great brands avoid selling products

Yep, you read that right.  Great brands actually avoid selling products.  Great brands know that people make purchase decisions based on how products make them feel or the identities products help them experience or express — so they seek to create emotional connections with people and use product features as mere support for that emotional appeal.

This is one of the 7 principles discussed in my new book, What Great Brands Do:  The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest. Examples of how Great Brands Avoid Selling Products:

  • Apple really isn’t selling gadgets.  Yes, the company makes a fine gadget but Apple’s brand appeal is a combination of all the emotions those gadgets produce by connecting people to each other seamlessly, introducing new ways to enjoy music and other content, and making the use of a device a experience of discovery and enjoyment.
  • American Express is selling more than credit cards.  It offers its customers a sense of status, significance, and privilege.
  • Nike doesn’t sell shoes as much as it inspires people.  Above all Nike’s innovative technology, cool designs, and exciting celebrity endorsements, Its brand success can be attributed to its consistent use of experiences and communications that inspire people to feel like athletes.

Here’s a poster to remind you of this important principle.

avoid selling products

The poster of the first brand-building principle from my book, Great Brands Start Inside, can be accessed here.

The book launch got off to a great start last week with terrific supporting content — check out:

Thanks to everyone who’s making this launch such a fun, dynamic, rewarding experience!

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