by Jeffrey F. Rayport
Very interesting discussion on branding
The value of Apple brand was $153 billion, up 84 percent year on year. Yes, Apple spends lavishly on promoting its brand, but the study attributed the spike in brand valuation to the impact of two products — the iPad and, to a lesser extent, the iPhone. There's a lesson in this for every marketer. Want to build a powerful brand? Ask yourself if your products (or services) could serve as ambassadors for your brand.
There are four ways to make what you sell an ambassador for your brand. While not every company can pull this off, it's worth considering how you might position your offerings as.
...Branded Utilities: Until recently, Google hadn't spent a dime on advertising. At a valuation of $111 billion, Google's brand is predicated on the ubiquity of its services.. Google is an information utility. Rather than deliver water, electricity, or natural gas, Google delivers answers. Similarly, while Amazon has the established the gold standard for online commerce, it has spent sparingly to bulk up its brand. Rather, it's reallocated marketing budgets to building a better product: Prime shipping, one-click ordering, often lowest prices, and smart recommendations. Amazon has created the ultimate shopping utility...Social Connectors: Facebook's brand rose to 35th in the latest rankings with a valuation of $19 billion. It's a utility of a different kind. Its benefit for users, of course, is connection to other users, an experience enriched by dozens of features and hundreds of thousands of third-party apps, many varieties of messaging, sharing, and, now, a deal with Skype....Performance Systems: BMW connected long ago its well-known brand mantra — "the ultimate driving machine" — to the reality of its products. Yes, maintaining brand awareness matters when you want to sell cars at scale. But what keeps people coming back to BMW are vehicles that deliver on the claim...Objects of Affection: Though every one of Apple's products is, in fact, "just" a computer in a small envelope, each elicits a strong emotional response easily confused with affection and even love.