I believe in product, because I believe in brand
Brands, if done right, are hugely valuable assets, officially placed on a balance sheet.
Brands are not just comprised of a logo, a font, a colour scheme and a tone of voice. They are the amalgamated result how every consumer views a company or product, from all of the various interactions they’ve had with it: from product experience to advertising, from sales to support, and from the press to discussions with friends.
As a holistic concept, a brand determines why a consumer will choose one product over another… why a consumer would pay what they’re willing to pay for a product… why a consumer would choose to come back to purchase again… why a consumer would recommend a product to a friend… and as a result of those four elements, why a company is valued at a premium.
But wait, you techies say… the product experience defines all of that. And that’s my point.
A brand isn’t an optional toy you engage in, depending on how much you want to invest into a marketing team and design. A brand is merely a concept that describes value. A brand doesn’t care that you’re in deep-tech, or consumer packaged goods, it gets created no matter what… and the product experience is at its core.
I come from the traditional marketing world, so it’s no surprise that I view the world using these terms. What I find interesting here… what I’ve come to realize, is that I believe the best brand builders in the world don’t even know they’re doing marketing in the first place.
Product Managers, Experience Architects, Interaction designers, Information Architects, Usability Engineers and Customer Success Professionals all engage in marketing everyday, because they’re creating the core element that defines how a consumer views a brand: the holistic product experience. And the good ones are damn good at it, as they obsessively use insight and data to create experiences that provide true value and a delightful experience. The traditional world doesn’t have this sort of focus.
Whether you call it marketing, or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is value creation. A company derives value from the value it can extract from the market, and it can only extract sustainable value by creating it for its customers in the first place. Amazing product experiences create so much value for its users that they are truly happy to pay for it, and will always come back for more.
That’s the kind of value I hope to create. And that’s what brand truly means to me.