Brand Needs, People Needs

I came across this piece of urban Zen street art wisdom the other week, posted to a Vancouver telephone pole.
It didn’t ask if I needed a coffee, a higher resolution phone camera or a more comfortable pair of shoes. This little sign bypassed all of that, heading straight for the more self-actualized section of the hierarchy of needs.
Which made me think – perhaps sometimes we let logic and surface appeal control too much of what we consider to be of value.
Consider the promises that brands make to us every day: convenience, value, economy, made with real cheese – these and other ‘logical’ benefits seem powerful at first glance. They are certainly easy to sell in the boardroom.
But what are we REALLY offering people with our products and services?
Is it too much of a stretch to imagine that a brand of fair trade chocolate could offer ‘HUGS’ or a new real estate development could provide ‘PEACE’?
Next time you are crafting a message for your brand, be it a video, a social media post or a complete product positioning, remember this sign and consider thinking a little further up the food chain.
Which need would your customers and stakeholders choose? Which one would you take?


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