Create Value.

In client meetings recently, I have been integrating a list of marketing tenets I believe marketers must pay greater attention to. One of these is ‘Create Value’ and I use the illustration below as my visual.
LouisVuittonLady.jpgIs that luggage or a fashion accessory the lady is seated on? Of course, it doesn’t matter what WE think…only what SHE thinks.
This is not a rocket-science concept. From premium consumer packaged goods to market-leading technology, we all know the principle. So why do so many brands (especially in technology) get a FAIL on execution?
My Apple MacBook Pro purchased last November is far from perfect: it locks up, crashes, is impenetrably complex at times…yet I still love it. Is it because it is really a ‘better’ computer worth twice the price of a comparable Windows-based system, or because it is a ‘cooler’ computer? In Best Buy last night, I stared at a shelf with over two dozen options for small external hard drives for backing up my computer. How was I supposed to differentiate Western Digital from Iomega, Seagate, HP or Toshiba? In the Bluetooth headset aisle, I faced off against a dozen options. Which one could I trust to make my calls clearer? No manufacturer…not Seagate, Motorola, Jawbone or Toshiba…has built a halo of value around its products like Apple has.
Certainly, brilliant design has something to do with that. Apple continues to set a standard for product and packaging design that competitors can only aspire to. But the marketing aura the company has surrounded its technology with makes the products cool…essential…flawless despite flaws. Apple shows that value is not just something created by brainy engineers or industrial designers. The iPhone’s iconic silhouette ads or the companies hip stores with their “genius bars” speak to the inner geek in everyone…saying ‘I can make even YOU cool.’ It is such wonderful marketing, it conveys trust, even if undeserved.
In practical terms, we can’t all be Apple. But, as marketers, can always grade our work against the objective of having our work positively add to customer perceptions.

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