Hydro-flask relies heavily on consumer generated content for its product branding

Product branding. How to make your marketing hotter.

More brands than ever are entering the market. Strong product branding will help you not get washed away in the digital age. Quality, community, and open-source branding will help you stand out.

The following framework will help put your brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Hydro Flask, a company that manufactures insulated water bottles, has shown the way.

Product branding starts with quality

Your high-quality brand should be based on a promise to consumers. From here, continually meet this promise to cultivate trust.

Hydro Flask established itself as a top-quality brand from the start. By stressing the integrity of both the product and the brand they built a brand – and product – people trust.

Hydro Flask's product branding emphasizes quality.

Your promise sets the foundation of your brand-customer relationship. One way to build trust in quality is through a warranty. This tells customers that you have confidence in the quality of your products.

A quality product alone won’t build a successful brand. It can help, however, to encourage consumers to engage with you – producing open-source content.

Encouraging user-generated content

Creating a high-quality product is just a start! From here you want consumers to interact with your brand. Successful product branding invokes positive connotations with the product amongst your target market.

Hydro Flask uses user-generated content to support their social media feed. Engaging hashtags encourage customers to strive to be a part of the brand.

When consumers willingly post content with your product you earn advocacy among their social followers. Also, by re-posting consumer content, you earn trust and show authenticity to your tribe.

“User-generated content IS the most important foundation of successful product branding.”

User-generated content IS the most important foundation of successful product branding. You should actively engage consumers and position them at the core of your brand.

Transparency in marketing

To create an authentic brand, you must be transparent with your consumers. This allows customers to feel confident that you are genuine in your values.

Consumers are curious and can find most anything about a brand via the internet.

But, you can use this to your advantage. Learn to embrace transparency, and you will stand out amongst competitors and secure loyal customers too.

56% of people say they would stay loyal to a brand for life it was completely transparent. On top of this, 73% say they would pay more for a product that was completely transparent. Talk is cheap and consumers want to put their money with a brand who sincerely shares their values.

Hydro Flask puts a big focus on transparency. They have established themselves as an environmentally friendly brand and stayed consistent. This shows the importance of truly embracing your brand values.  

Take notes from Hydro-Flask and illustrate to consumers that your brand image is authentic. You will gain their trust and advocacy!

Relationships are crucial

Relationships are everything. You can no longer rely on just functional attributes. Take additional steps to create loyal customers. Form emotional bonds with consumers by aligning with consumer’s identities.

But how can you achieve this?

Like any healthy, strong relationship, it takes work! The first step you can take is self-reflection. You must deeply and authentically know your brand purpose. Knowing your brand purpose allows you to stand for something bigger than products!

Taking a stance and elevating a product to be something more is priceless! People want to connect with a brand. So stand for something, have a purpose, and your brand advocates will come. Lastly, stay true to your purpose!

When you know your purpose, and every action upholds that purpose, you will see your relationships grow.

Their product branding focuses on attracting high quality user-generated content.

Creating Community

You can’t just form relationships with your customers. It is important to facilitate relationships between customers, too. Hydro flask targets micro-communities that share the same values.

To be successful at product branding you must form relationships between customers, too.
Hydroflask lets customers bond over shared interests.

Hydro Flask sponsors and hosts events for their micro-tribes to engage with the product and other customers.

By having an authentic purpose, Hydro Flask has been able to bring people together who share similar lifestyles and ideologies.

So remember, know your brand purpose, form relationships with your consumers, and go that extra step to facilitate relationships between them.

Product Branding goes beyond the product.

In today’s marketing world, you can’t rely solely on advertising. You need to also ensure that the message resonates with consumers’ ideologies.

You must go beyond simply looking at the functional attributes of a product. Come up with something that resonates with your target audience.

Offer quality, community, open-source, and relationships in your product branding. And you can build an authentic image that is never lukewarm.

This post was written by Jacqueline Pederson, Brooke Peters, Lauren Ralston,and Mia Siri. The authors thank Archie Mitchell and Dr. Joachim Scholz for their help in editing this article. Please follow the authors on Twitter for more information on this topic.

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