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April 01, 2010


Jay Ehret

I'm not opposed to your utility brief, John, I think it's a good idea to provide something useful to customers. However, powerful brands are not built on utility alone. They also have a sexiness factor.

The chart you show above only proves that if you listen to customers, you will have a boring, utilitarian brand. Because that's the way customers think. Customers as a group will provide unimaginative, politically correct, and consensus answers to questions like "what do you want from a brand?" Customers as a group are not Steve Jobs and cannot visualize sexy brands and products.

Ask a customer what they want, they will say "free downloads of music and video." It's up to the Steve Jobs of the world to say "I'm going to change the way people listen to music, use their phone, and I'm going to make the laptop obsolete."

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