5 Types of Branding in the Food Industry & How to Choose the Right Type for Your Brand (+ a free brand roadmap pdf)
Branding is the process of creating, developing, and maintaining a unique identity, image, and value for a product or business. In the food industry, we all know that the market is highly saturated, which is why an efficient branding process is incredibly important.
The purpose of branding is to attract the attention of your target customer, appeal to their values or a problem they're facing, market shared values or a solution, and convert them into buying customers.
Effective branding allows you to get your target customer to know who you are, like what you offer, and trust in your capability to deliver the solution you've marketed to them.
Building this type of brand effectiveness takes time and a compilation of research. But, before getting started with creating a business or product to brand, you'll want to determine the most effective type of branding to leverage.
Today, we're going to discuss the five most common types of branding in the food industry, so that you can choose the most effective one for your business.
Product branding is using a logo, symbol, or design on a product to differentiate it from other products and competitor brands.
Our most common connotation to food and drink product branding would be grocery retail or the branded food and drink products you see on grocery store shelves.
As soon as you walk into the supermarket, you can easily notice the vast variety of products. Each product includes branded insignia, like logos, design, packaging material, product names and descriptions, font selection, size, and message. This branded insignia is specifically designed to get the prospective customer to:
Get to know the product
Like the product
Trust the message enough to purchase the product.
Product branding creates an identity for the product within the marketplace and contributes to a customer's emotional connection with the product.
Other common examples of product branding in the food industry:
E-commerce retail (ie. branded food/drink products you buy online)
Food service retail (ie. branded food/drink products you buy at a coffee shop)
Convenience retail (ie. branded food/drink product you buy at a convenience store)
To help you stay on track in your branding process, we've put together 6 key checkpoints in our Food Business + Product Branding Roadmap. If you want to make sure you’re headed in the right direction when it comes to branding your food business, download your free copy now!
Retail branding is product branding on a larger spectrum. Retail branding is mostly used by food and drink companies that have more than one product, or product family to market.
Once a business develops a brand for one product, the goal is for the brand to create a deep connection with the customer that:
allows the customer to recognize their family of products/retail offerings (know)
creates a positive emotional reaction to their family of products/retail offerings (like)
convinces the customer to continually choose their family of products/retail offerings over competitor brands, even if the customer has not tried that specific product (trust)
Retail branding strengthens the identity of a product within the marketplace but requires the right strategy in order to be efficient.
Corporate branding is a compilation of every activity that a business conducts and how that affects the business' reputation. Corporate branding is made up of the products, services, locations, atmospheres, employees, culture, and values associated with your business.
No matter what sector your brand falls under, your business will have a corporate brand.
Let's take food service for example. When you visit a new restaurant, what do you as a consumer notice about the restaurant?
Maybe it's how busy they are and the front hostess didn't greet you when you walked in. Maybe it's the seasonal menu that only uses local ingredients. Or maybe you heard about the restaurant through a friend and wanted to try it for yourself.
All of these aspects play a part in corporate branding.
Corporate branding creates a positive or negative emotional reaction with the business as a whole, based on the customer's experience of the brand.
Personal branding is the ability of a person to take on a curated reputation, and reflect that image of themselves to the public. In terms of the food and drink industry, personal branding comes into play when speaking of the individuals behind the business. Restaurant owners and restaurateurs, chefs, CEOs, product developers (and other roles within the business) each have the capacity to use personal branding to reflect back on the business as a whole.
Food bloggers and influencers are an increasingly popular method of personal branding within the industry. As the digital age continues to change our way of life, our impressions of a brand are usually influenced by what we see online.
Even with unlimited access to a brand or product online, our decision making still heavily relies on human connection. Food bloggers and influencers are able to create a personal reputation or brand for themselves using individual platforms and extend their brand using other forms of branding.
Personal branding improves the decision-making process and allows the customer to associate a human connection with a business or brand.
Co-branding is just as it sounds - branding that associates the brands of multiple businesses, companies, or individuals with a specific product, service, or other brand(s).
Co-branding may also be referred to as marketing partnership/collaboration, where the positive (or negative) emotional reaction of one brand spreads to the other.
The food blogger and influencer example referenced above is also representative of co-branding.
When the influencer uses their platform to share a brand, recommend a brand, or try a brand/product, the public is able to connect the personal brand with the corporate brand and convince customers that the brand is one that should (or shouldn't be) supported.
Co-branding is especially effective in creating awareness for start-ups, or for brands that are entering into new markets and categories.
These a few of the most common types of branding that I've noticed within the market, and while working with our clients. Though, there are a number of other types of branding that you can implement for your food business.
There is no one right way to choose the most effective type of branding for your business. Whichever method(s) of branding you choose to enact, ensure that it allows the customer to:
Get to know and recognize your product, service, business, or brand
Like or positively connect with your product, service, business, or brand, and...
Trust in and be convinced to continually support your product, service, business, or brand
*The know-like-trust factor is a fundamental element of positive brand strategy. We'll be discussing this next week, so be sure to keep checking back to learn more!
In this post, we discussed checkpoint 1 in the Food Biz + Product Branding Roadmap. Don’t forget to sign up for your free copy so that you can stay on track with your branding strategy, then keep checking back this month as we continue to go through all 6 checkpoints.
If you're interested in going more in-depth on creating a brand that your ideal customer can't resist, I strongly recommend signing up for our Brand Assessment Challenge. It's a 7-day email challenge where we'll walk you through clarifying your brand story, identifying your target market, building a brand identity, and more! If that sounds like something you need help with, I invite you to learn more, sign up, and get your workbook here!
Are you using any of these types of branding? Which is working best for your food business?
Do you have any questions about branding types that I didn't answer? Let me know in the comments section.