The Power of Branding

The Power of Branding

This Summer I had the pleasure of presenting at the Type A Parent blogging conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The title of my session was called “Don’t Rank Me: Getting Past Scores and Numbers”, whereby I gave out branding tips and explained what having a brand can do for you. Specifically, the notion of having a well defined brand vs. copying someone else means you can, over time, build equity (and traffic) and start charging more for your services.

To that point, I came across an excellent example of how brand positioning and equity can help with your pricing. Take a look at the picture below:

Rapala branded gloves on the left, Cat gloves on the right.

I got the Rapala gloves on the left this Summer after having caught a few pickerel and telling my wife that it would be much easier to unhook them if I had gloves. She obliged and gifted them to me for my birthday. And yes, it is easier to remove the slime-emitting fish now. 😉

The second glove was purchased a few weeks ago from a truck stop in Michigan during our annual pilgrimage home from Michigan to New York. We were hauling a row boat home on the roof of our Pilot (cue “Dueling Banjos”) and due of the dimensions of the boat and amount of wind, inevitably pulled over several times to tighten and re-tighten the straps holding the boat down. Unfortunately after driving through some rain, the rope slipped in my hands while attempting to tighten it, leaving burns on my hand (hence the need for gloves).

The gloves, logo aside, are the exact same product — except the one on the left cost 4x as much. How do they get away with it? Branding.

If you were at my talk you already know the story: It’s not necessarily about the product – it’s about the perception of the product. If you, as a blogger, agency, consumer packaged good or anything else, determine that your brand’s place in the market is one of value, it’s awfully difficult to change that perception. If you’re a premium brand, becoming more “accessible” means cheapening your brand.

So, which brand are you: the Cat or the Rapala?