The Secrets To Branding Your Product With Tracy Hazzard From The Big Brand Formula Podcast With Gerry Foster
How do you brand a product? How do you take what you have and ramp it up? A brand has numerous layers, one of the most important of which is making sure that the product is designed and packaged the right way for you to stand out, get noticed, and draw the types of customers you’re looking for. On today’s podcast, branding expert Tracy Hazzard sits down with Gerry Foster to share her secret to creating and designing products. With over 25 years of innovation experience, Tracy has been the ghost designer of 250-plus products and 37 patents that have brought $2 billion worth of retail sales to leading brands. Branding your product is all about getting the customer to see your product. Tune in to this episode as Tracy and Gerry dive into the importance of market and brand focus.
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When you understand your brand - who you are at a core and who your audience is - you can make any product and design anything. #GerryFoster #BigBrandFormula #podcastinterview Click To Tweet
To that point, once it’s on the shelf, how do you even get noticed? How are you even seen? When I walk into grocery stores in different companies, drug stores, department stores. Let’s just say grocery stores, supermarkets and that sort of thing. I can go into certain sections, certain aisles, like the pain relief category. You look on the shell and it’s like thousands of brands and everything is a giant blur. Everything is blended in. What’s your advice to an owner who says, “I want to make sure that I stand out on the shelf. I want to make sure that in my category, in my field I get noticed.” What are your thoughts on that?
The thing is that a lot of retail does a lot of test marketing. If you want to get in Whole Foods, you’re going to have to run through a test. If you want to get in Costco, no matter how good they think you are, they do not trust themselves. They want data at the end of the day. If you’ve got good data to begin with, you’re going to be 90% there. If you already know what’s going to play, you’re going to know that Whole Foods is the right market for you. You’re going to know that’s right, and you’re going to feel confident. When you’re there, the reality is that it is hard to figure out how to do that. A lot of people pay for space. There’s a whole bunch of that that goes on, which most people don’t know about. Grocery space is paid for, shelf space is paid for. You can kick out a competitor by buying off their shelf space.
There’s a whole bunch of stuff that can happen that way. It’s pretty cutthroat and nasty. Tom and I used to joke that sometimes dealing with the opposite superstores was like dealing with the mob. There was a lot of payouts going back and forth.
Where does the brand strategy work with the product design? There are a lot of layers of branding. How do you weave in and what’s the sequence, what do you do first? What’s your advice to our readers?If you can test the connection between the market and your product, then you might be able to amp up your brand. #GerryFoster #BigBrandFormula #podcastinterview Click To Tweet
I treat branding like it’s over here on its own. I have a process that I call the seven P process that I operate on all the time. It’s always a check back into the branding. It’s always like every time you finish the stage, you go back to the branding and check and then you go back to the branding and check and then re-inform it and move on to the next stage. We call it prove it first. In the prove it first, we’re checking that market product fit. We don’t care about our branding as much there as we care, “Are we able to access the market?” When we find that market, do they want what we have to sell? We’re just doing that at a test stage. It might not even be our actual product. It might be we found something in China and relabeled it and put it in just so we could see if we could access it. That’s that example. When we find that fit is going on and that it’s people, not our mom, who likes it and who bought something in this market, now we can go and have that next conversation.
We plug in the brand again and we start to have that plugin and we go on to the next part, which is pricing. This is the same thing as services. If you can’t get your pricing right and it cannot go from this is how much it costs me to do it, this is how much I’m marking it up and now here’s my price. That’s cost basis pricing. Almost everything is market basing. “Here’s what the market will bear.” I might be able to go up from that if I have great brands, but I might have to go down from it if I don’t deliver or if I need to discount. I want to know where that market parody is, where that basis is for me and for what I think I’m going to put out there. We will test the viability of it later, but we’ve got to find that sweet spot right at the beginning. If we can’t make a design that fits that, then we should stop right now because later, we’d go into high and we’d never sell.
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