The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Entries in Brands (6)


Is There Value In A Brand Ideal?

Excerpted from Strategy & Business

"Any brand is simply the collective intent of the people behind it. To everyone your business touches, from employees to consumers, the brand defines who you are and what you stand for as a business. If you want great business results, you and your brand have to stand for something compelling. And that’s where brand ideals enter the equation.

A brand ideal is a shared intent by everyone in a business to improve people’s lives. The ability to leverage this ideal is what separates great business leaders from good, bad, or indifferent ones. A brand ideal is a business’s essential reason for being, the higher-order benefit it brings to the world."

If you asked each of your employees, would they communicate a singular shared intent? How about your customers? If there is confusion about what your brand's intention is amongst your staff, don't be surprised if your customers reflect that in how they value their relationship with you.


Brand 101


Favorite Tweet(s) of the Day

one of the best Silicon Valley service companies (via @Scobleizer and feedly)

No wonder brands struggle RT @technorati: Only 23% of marketers think their traditional agency can handle digital

Used to it but don't love. my husband worries a lot if he hung up RT@triciad: Are iPhone users used to the lack of end call button? #mnbuzz


The Middle Class of Products

What has become of the middle class of products? You know, the dependable ones that weren't luxury brands or disposable discounts? I have been lamenting with my friends lately how the stuff for sale looks like junk and how that appears to be even more frighteningly true as we approach the Christmas shopping season.There seems to be a chasm developing with high end luxury goods on one cliff and cheaply-made value products on the other.  The idea of getting what you pay for is more about what you expect you are paying for. Is it the name on the label or the utility and durability of the product? As a consumer, what matter most to you is what you'll fork over your hard earned dollars for, and if that is quality you might be disappointed.

A middle class American works hard for a day's pay. And as an employee they are likely being asked to do more work with less benefits or resources. Margins are being cut everyhere in the supply chain, and nowhere more than in manufacturing and industrial design. Mass produced items that just hint at artisan craftsmanship pass as luxury goods these days because people yearn for even the appearance of qualty. No place is this more true than in consumer electronics. A pretty face can carry a cheap imitator into a consumer's home easily these days. And like a wolf in sheep's clothing, it can mask as a shiny new cell phone, digital camera or GPS device that could change your life.

But before long the wolf reveals, through the headset jack jiggling or the speaker crackling or dropped signals or the paint chips off the shiny finish. And then you wonder, is the aggravation to buy cheaper products worth the savings? This is where my friends and I ended our rant tonight - agreeing that sometimes it is worth it to pay for the luxury brand just for the peace of mind that quality brings when you know you can depend on it. Pride of craftsmanship, especially pushing against the prevailing tide of economic downsizing, is getting harder and harder to find. Just like the middle class.


Why Is Everyone Talking About YOU?

YOU are everywhere, and the trend for technology companies seems to be telling YOU how important YOU are to them. What's up with that? Why are YOU so important?  Seems YOU are in charge these days.

Click to watch a few videos and read more ...



A Baker's Dozen of What I Believe

Products have stories.

Companies build products.

Companies create experiences.

Consumers live stories.

Consumers experience products.

Consumers define your brand.


To deliver the whole product experience that defines the brand you want to be:

Be an empathetic listener  

Design a simple and elegant response.

Make and keep all your commitments.

Stand for something, not everything.

Build an ‘ah-ha’ moment into the system.


Customers require value.

How you deliver value is your brand promise.