How to Brand a Product: Beyond Generic Dropshipping to Lasting Success

Branding a product requires understanding your target audience, establishing a unique selling point (USP), and developing a brand mission statement as the foundation for all branding decisions. Keep reading how to weave these elements into your product and more.

 min read
March 12, 2024
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As someone who has built multiple online stores, I’ve learned a thing or 2 about branding products. This guide will compile all I’ve learned to aid your success.

I’ll provide 6 steps on everything you’ll need to know to help you start branding a product. Ensure you bookmark this page to use as a reference as you navigate through each step.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Key Takeaways

  • Target audience identification is vital.
  • Craft a clear and compelling USP.
  • Concise product mission statement guides choices.
  • Visuals (logo, colors, fonts) must align with your brand.
  • Compelling descriptions and strategic marketing are essential.

Steps to Build a Compelling Product Brand

You’ll need to follow these steps to brand your product:

  1. Discover Your Product’s Core: Figure out who you’re selling to and what you’ll sell.
  2. Visual Foundation: Colors, fonts, name, etc.
  3. Building a Voice: How you’ll describe your products.
  4. Standing Out: Making your product unique versus the competition.
  5. Promoting Your Brand: Determine how people will find your product.
  6. Audit Your Product Branding: Ensure your product aligns with your branding.

I’ll expand upon all these points and provide summaries as we go.

There’s a lot to read, so buckle up.

1. Discover Your Product's Core

You need to focus on building the backbone of your product, which involves determining the following:

  1. Who you’re selling to
  2. Unique selling point
  3. Product mission statement

I’ll expand upon these points throughout the following sections and hold your hand with building each of these elements.

Here we go.

1. Find Your Target Audience

Identifying your product's ideal customer is the foundation of strong branding. Demographics tell you the basics—who they are, on paper. 

This goes way beyond sales data and allows you to:

  • Craft messaging that resonates: Speak directly to your audience's needs, interests, and the language they use.
  • Tailor visuals for maximum impact: Choose image styles, colors, and models that attract your target demographic.
  • Market where they already are: Place ads on platforms your ideal customers actually use, avoiding wasted effort.

If you don’t know what demographic would like your product, you have a long ways to go before you should sell it. However, you can find out your target by researching how stores selling similar products engage their audience.

You could also check Facebook Audience Insights. This tool exists even if you're not actively running ads yet. Use it to build a hypothetical audience based on interests related to your product.

Then you’ll need to build a user profile (aka buyer persona).

Essential elements you’ll need to consider when building this include:

  • Fictionalize your ideal customer: Give them a name, occupation, lifestyle details.some text
    • This makes it easier to think like your customer
  • Focus on psychographics: Fears, values, goals related to the problem your product solves.
  • Where do they spend time online: Subreddits, Facebook Groups, YouTube Channels, influencers they follow, etc.
  • Understand their language: What slang, jargon, or niche humor do they use within their social circles?

You could build these in word documents or use (free) visual persona builders websites like Hubspot offers.

Summary: Identifying your product's ideal customer is crucial for effective branding, as it allows you to tailor messaging, visuals, and marketing strategies to resonate with their needs and interests.

2. Find Your Unique Selling Point

In a crowded dropshipping world, having a strong Unique Selling Point (USP) is what makes your product a must-have, not just another option.

A strong USP will capture your customer’s attention, drive sales and loyalty, and possibly make it so people are willing to pay more for your product.

Apple’s iPhones are a great example of a company with an excellent USP.

iPhones focus on seamless user experience, sleek design, and tightly integrated ecosystem drives its cult-like following. Customers enjoy intuitive products, beautiful hardware, and innovative features that "just work." This combination of ease, aesthetic, and innovation fosters loyalty beyond features.

