Brand or Product?

Just recently in a meeting with a client, we asked, “Do you want to advertise your brand or your product?” We were trying to determine how to proceed with the creative and messaging direction of our advertising work we were doing for an upcoming trade show for them. Depending on how the client answered that question, determined our next steps and the direction we took to accomplish our client’s goal. In case you’re wondering, the answer was product. 

So how do you decide if you should advertise your brand or one of your products? Quite simply, it depends on your goal. Are you trying to create brand awareness? Product awareness? Or just push the sale of your product? 

For those who are unfamiliar with brand awareness – it is promoting your brand to either educate consumers that you exist and who you are, or to keep your brand top-of-mind with consumers and connect with them. Nike and Coca Cola are great examples of brand awareness. They are established in our markets, we all know who they are and what they sell, so the intention is to stay relevant, top-of-mind, and connect with consumers. In Nike’s recent ad campaign, Play New, they strive to connect on a personal level with everyone, not just the typical athlete; by saying everyone is an athlete even if they suck. In essence, if you have a body, you’re an athlete (inserting Nike into your life). Coca Cola took a different angle with their advertising, and decided to promote positivity in Romania with their brand identity in the campaign Half Full. This created buzz around the messaging and started creating meaning and connection with the people and their brand. 

A benefit of brand awareness advertising is establishing credibility, or familiarity, for your company. Many people trust someone they are familiar with over someone they are not. This is true for companies as well. In this study, they explain how continuous exposure to a brand creates trust and preference from consumers. This is a good tactic for a company new on the market or is not very well known. For one of our clients, we did just that. New to the market, they were the little guys that no one knew of.

For product focus advertising, there can be two approaches: awareness and sales. For product awareness, this is generally done when you have a new product in the market or consumers are unfamiliar with it. This is essentially educational while also encouraging the sale of your product. For instance, Apple’s new advertising campaign created several fun commercials that are centered around the durability of their new iPhone 12 on the market. They are educating consumers on the new phone’s durability feature and trying to create appeal for consumers to buy it. Vizzy’s recent marketing campaign, for its new hard seltzer products, is making a “splash” with its fruit-scented branded swimwear marketing stunt to educate that the product exists and create excitement and buzz for product sales. When you are not introducing a new product, and people are aware of it, you are just encouraging the sale of your product. Generally with this route, you tend to see dollar signs next to the product being advertised or an advertisement that generates excitement and appeal about that established product that’s been on the market. 

So, I ask you, “Brand or product?” Which route is best for you right now? Consider your goal and let us, at Miller Ad Agency, help you attain it! Give us a shout (or call)!