Brand Matters: Brand Dreaming
This summer, we all knew one person's dream quite well. Michael Phelps had his heart set on achieving something that had never been done before: winning eight gold medals in one Olympics. We all watched as he did just that and achieved yet another dream for himself, his relay teams and team USA—all the while breaking many of his own world records in the process.
As marketers, we must think about what customers dream about when it comes to products and services. How will you go about discovering your customers' dreams this upcoming year?
What They Want Before They Want It
Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, had a dream, too. He wanted to recreate in America the leisurely coffee experience he had while traveling in Milan, Italy more than 25 years ago. "Who wants a dream that's near-fetched?" he once said. By now, we all know how that dream turned out. But underneath Schultz's personal story of his own dream come true is an important lesson for brands of all shapes and sizes.
Schultz tapped into his potential customers' dreams. The dream of having a place to hang out—day or night. The dream of a small indulgence that doesn't break the bank but provides a little reward each day. And the dream of a product that's accessible. Schultz set a world record of his own and made something happen that had never happened before. He hasn't stopped this process, either. As of this writing, the company is launching "Starbucks signature hot chocolate" and "Piadinis," Italian square sandwiches.
The smart advertising folks at Saatchi & Saatchi insist this is exactly what brings success: "If you only give people what they already want, someone else will give them what they never dreamed possible."
Fashioning Dreams for Your Customers
Disney is another brand in the dream business. From the Magic Kingdom to blockbuster movies to the Hannah Montana phenomenon, Disney always knows how to make magic for its customers. But recently, Disney took its making-dreams-come-true business to a whole new level. DisneyBridal.com resurrects every little girl's princess fantasies, with dress names such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. According to the site, Disney is "proud to introduce an exclusive bridal fashion line created by couture designer, Kirstie Kelly. With her Bridal and Maidens gowns, Kirstie Kelly creates a look that connects to every girl's inner princess. Kirstie Kelly's fantasy collection continues with enchanting accents and jewels—and the perfect wish to let your fairy tale begin ..."
Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of creative branding and merchandising consultancy IER Partners. For 20+ years, Andrea’s joy has been inspiring clients with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She’s the author of two books about brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants and ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.