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  • Writer's pictureDeJuan Wright

3 Reasons Why Your Brand's Marketing is More Important Than Your Products

Unless you were really heavy in the tech space or all things startup related, three years ago, the name Sam Altman probably wouldn't have struck a chord if you heard it mentioned in a conversation. But my, how quickly things have changed in such a short period of time.

Without question, when it comes to the world’s economy—AI is definitely the main topic of discussion. And there isn’t a person on the planet more responsible for that discussion than OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. 

However you may feel about the effect that Altman and OpenAI has had or will have on the world; in the world of marketing, one particular statement from Altman has added more fuel to the fire of an ongoing debate amongst marketing professionals around the world. “You can win with the best product, the best price, or the best experience.” 

Now, there’s no doubt about it—having the best product at the best price is definitely a great thing for a brand to lay claim to. A mistake that far too many brands make is believing that it’s enough to win in today’s market. Because it’s not. What does win is providing consumers the best experience. And marketing has a lot to do with that.

1. Perception precedes product 

Extremely popular in the late eighties and early nineties, taste tests were once the all the rave amongst brands hoping to convince consumers that their brand’s products were superior to that of their competitors. In hindsight, taste tests were actually a great practice for both marketing—as well as research and development purposes. 

So it’s no wonder why marketing professionals of the past that felt their brand had the superior product—used taste tests—which consisted of blindfolding participants in order to get an accurate unbiased opinion on how they feel about various brands' food options after tasting them to see which one reigned supreme over all others.

Although a great idea at the time, the reason why taste tests are no longer popular today is because brands have realized that even if their product may be superior to that of their competitors, when it comes to consumer opinion—perception of the product will always cultivate its demand.

And nothing shapes marketing shapes and cultivates the perception of a product more so than marketing does. 

Is an iPhone a superior product to an Android? Are Nike shoes manufactured better than Adidas? Are Levi’s jeans of higher quality than Banana Republic’s? I’ll admit, I have no idea whatsoever.

What I do know is that those respective products are perceived to have more value by most consumers. And having the best perceived product is far more advantageous for your brand than actually having the best product.

2. Consumers fall in love with brands more than products

You and I both know that as much as we’d like to deny it, our opinions of our favorite products are often determined by the brand that produced the product. Take Apple’s EarPods for example. If you’ve been to a gym, mall, or a department store lately, there’s a very good chance that you’ve witnessed others around you with small, egg shell white earbuds in their ears as if the product were a wardrobe accessory. 

Sure, an argument could be made that the primary reason why so many consumers adore EarPods so much is because the specifications of the product prevail over all alternative options in the earbud space. But that argument would be insincere.

The truth of the matter is that regardless of how terrific the product is, intrinsically, consumers adore their EarPods for the very same reasons they adore their iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks—because they love Apple as a brand. The brand’s products are simply supplementary items consumers could possess to represent their love for the brand. 

Whether or not Apple makes the greatest products isn’t why Apple is arguably the most popular brand on the planet. The brand is where it is today because of the way Apple has marketed their brand—along with their products. 

3. Competitors can replicate great products easier than great marketing 

Once thought to be a one of its kind product, Gatorade Thirst Quencher, was created in 1965 by a team of scientists at the University of Florida College of Medicine as a beverage to help athletes replenish electrolytes lost while participating in sports activities.

For decades, Gatorade was the go to beverage for athletes around the world thanks to the brand’s iconic advertising campaigns (most notably the brand’s famed ‘Be Like Mike’ ad campaign starring Michael Jordan). 

As with all truly great products, in 1988, the Coca-Cola Company launched a beverage brand by the name of Powerade, to rival Gatorade. In hopes of conquering the growing sports beverage market. 

After years of fending off Powerade, as well as other competitors in the sports beverage space whose products taste similar to theirs, Gatorade has kept their crown as king of the category, serving as the sports drink of choice for a myriad of athletes around the world.

Gatorade avoids making the claim that they have a product that is more unique, better tasting, or simply cheaper than their competitors. Gatorade has remained atop of the sports beverage category because their marketing campaigns have resonated most with consumers on an emotional level.

Which has a far greater impact on the product's sales than how it actually tastes. 


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