Branding a Product-Based Vs Service-Based Business
13 February 2020
Whether you’re selling a physical product or a service, branding is absolutely crucial to standing out and attracting the right customers.
But there are some major differences in branding these two kinds of businesses.
From steps to consider to what you want your branding to convey, we know a thing or two about how to create effective branding for both product and service-based businesses. This doesn’t just include brand design, but brand story and any future applications for that branding.
Sound complicated? It actually isn’t. Here’s how it’s done.
Branding to Sell a Service
Services aren’t necessarily more difficult to sell than products, but they do introduce some unique challenges. Unlike a tangible product that can be seen and interacted with, a service requires more of a buy-in from the customer in terms of trust.
This is why branding is so powerful. When it comes to service-based businesses, branding is about communicating a feeling. It conveys your brand’s unique selling point and clearly communicates what your service can offer.
“Whether you’re selling a physical product or a service, branding is absolutely crucial to standing out and attracting the right customers.”
With a service, the brand story is especially important since the copy has to work harder to sell the brand. The key messaging in particular has to both explain and promote the service without getting too caught up in undesirable industry jargon.
The biggest risk here? Using words that don’t really mean anything. You have to impress without overwhelming, and avoid triggering any potential eye rolls. It’s a delicate balance.
In terms of brand design, the key here is using design to be clear about your offering. For instance, as you can see from our brand design work with Qualitas, the brand has a distinctly high-end feeling. This allows their clients to get a sense of what they offer, and sets them apart from competitors.
Don’t forget that service-based brands will still need to apply their branding across things like email templates, stationery, websites, and social media. Brand design is so much more than a physical package.
Branding a Product-Based Brand
Your product needs to work for itself in terms of showing the customer why it’s so much more amazing than anything else on the market. But that doesn’t mean branding is irrelevant— in fact, far from it.
“You have to impress without overwhelming, and avoid triggering any potential eye rolls. It’s a delicate balance.”
The most obvious branding element that comes to mind when talking about products is the packaging. This draws from the brand design, as it’s a perfect first impression for when your customer is holding your physical product in their hands. Just look at our work with PressPlay cosmetics.
There’s also the potential to have a bit of fun with the brand concept. We drew on the story of Robin Hood to come up with cafe Merrymen’s playful branding and subversive tagline, “for the people”.
Sure, they may sell coffee. But their branding allows them to stand out and stick in their customers’ minds.
Yes, brand design is incredibly important for a product-based business. But the story is just as crucial. It gives the product meaning and — you guessed it — sets them apart from competitors trying to sell the same thing.