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Brands are like cake. Is your batter well baked?

Have you ever bitten into a delicious looking slice of cake only to be disappointed with the quality of the actual cake? Lack of flavour? Lumpy in spots? Over cooked? Pretty icing hiding a very ordinary batter?

Don’t let your brand be like a bad cake.

I often use this analogy when I talk brand. A brand’s core - the essence and the quality of the product or service features must be well baked and should be equally pleasing, or at least consistent, with the taste and quality of the icing or the brand presentation. The icing is the sexy part – the logo, the website, the packaging and all the other bells and whistles that help present a brand in the market place. It is imperative that your icing and cake batter match. If they don’t, you will confuse and disappoint your customer, and they won’t come back looking for more!

Think about grocery value brands for a minute. Most grocery retailers offer basic everyday products and they don’t tout these products as “the best of the best.” It will often be packaged with plain, simple packaging. It is on the shelf to offer the most basic of products and to defend an opening price point in the marketplace. On the contrary, a product that has a higher quality or unique features will be packaged in such a manner that the messaging (words, illustrations and/or photography) will match what’s inside. These are visual cues to the consumer that the product is higher quality or different in some way, and therefore more expensive.

The other thing to remember is that the quality of your cake batter is what’s most important just like your product or service. Spend your energies on creating the best product or service first instead of being distracted by fancy icing. Of course, you want to have a unique and exciting visual brand experience, but don’t mistake that for what really matters – your unique product offering loaded with consumer benefits.

If you want a simple cake, then match your icing. Likewise, if your cake batter is outstanding, ensure your icing flavour and presentation follows suit!

When you think brand, think cake.

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