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Brand Tools

What are Brand Tools?

Ruari Lambert / Aug 14, 2018

We’re going to tell you exactly what our brand tools are and why marketers, product and project managers should be interested in them.

The term ‘brand tools’ is something we’ve come up with here at midton to describe a wide range of products that can be used to highlight or strengthen your brand. The recent company transformation here at midton has correctly placed a bigger emphasis on design and innovation, and we think our brand tools are at the heart of our new offering. In this guide, we’d like to explain exactly what brand tools are, give a few examples, and explain just how powerful they can be in the hands of effective marketers. 

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What are brand tools?

As we said in the introduction, ‘brand tool’ is our own term for a range of products here at midton. Put as simply as possible, a brand tool is an acrylic object designed to help promote a company’s brand in one of various ways. Physical objects can make a stronger impression than online or print mediums; brand tools tap into this physical effect in different ways.

The term brand tool is used to cover an expansive selection of objects that can promote your brand. A brand tool can be any one of the following:

  • High-concept luxury display cases
  • High-end point of sale
  • Brand memorabilia
  • Launch or milestone gifts

We will go into these different types of brand tools below, but it’s also worth noting that your brand tool could be something different altogether. The only common denominator is that it’s an impressive acrylic object designed to make an impact that digital and print branding never could.

High-concept display boxes/cases as brand tools

A high-concept acrylic display box or case for your products can elevate your brand (and the product) to the next level. This isn’t just designing nice packaging, but it’s related to the same principle: how a product or a brand is presented to its audience dictates its perceived value and importance. You could have the best product in the World, but if you don’t present it to your audience in the right way, or you don’t distinguish it from its competitors, it will never be particularly successful. 

The Dalmore whisky cases we’ve designed and perfected over the last 10 years illustrate how powerful a brand tool can be. Dalmore makes some of the most incredible whisky in the World and they have an audience who recognises the luxury nature of the product. Luxury whisky is an incredibly competitive industry and brand imagery can make a huge difference. Dalmore has become one of midton’s longest-running clients and we’re extremely pleased with our relationship. Dalmore was looking for something stylish and refined to take their brand to the next level and they asked us to design an acrylic box for them that would provide a tactile quality to their marketing and emphasise the luxury aspect of their brand whilst differentiating itself slightly from the brand’s aesthetic legacy. 

The brand tool we developed for them is so much more than packaging; it’s the customer’s first physical interaction with the brand; it’s a bespoke product, a piece of physical marketing, that distinguishes Dalmore from every one of its competitors. 

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Brand memorabilia as brand tools

Brand memorabilia is another great example of how companies can really make the most of our brand tools. Creating brand memorabilia can be a great way to consolidate a customer base; it allows you to offer something special to loyal customers that ensures they will stay loyal for years to come. And, if the memorabilia is impressive enough to look at, there’s a good chance it will be brought out to show people or left out on display, reinforcing your brand to a new audience for years to come. 

A large part of brand memorabilia’s appeal often comes from its sense of exclusivity — a limited-run product available only for a lucky few people. It’s this sense of exclusivity that adds so much impact to this kind of brand tool. Aesthetics also play a key role, as people often buy pieces of memorabilia to put into display cases. There has to be wow factor, and this wow factor comes from clever, striking design — which is something we’ve invested in heavily in recent years here at midton. 

There are too many good examples of our brand memorabilia products to possibly cover here. Perhaps a more unique example is our football grounds memorabilia. In the past, we have taken the grass from famous teams’ football grounds and suspended it in acrylic, giving fans a little section of their team’s home ground preserved forever. With a careful manufacturing process, the grass maintains its colour and shape within the acrylic, letting fans capture and remember a piece of physical history forever.

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Launch or milestone gifts as brand tools

Launch gifts or milestone gifts are another great type of brand tool. They are particularly popular in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and in the video game industry. Launch and milestone gifts are a kind of memorabilia given out at the launch of a new product or service, or after a certain milestone has been reached. Sometimes, launch gifts are given to the team of people who made a project happen — which makes them a kind of employee recognition product. 

Sometimes, launch gifts and milestone gifts are given to individuals and other businesses who have supported a product or service’s development in some way. In the oil and pharmaceutical industries, launch and millstone products highlight and celebrate a company’s achievements and help promote their new product. 

Launch gifts in the video game industry tap into the deep sense of value in limited-run products that runs through the games industry and geek culture as a whole. There is a huge demand for exclusive collector items in the gaming industry and creating a limited number of launch gifts can help generate a lot of buzz for your product alongside any other marketing and advertising activities. 

The power of brand tools

It is sometimes difficult to talk about branding and physical marketing without getting highly theoretical, but we’d like to try. We think that our brand tools can be the most tangible aspect of any company’s marketing strategy and we know how much value they can offer. Your company’s brand is how others perceive you and how they feel about you. It is the perceived value, reputation, and personality all rolled into one. Putting extra time and money into a brand tool — whether it’s a launch gift, display case/box, point of sale, or some kind of memorabilia item — makes a very different impact to any PR or marketing activities you could do online. There is something appealing and striking about physical objects: the weight of them, the form and function, the sense of luxury that comes from bespoke design. The marketing world has focused on online and print marketing for so long that many newer marketers perhaps haven’t considered physical marketing and the potential impact of brand tools. We hope this guide has changed a few people’s minds and we encourage you to get in touch if you have any questions for us. 

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