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Don’t Make Things That People Want

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

On a gorgeous hot summer day at the beach you might kill for a Mr Whippy ice cream cone.
But no matter how much you wanted an ice cream today, even if that ice cream was the best you’ve ever tasted, you probably won’t give Mr Whippy a second thought tomorrow. Why is that?

When you buy ice cream from a van by the beach, you don’t really want the ice cream at all. What you want, is to experience the feeling of eating ice cream by the beach in that moment. After all these years I finally understand that the tinkling music of the ice cream van that visited our neighbourhood forty years ago, (before many of the homes on our street had freezers), didn’t just tell us that the ice cream van was close by. It reminded us how it felt to reach up through the window in the side of the van on a long summer evening, and trade two coins for five minutes of joy, with a chocolate flake stuck in the top.

You might think that this is all very well if you are The Lemon Ice King of Corona, but the same rules apply to anything you can think to market. When Steve Jobs was working with his team of engineers to bring the iPhone to the world, the brief wasn’t to make a touch screen phone that could do xyz. Jobs simply charged his team with creating the first phone people would fall in love with.

The products and services we come back to over and over again are designed for feeling, not just function. They are not made to be used or consumed. They are made to matter.

It turns out that Mr Whippy, like Steve Jobs understood that marketing is a love story.

Image by saeru.