Got a taste of Rob Walker's new Book The Desire Code in Brand Week - some excerpts
If brands and logos are mere symbols, empty of meaning, then choosing among clothing lines—or anything—becomes a largely rational affair. There are probably four, or maybe four and a half, factors to consider. One, of course, is price. Another is convenience. A third is quality. The fourth rational factor, I think it's fair to say, is pleasure. The half factor is ethics-
His point was that "most products are invisible," as is most marketing, and this means things must be made "remarkable" if they are to have a chance to succeed.
The Pretty Good Problem is even more acute at Magic than it is in the pages of Consumer Reports or, possibly, the picturesque pastures of France. The more narrow the range of actual differences in commodity attributes, the more important it becomes to create a different kind of value—one that transcends the merely material. This is the goal of branding.