14. I want to give my favorite brand a hug…

(credit: apple.com)

That’s because “A brand is something you have an unexplained and emotional connection to,” says Phil Duncan, VP and Global Design Officer for P&G.  He also points out that “the first moment of truth happens when a consumer decides to purchase a particular brand.”

Here’s a perfect example.  I said I’d never buy an iPad.  What’s the point when I already have the iPhone and a MacBook?  Fast forward to yesterday morning and I bought one on a complete whim (well, plus the fact that I got a paycheck in the mail that day also helped).  When the sales guy asked me if I wanted a Verizon or AT&T 3G plan, I hesitated.  Immediately I thought about what awful customer service I’ve had with AT&T as my cell phone provider, what bad reception I’ve gotten, as well as how long they rope you in with their two-year contracts.  But what did I do?  I chose AT&T.  It was purely because it was familiar.  I knew what I was getting (even though in my mind it wasn’t that great).  At least if I was calling to gripe about my cell phone I could talk to them about an iPad issue at the same time 🙂  Heck, I felt like giving them another chance with my new shiny iPad.

Duncan concludes his interview with author Debbie Millman in her book entitled Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by stating:

Take one (brand) away and I’m not sure anyone would fall over and declare, “If I don’t have my valued paper towel, my life is going to fall apart”.  But without these small, but important, benefits, life would be different.  When you put them all together, you have something very powerful.

13. Why Blackberry may not be a dying brand…

Funny, just last week my Creative Strategies professor, Deb Morrison, taught a lecture about brands and why we associate positive vs. negative feelings toward them.  In yesterday’s AdAge article, called “How Well-Defined Is Your Brand’s Ideal?” Jim Stengel (former global marketing director at P&G) makes the case that corporate “ideals,” the word he has opted for over “purpose,” are at the core of a successful brand.  He teamed up with WPP’s Millward Brown Optimor to identify and analyze the 50 fastest-growing brands from 2000 to 2010 in terms of value and consumer preference.  Here’s who made the list.  Do you agree?

Read more in Jim Stengel’s book called “Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies.”