Here's why Americans love iPhone

I can’t promise that you’ll be like Apple, but you can use these tips to potentially build a following:

  1. Analyze the competition:some text
    1. List Your Direct Competitors: Who sells products similar to yours in other stores?
    2. Identify Their USPs: How do they position their products?
    3. Find the Gaps: Are customers complaining about specific issues in reviews?
  1. Understand your ideal customer:some text
    1. Think Beyond Basic Features: Everyone lists product specs. Does your product solve a unique problem in a way no one else does? Does it have an ethical edge, a niche design appeal?
    2. Tap into Emotions: Does your product offer an aspirational quality, a sense of community, or a feel-good factor competitors can't match?
  1. Explore your supply chain (even with limitations):some text
    1. Customization Potential: Can you offer exclusive colorways, engraving options, or bundle it with complementary items?
    2. Ethical Sourcing or Manufacturing: Is there a story behind your product (eco-friendly, supports small businesses) that resonates?
    3. Faster Shipping or Turnaround: If competitors are slow, reliable and prompt delivery is a major USP.

Your USP doesn't have to be world-changing. It needs to be clear, meaningful to your target audience, and something your competitors aren't offering.

Summary: To stand out in the crowded dropshipping world, create a strong Unique Selling Point (USP) that makes your product unique and desirable.

3. Develop Your Product Mission Statement

A product mission statement is a concise declaration of why your product exists, framing its benefit to your customer. It’s crucial to have because it helps you make decisions that align with your product’s core value.

Here’s how to make one:

  1. Answer the "why":some text
    1. Problem Solving: What struggle or pain point does your product address?
    2. Aspiration: Does it help customers live a better life, express themselves?
    3. Differentiation: What makes your solution unique within the dropshipping landscape?
  1. Keep it concise & actionable:some text
    1. Aim for 1–2 Sentences: Needs to be memorable and easily shared.
    2. Use Verbs: Avoid fluffy words (e.g., innovative and disruptive), focus on what the product does for the customer.
  1. Get feedback:some text
    1. Share with Team or Mentors: Do they understand what sets your product apart?
    2. Customer-Test (Optional): If you have an existing audience, phrase statements as questions – their response shows what resonates most.

Here’s an example of a product mission statement.

A generic dropshipped smart watch vs. a branded one could have this mission statement: "To transform fitness data into personalized insights and challenges that make reaching your goals feel achievable."

Your product mission statement can evolve as you grow. The important part is taking the time to define your product's purpose—this shapes the entire branding process.

Summary: A product mission statement concisely declares a product’s purpose, guiding decision-making aligned with its core value.

2. Build the Visual Foundation

Now, we’ll dive into the following elements of what your customers will see with your product:

  1. Name
  2. Logo
  3. Color palette
  4. Font choice

If you’re dropshipping white label products, then many of these factors won’t matter and you can skip to the next section. However, you will need a logo for your brand, which will go on products if you go the private label route.

And with that, you’ll need a font choice and color scheme to represent your brand.

Let’s dive in.

1. Think of a Name

You need a name for your product, and you’ll need to consider the following factors before brainstorming:

  • Target audience: What kind of language and tone will resonate with them?some text
    • Serious and sophisticated, or playful and trendy?
  • USP: Can you subtly hint at your product's unique selling point within the name itself?
  • Marketplace: Research similar products and names already in use.some text
    • You want to stand out, not disappear.
  • Domain availability: Even with dropshipping, securing a matching or close domain is crucial if you want to be found.

Then when it comes to brainstorming, you have plenty of avenues to pursue such as wordplay and browsing through a thesaurus. As for wordplay, you could combine words like what Netflix does. Because you’re watching flicks over the internet (net).

Get it?

Come up with at least 100 ideas before deciding a winner. And once you have a winner, search on trademark databases to see whether the name’s taken. You don’t want a legal battle right off the bat.

Summary: When naming your product, consider your target audience, unique selling point, marketplace research, and domain availability.

2. Create an Unforgettable Logo

One of the world's most iconic logos, the Nike Swoosh, wasn't initially loved by the founder. Yet, its simplicity and symbolism have made it successful:

  • Meaning: Represents movement, speed, the wings of the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike.
  • Scalable: Works on everything from a tiny shoe tag to a billboard.
  • Distinctive: Instantly identifiable, even without the 'Nike' wordmark attached.

Your logo should have similar attributes, depending on how big you want your brand to get. Regardless of your company’s size, your logo should be scalable, meaning it’ll look good on any screen side and product label.

