The Price of branding
I overheard a conversation between two friends at a gas station. "Dude”, said one of them, “you have to eat the Artbuger at Moses (an Israeli burger chain, OG), it is one hell of a burger”. "...How did you call it?" ask the other. "Artburger. that's the name they gave it but it has no meaning to me. it is just a very tasty burger, i guess an advertising so-called expert gave it that Pretentious name”. "And how much did they charge you for it?” Was the next question."it was outrageously expensive piece of meat" said the first and i could see that he has just realized he was robbed. “Well, my friend, that was the price of branding you paid for" was the answer.
Brands charge us more and we pay them more for their feel privileges, that is , we pay them more because we want to feel something thoughts that object that we just bought. something that will upgrade our usage experience to irrational territories.
Now usually, this does not happen because the product has no true-to-life relationship with its branding. most of the times branding is an unfulfilled and empty promise designed only to hook the fish. In the case of the “Artburger” the brief was to differentiate the hamburger and the creative execution was a pretentious name that will justify the price. in my opinion they did not trust their fine product to engage effortlessly the customer based only on its merits.
Branding is an unconscious perceptual process that never ends. it happens whether you like it or not. it happens to people and businesses. it is the emotional reflection that create or don't create an emotional effect on the recipient side. A good branding process creates a never ending positive or negative emotional consumption.
Just like in my inhaler case.
From the age of 5 i hold it in my hand when i go to sleep ( i am 50 years old). it’s shape and packaging did not change dramatically. it stayed pharmaceutical boring and dull. but it is my confirmation that everything will be alright and i will wake up alive the next morning. the taste of that metallic cold air that is sprayed out of that blue container is my taste of life, and not coca cola, GSK, the company that manufacture my inhaler knows this of i think they know but it does not matter because branding, the ability of a product to produce emotions in people, is a subjective process that contains within it, much more than a good practical and cost effective product that solves a problem. in my case, asthma.
Yesterday, when i went to the pharmacy to buy my prescription inhaler, i was offered a new one with a flower on a red well designed package by a different pharmaceutical brand. “No thank you”, i told the Pharmacist. i even refused to take it for a test drive and “discover that it has no metallic aftertaste and it is much nicer and well designed”, as the Pharmacist explained. the little child in me did not want a better product or a better medicine, the little child in me wanted reassurance that he can go to sleep and wake up still breathing and if he has to go to 5 different Pharmacies to find it, he will.
The is the justified price of branding for me. it is the effort i make to get that desired feeling i want or need. i think many companies that present a well crafted brand image and identity that has no bearing to reality, will save money on marketing if they discover that hidden emotional component in their products that makes people feel. not think.