What is a brand?

It’s a brand…stupid

Not unexpectedly, the launch of the new iPhone Xs received the usual avalanche of media attention, along with the usual levels of praise and criticism. To each, his or her own.

What did surprise me however, was a post on social media by someone who couldn’t believe that people would part with so much hard earned cash for the new phone. But that’s not the surprising bit. Rather it was the fact that the author of the post is someone who has been working in the advertising business for many years and should know better.

Not only did people part with their money, many lined up for the privilege of doing so.

He went on to mention that Huawei sold more devices than Apple. There are many more Toyota Corollas sold than Ferrarris, Porches or other prestige cars, but if I could, I know which I’d rather drive. A Rolex is a lot more expensive than a Casio watch, but they both tell the time. Sell fewer at a higher price, what’s not to get?

This is not about what the product does, it’s about how the product makes you feel. That’s what a brand is. It doesn’t exist on shelves, it exists in your heart.

Capturing attention with features is easy. Capturing customers’ hearts is a whole different ball game.

To my knowledge, nobody lines up overnight to get their hands on the latest Huawei or any smartphone other than the iPhone.

When you purchase an iPhone you don’t just buy a phone, you buy into Apple and everything the brand stands for.

This is also about knowing exactly who your customer is.

When people are considering a brand, they’re also considering what this brand says about them. It becomes part of their own story.

Some will buy because of the cool factor, others because they just have to have the latest sought after gadget.

A Huawei customer is someone different. And chances are, in other areas of their life, they’ll spend a lot of money on a expensive brand of watch or car or wine – something that has a special place in their heart and tells the world the story they want to tell.

Please don’t troll me with comments about how many gigipixels your phone camera has – it shows you don’t understand a word I’ve said above.





About the Author Doug Robb

Doug is a marketing strategy and creative communications consultant with over three decades of experience on both the client and agency side of the business. He is also a well established copywriter.

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