And here are the routes you have with designing a logo:

Hire a graphic designer

  • Pros: The best option for unique, professional logos. Designers understand visual branding principles essential for standing out.
  • Cons: Often the most expensive route, especially for newer dropshippers with a limited budget.
  • Where to find them: Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or 99designs connect you with freelancers.
  • Costs: $50–$2,000+

Based on my experience, I recommend avoiding logos that cost less than $100. Many artists that I’ve encountered in this price range (allegedly) use logo generators. Or the art they produced resembled a logo-generated design.

Free and paid DIY logo generators

  • Examples: Canva, Hatchful (by Shopify), Looka, Ucraft
  • Pros: Budget-friendly, often free for basic options. User-friendly interfaces, even for those without design skills.
  • Cons: Can result in generic-looking logos if you don't customize carefully. Risk of other businesses using similar templates.

If you’re a business that doesn’t intend on “going big,” then stick with free logo generators. Those seeking to have their brand recognized by the world could start off with logo generators, then hire a graphic designer once you get a revenue stream going.

Summary: When starting out, having any well-designed logo is better than none.

3. Colors That Connect

Tiffany & Co.’s iconic "Tiffany Blue" is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. This specific shade evokes a sense of timeless elegance and aspiration, perfectly aligned with their jewelry's image.

Colour Story – Tiffany Blue

You probably won’t have specific color’s with your brand’s name, but using basic color psychology is important when marketing your products.

This is a deep field, but here are some basics:

  • Blue: Trust, calm, dependability
  • Green: Nature, eco-friendly, growth
  • Red: Boldness, passion, urgency (use sparingly)
  • Yellow: Optimism, joy, but also caution in some contexts
  • Black/White: Elegance, sophistication, or simplicity

Start with 2–3 primary colors (e.g., red), then add 1–2 accents—colors that contract or compliment the primary. And when thinking of a color palette, ensure it support’s your product’s purpose.

For instance, a calming tea blend might use soft blues or greens, while a bold energy drink could be fiery reds and oranges.

There are plenty of free tools you can use to build a palette, like:

  • Coolors: Popular generator, allows you to lock certain colors and find harmonizing matches.
  • Adobe Color: Offers tools based on color theory (complementary, split-complementary, etc.) for balanced palettes.
  • Color Hunt: Browse curated palettes for inspiration, great if you're stuck on a starting point.
  • Canva Color Palette Generator: Lets you upload an image and extracts colors directly from it – useful for nature-inspired products.
  • Pantone’s Color Finder: Allows you to convert print Pantone swatches to digital ones.

Then, you’ll need to think about Pantone colors. Say you design branded packaging, promotional items, or plan private labeling in the future. Pantone lets you seamlessly match your product's colors to these items, for a cohesive customer experience.

This elevates your brand image and allows for seamless matching on future physical products. While Pantone may involve added costs, it signals professionalism and attention to detail.

I recommend reading Pantone’s website for an introduction to Pantone colors. I don’t have enough room to write what I need to cover this subject.

We have one more visual element to cover.

Summary: Effective color choice in marketing conveys specific emotions and messages, such as Tiffany Blue representing luxury and elegance.

4. Font Choice = Brand Voice

Critical information: Ensure your chosen fonts are allowed for commercial use. Otherwise, you could end up in legal trouble.

When selecting fonts, consider readability, brand personality, and target audience.

Readability is paramount, with overly fancy scripts being troublesome on smaller screens or packaging. Serif fonts convey a traditional, elegant, and trustworthy image, while sans-serif fonts are modern, minimalist, and versatile.

Bold fonts can make a statement but should be used sparingly. A luxury product might use a classic serif font, while a playful item for young people could use a trendy sans-serif font.

Most product branding uses 2–3 fonts to create visual hierarchy:

  • Headline: Larger, slightly bolder, grabs attention.
  • Body text: Easy to read for product descriptions, etc.
  • Accent (Optional): Used sparingly for slogans or callouts.some text
    • Should complement the others, not fight them.

Need an example? Let’s look at Apple.

Apple transitioned to a custom typeface called "San Francisco." It's a clean sans-serif optimized for readability on screens of all sizes. This reflects the brand's emphasis on user-friendliness and modern design.

Here are some free tools to help you find fonts:

  • Google Fonts: Massive library, filterable by style, and includes font pairings.
  • FontPair: Focuses on helping you find font combinations that work in harmony.
  • WhatTheFont: Upload an image (logo, ad, etc.) and it identifies the fonts used.

