Brand Matters: Stop That!
As a merchandising and branding strategist, I abide by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen's profound axiom: "A product has a job to do for your customer."
In addition, I remind my clients their products (or services) either enhance their brand or detract from it. Right now, I am in the midst of finishing my upcoming book: "ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Your Merchandising Muse," and I am living in a verb-saturated world, contemplating all the ways a multitude of products and services from a vast collection of industries live up to Christensen's advice. Just how well do these individual products/services that surround us in—stores, on tablets and on phones—actually support, amplify and play to their brands' promises? It's a provocative question to ponder.
I am swimming in examples of positive product role models. Products and services that go to work for their brands every day. It has been a fun and fruitful journey of discovering product developers and service providers who go the extra mile to both woo and wow their customers.
It also is a reminder of the rigor it takes to turn brands into Lovemarks. You may remember that it was Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts who coined this term. It is simply defined this way: "Lovemarks are brands that reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can't live without. Ever."
Well, in researching my book, a strange thing happened. I became pestered by examples of products that do just the opposite. Products and services that stop short of living their brand promises.
I am purposefully choosing not to name names here. But I do encourage you to make a list of the products and services you experience in your own life that simply let you down, and look at that list carefully for lessons for your own brand.