difference between a one-time conversation and a lifelong friendship. 

 

The former might be enjoyable, but the latter holds deeper significance. 

 

Company Over Product 

 

Think about those brands that have nestled into your consciousness.  

 

Chances are, it's the company's ethos, values, and story that are etched in your memory.  

 

For instance, the beloved ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's isn't just about chunky, swirly goodness; it's about social responsibility and delicious activism. 

 

Better-For-You CPG Brands: The Pioneers of Company Branding 

 

In the realm of Better-For-You Food & Beverage CPG, companies are taking the lead in crafting their identity.  

 

Look at brands like Whole Foods Market or Thrive Market.  

 

Their commitment to health, sustainability, and community isn't confined to a single product; it's a brand promise that threads through everything they offer. 

 

In the end, the choice between branding a company versus a product, boils down to the legacy you want to create.  

 

Products come and go, but a well-built company brand can stand the test of time, embedding itself in the hearts and minds of consumers. 

 

Beyond Labels and Logos 

 

In a world inundated with options, branding a company over a product is like whispering a secret to consumers – a secret that says, “We’re not just selling something; we’re creating something together.” 

 

So, while products come and go, a well-crafted brand story has the power to endure, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of consumers.  

 

After all, in the grand narrative of consumerism, it’s the brands that tell compelling stories that truly steal the spotlight.  

 

If you want to learn more about how we can help you focus more on your brand, visit www.thevineyardbc.com.  

2022 The Vineyard. All Rights Reserved.​

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