Think beyond your website with these fonts. They need to look good in email blasts, social posts, and any print inserts.

Summary: When selecting fonts, consider readability, brand personality, and target audience to create effective designs.

3. Make Your Product Talk

You’ll need to follow these steps to make it so your product will do the talking when it comes to selling itself:

  • Brand voice
  • Product descriptions

These points should be self-explanatory, but I’ll expand upon what you need to consider when building your brand’s voice and copy.

Here we go.

1. Developing Your Written Brand Voice

Your brand voice is how you sound in your product descriptions, emails, and on social media.

Consider these factors when developing it:

  • Know your ideal customer: Are they young and casual, or more mature and formal? Your voice should mirror theirs to create a connection.
  • Reflect your product: Is your product playful and fun, or serious and high-tech? Your language should complement it.
  • Consistency is key: Using the same voice across all platforms builds brand recognition and avoids confusing customers.

We’ll look at the beauty brand, Glossier, as an example.

Glossier's makeup and skincare tend toward the minimalist, "your skin but better" aesthetic. Their friendly voice reflects this, avoiding the intimidating or overly technical language sometimes found in the beauty industry.

They also focus on the positive results their products offer, without judgment about consumers' current beauty routines.

To develop a distinct brand voice, avoid jargon and use conversational language. Then can create a simple guide to list words that align with your brand and those to avoid.

Summary: Your brand voice is how you sound in your communications and should reflect your ideal customer, product, and ensure consistency across platforms.

2. Compelling Product Descriptions


  • SEO matters: Weave in natural keywords, but the customer experience comes first, don't force it.
  • Customer reviews are gold: Even early on, encourage detailed reviews and feature the best ones in your descriptions.
  • Overcome generic descriptions: Add notes about WHY you chose this product for your store, linking it to your brand mission.

I blew my own mind while researching this section of the post and figured I’d link you to a product page and explain why you should just use them for inspiration.

This is Away, a luggage brand. Away excels at product descriptions, despite selling fairly standard luggage.

And here’s one of their product descriptions:

Here’s what you should take away from this image:

  • Addressing practical concerns: Customers have functional questions. Answering them (fits overhead, packing capacity) builds trust and helps with purchasing decisions.
  • Using visuals effectively: Videos are a powerful tool; they showcase a product in ways text can't.
  • The traveler's mindset: Descriptions address airport annoyances, packing stress, tapping into their audience's pain points.
  • Benefits, not just features: "360° spinner wheels" is boring. "Glide effortlessly through crowded terminals" is what they sell.
  • Infusing personality: Witty copy without being cheesy makes the descriptions a fun read, aligning with their modern brand.

Even if you don't have product videos yet, your descriptions can address the issues ("Fits X outfits" solves packing anxiety for a weekend trip!). And dig into your supplier's site. Do they have ANY decent images, spec lists, or customer testimonials you can weave into your descriptions?

Summary: Focus on product descriptions that address customer pain points, utilize visuals strategically, and infuse your descriptions with brand personality, even with limited resources.

4. Turning Limitations into Branding Opportunities

You might be dropshipping white label or private label products and need a way to stand out. But since you’re not in total control of the fulfillment process, there’s not much you can do.

But there is. And if you’re designing your own product that you’ll ship, you’ll also need to read these tips.

You can improve your product photography by ordering samples and following these tips:

  • Creative cropping: Focus on a detail that makes the product interesting—texture, unique feature, etc.
  • Simple edits: Even basic photo apps let you adjust brightness, add subtle color filters for a consistent feel on your site.
  • Honesty is okay: With quality items, a well-styled shot noting "Supplier Image, Actual Product May Vary Slightly" is better than a bad image.

Then there’s the power of video.

To create budget-friendly videos, leverage unboxing trends, show products' utility, and focus on authenticity rather than polished, expensive productions. Videos with personality and honesty often outperform over-produced content.

If you have control over your packaging, then consider these tips:

  • Inserts: A thank-you note on nice paper, a use guide, a discount code...all build positive association.
  • Strategic stickers: Custom stickers with your logo are affordable and make basic boxes look branded.
  • Eco angle: If limited, be transparent. "Minimal packaging to reduce waste" resonates with a growing customer base.
  • "Gift Ready" upgrade: Even a simple paid add-on option for nicer tissue paper, a bow, signals that you understand gifting needs.

