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Dreaming of Brands – The Honest Way to Improve Your Product

May 13th, 2010 · No Comments · Digital Process

Last night during an epic storm I was rolling in and out of consciousness and ended up having a dream where I was emphatically preaching about branding.

Dream Jacob said:

The best brands fulfill an emotional need.

He continued:

“We all use certain products in our day-to-day. The products that we decide to use have passed some kind of internal cost / performance ratio. If the product performs well and was at high cost OR has low cost and performs adequately, we see value and we use these products.

I think what Dream Jacob was getting at is that well designed products with the right kind of branding can invoke emotion. We go from using products to needing them, experiencing them, wanting them.

Dream Jacob continued standing in my bathroom talking about soap,

“Someone buys a bar of soap. If it passes their cost / performance threshold by successfully washing their bum for under a buck, the product now has the opportunity to make an emotional impact. Maybe the ¬†fragrance, texture, color and name of this soap helps me feel fresh and re-energized enough to tackle another monotonous day at the office and plow through all my to-dos.”

This dream made me think about the fine line between good product design and good branding. Companies have choices where to put their money when trying to help the bottom line. If I had to rank those efforts from most honest and effective to least honest and effective. It would look like this:

Public Facing Efforts To Improve Product Sales

(ranked by integrity)

  1. Product Design (most honest / effective)
  2. Branding
  3. Marketing
  4. Advertising
  5. Gross Immoral Shady Stuff, Spam, etc. (least honest / effective)

Now you could probably point at some Forrester research that says, “72% of people buy crap-in-a-box if it has a yellow smiley face on the package” or similar. That may be, but I’d like to think Dream Jacob would argue with the ethics of that.

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