The Brand and The Product "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs August 08 2011 True Brand, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 445 Hot iron branding Product Management 1.78

The Brand and The Product

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Hot iron branding

Brand is the personality of your product. Done well, it should evoke feelings of goodwill and loyalty, and even forgiveness for your quirks.

It gives your promoting users something tangible to refer to as they recommend you to their friends. A key metric for measuring this is, of course, the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Getting a high NPS, in my experience, can only be achieved when the product and the brand are speaking the same language.

To pull on just a few points about building a brand, as described by David Armano, it’s clear that product has a profound effect on brand:

  • Positive interactions

    Your users need to feel that your product works. Snags, quirks, glitches along the way add up to a distinctly negative experience.

    And users today are hard to please: They expect fluid interaction, forgiving interfaces, and zippy page loads. Nail this and weed out all of those minor (or major) annoyances that are putting users off, even if this means less of a focus on new features.

  • Consistency

    Across the board, your product needs to be consistent. A user shouldn’t feel lost after logging in from your homepage and finding themselves, essentially, in a completely different site. Along with your styleguide, the messaging throughout your product, from the homepage to the tooltips in your ‘Settings’ page, needs to be consistent.

    Of course, just as in branding, different ‘flavours’ are allowed, embrace that freedom with your product – but not to the point of alienating your users.

  • Trust

    Your users need to trust that your product will be easy to use, and won’t kick up errors when completing various tasks. They need to trust that their data is safe in your hands, or, depending on the nature of the business, trust that their world is safe.

    Winning the trust of a user is a slow process, often requiring careful messaging, alluring design, and social validation, but it’s all too easy to lose.

Brand usually doesn’t fall into an area of responsibility for a product manager, but certainly, the implications are there. And in many cases, where the core offering of your company is a product, it becomes the responsibility of the product manager, at least partially to ensure the right brand is baked into the final product.

Enabling this in your product is key to earning brand credibility and user loyalty. There’s much more to cover on the execution of each of these points, which will be covered in a later post. We will update here, but would love to hear in the comments your thoughts and stories of where you see brand implications in your product and how you manage it.