What Makes Us Choose One Product or Brand Over Another?

10 Oct

Product Choice and Why Logos Really Don’t Matter (On Their Own)

There is a question we’ve been asking ourselves since the dawn of advertising. There have been books written about it. TV shows surrounding the culture of it (think Mad Men and The Pitch), and lawsuits over the design of them (Apple vs. Samsung anyone?)

What makes us choose one product or brand over another?

What is the first thing applied to a brand? A logo. It says what the product/brand is about and what it wants you to know about it. A logo is personality stamp.

Does a brand’s logo really help you decide on choosing their products over others? Subconsciously, experts say yes. Graphic designers, marketing managers and creative directors hope so and are paid to know so. Heck, even Arby’s is undergoing a rebrand and redesigned their logo. But will customers care?

Take something as mundane as when you’re staring at a box of plastic dish washing gloves…what makes you decide to buy one kind over another? Price? Conditioning? Colors? Depends on individual circumstance.

How about interacting with a product? We say yes. Take Arby’s. You end up interacting with that product on a very personal level. You ingest it.

Let’s confuse you and go back to the gloves.

Sure the color might pop and induce a euphoric feeling as you lather up those greasy spoons, but touching it to make sure it’s durable, and the most important question you will ask yourself…does it fit my hands?

Think Tactile

Recently drawn to some Lemongrass soap in the toiletry aisle of my supermarket I realized what would make me buy the item. Sure, the packaging was natural looking and made me feel as if it were “organic”. However, it was a wrap around piece of cardboard that actually showed the soap, sans full packaging. This allowed me to feel it, run my hands over its ridges. Yes, it had ridges. I played with it in my hands for a full 20 seconds, holding it in my palm, turning it over, squeezing it. Who squeezes soap? This is not Charmin! Ah, but then, most importantly…I smelled it.

The smell alone caused my hand to quickly retract the soap from my nose and place the bar in my blue plastic shopping basket. I reached out yet again and took the next scent into my hand and allowed Lavender and Myrrh to waif under my nose. A mental note to buy this scent next time consciously computed in my brain’s To Do file cabinet and I felt myself smile knowing I’d remember.

When a product affects us for longer than 15 seconds we’re practically sold. It made me stop in my tracks. Put down my basket and interact with it. This leads us to why Apple products sell so well.

Ever walk into an Apple store. Everyone is playing with an item, or patiently waiting to. Or not so patiently waiting to have an Apple Genius help them play with their Apple product they recently bought, so they can use it better. Or patiently waiting at a check out line to purchase they’re new i-phone that they already played with. It’s all about interaction.

Sure, we love Internet shopping. Who doesn‘t love shopping in their pajamas? But there is always that hovering doubt. Will it fit? How does it feel? Is it real leather? What’s my ring size again?  Even paper companies offer samples of their paper before you opt to buy it. Why? Think tactile.

It’s all about interaction with said product. Offer a great experience and it will sell the product for you, without care for what its branding position is.

We sacrifice this when we shop online, but we’re lazy creatures and succumb to the ease of it all.

Ever see a pair of shoes online, decide against buying them, only to see them in a store a few weeks or months later and say “Ew! Thank god I didn’t buy those, they’re horrid”.

Most will say – it is a culmination of things that steer people to choose a brand or product. I agree. But the one thing that is tried and true above all others, is getting to know your product on a personal level. Then all the subconscious entities take over and your brand has been sold.

I don’t care how many times Pepsi, Arby’s, Gap, or even online websites change their logo. It will never be the main reason why people choose your product over another. It will always be about the experience.

What brands do you find yourself returning to?

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