Commodity Branding

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A branding program should be designed to differentiate your cow from all the other cattle on the range, even if all the cattle on the range look pretty much alike.

Al Ries

The essence of successful branding is when the brand delivers consistently, a clearly defined, appealing offering that sets it apart from its competitors. Branding does not work in isolation, and is not just related to the development of a name, logo, company terms or combination of all three. The additional ingredient that makes a brand successful is differentiation or its personality.

Branding needs to extend beyond the basic product. Successful differentiation should be based upon genuine differences. If the product per se is essentially similar to other products, or the buyers cannot be convinced of its superiority over other products, then the company seeking to brand needs to adopt a broader perspective and look at the entire experience it offers potential buyers.

Successful brands tend to have strong "personalities" that appeal either to the rational or the emotional instincts of stakeholders. They appeal on an intangible level and offer a range of defined repeatable emotions to the consumer.

Commodities by definition are not brands and offer no such emotional security or intangible benefits. Commodities deal solely in the product. Today's commodity producers face the increased challenge of how to differentiate their offerings, so that their product is perceived and awarded premium status and price in the their consumers' minds. The key therefore, is to implement a concentrated strategy that focuses on creating real value for those customers who are prepared to pay for it and a brand strategy based on product differentiation.

Commodity: Basic Definition

"A commodity is a product presumably so basic that it cannot be physically differentiated in the minds of consumers."

Branding exercise: The...