In branding, it’s the last five per cent that really counts

When it comes to branding your business, “near enough” should never be considered good enough. To paraphrase an old maxim: “Good, better, best never let it rest, until your brand is better and your branding’s best”.

The fact is that exceptional brands understand that it’s the last five per cent that sets them apart and really turns them into a power brand within their category.

We believe the last five per cent of your branding is the most critical to achieve brand success. For example, a client company was recently preparing the release of a new range of products. The company had put in countless hours into developing this range for their retail market. This included R&D, sourcing manufacturers, building test products, calculating cost of goods versus price and margin, customer testing, trade presentation, developing instructions and warranties etc.

As most readers will understand it’s a complex process bringing new products to market. Little wonder that after working for months and months to get to the final stages of a product launch, the ‘brand energy’ from all involved can begin to falter, even more so when those ubiquitous ‘deadlines’ become seemingly tighter and tighter.

It’s about this stage when too often “near enough” becomes “good enough”.

However, here’s the clincher. The final pieces in the marketing mix – in this particular case, the packaging of a broad range of products – is akin to the tip of an iceberg.

Nobody sees all the development phase, the R&D, sourcing etc which all have their necessary place. Oh no, what they see is the

packaging in store, fighting for recognition, stand-out, differentiation and customer appealing imagery and benefits.

Whether it’s a new product, a new concept or a new business, it’s the all-important customer touchpoint where in most cases it will succeed or fail.

Similar to how so many sporting results are never decided until the last minutes, or races are never won until the last 10 metres, it’s the “finish” that really counts to your branding success.

How effective is your brand’s delivery in its ‘last 10 metres?’

Whether it is a new product launch or a website, the metaphorical “last 10 metres” ie; point of purchase, specifically key brand messaging, often represents the ‘critical piece of branding’ – the brand touchpoint that your consumer or client can see and consider (vis-a-vis a competitive product or service) and those few captured seconds of consideration to decision-making represent the critical final five per cent of branding for success and not the countless hours put in to develop that product or service.

The last five per cent is the most critical

Our suggestion to marketers is to challenge and treat the last five per cent with at least (if not more) brand passion and intensity than the previous 95 per cent and only then can you be assured you are putting your best branding forward and have given your product the best chance of sales success.

Jason Eisner, Co-founder and Principal, BrandQuest

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