I’ve used and highly recommend Sticker Mule as the sticker maker of choice. They have the best customer service I’ve encountered and after more than 5 years, their stickers still look good on my laptop.

For custom packages, tapes, and tissue papers, Packlane is an excellent pick. And I’d recommend Canva for inserts. The customization they offer is unrivaled.

Summary: Improve product photography with creative cropping, simple edits, honesty, and consider video, packaging inserts, stickers, and eco-friendly options.

5. Take Your Branded Product to the World

When it comes to marketing, don't spread yourself thin. Analyze where your ideal customers spend their time (Pinterest, Instagram, niche forums within Reddit, etc.). From there, share content that's relevant to your product's purpose—tips, relatable memes, customer stories.

This builds trust organically.

And ensure you respond to comments, host giveaways related to your niche. Doing so makes your social profiles feel like a 2-way conversation.

Take this a step further by getting an influencer in your niche.

Micro-Influencers are Key. Dropshipping margins often don't support big names. Partner with smaller influencers who have highly engaged followers in your niche. Those who aren’t dropshipping could (and should) partner with bigger names if your budget allows it.

When promoting your product, it should feel like a genuine recommendation from someone your audience trusts. For instance, ask the influencer to share a short anecdote about integrating the product into their life—solved a problem, completed their outfit, sparked a fun outing.

Then, you’ll need to track their recommendations. Discount codes and affiliate links let you see which influencers truly drive traffic and conversions.

From there, you’ll need an email marketing list.

More than 90% of surveyed companies say they use an email marketing list [1]. Despite most customers ignoring such emails, these companies must get enough conversions to justify working on email campaigns.

Follow these tips when building your email list:

  • Build a list from day one: Offer a compelling incentive (discount, exclusive content) in exchange for email signups.
  • Segment your audience: Allows you to send tailored content based on purchase history or interests they share.
  • Automate, but thoughtfully: Welcome series, abandoned cart reminders can be set up, but ensure they're on-brand in their voice.

Here are some options for free email marketing services to help you get started:

  • Mailchimp: Offers a robust free plan for smaller lists, user-friendly interface, and great for those new to email marketing.
  • MailerLite: Similar to Mailchimp with a focus on simplicity and affordability with their paid plans.

Experiment with both and see which’ll better benefit your business.

Summary: Key to successful marketing is creating trust-building content, collaborating with influencers, and building email lists.

6. Audit Your Brand

Frequency: Check in every 3–4 months, as rapid iteration is common.

Follow these steps to ensure that your product adheres to your branding:

  1. Revisit the core: Start by comparing your current branding assets to your initial Product Mission Statement, Target Audience, and USP.some text
    1. Are they still aligned, or have you drifted off-course with your choices?
  2. Visual consistency check: Create a simple document where you paste screenshots of your logo, color palette, website, sample packaging insert, and social media graphics.some text
    1. Do they feel cohesive, or different?
  3. Voice audit: Collect a few product descriptions, social posts, and an email from your welcome series.some text
    1. Is the tone consistent? Does it match how you envisioned your ideal customer?
  4. Experience simulation: Go through the process of being a new customer.some text
    1. Is the messaging on your ads consistent with the product page?
  5. Competitive benchmark: Have your competitors shifted their branding significantly since you started?

There’s not much to unwrap here. Audit your product once in a while to see whether there are any improvements to make.

Summary: To ensure a product adheres to its branding, conduct regular audits of its core elements, visual consistency, voice, customer experience simulation, and competitive benchmark.

FAQs for Branding Products

Read on to find frequently asked questions about branding products.

What Is Product Branding?

Product branding is the process of creating a unique identity for a specific product that distinguishes it from competitors and fosters a connection with its target audience.


By defining your ideal customer, crafting a unique value proposition, and building a cohesive brand identity, you can transform a generic product into a memorable and successful brand.

Are you a dropshipper searching for a solution to help you find products? Learn more about how we can help.

Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify $1/month for 3 months.
Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify for $1 for one month.

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