Chapter 2 is all about time.
Every person with any memory of a brand has had a first brand moment. In Chapter 2, we look deep into those moments and explore how they turn into good ol’ quality time, loaded with experiences.
Time is the most powerful force a brand can leverage. We consciously and subconsciously use time to measure value. In fact, many economists see time as a functional equivalent of money.
The first moment with a brand is where all the magic happens, and where a lot of design, strategy, and intentionality magic should also happen. Everything builds on that first moment, and the future of brands belongs to those who can design those moments. The lazy branding approach is to bombard “consumers” with messages you think “consumers” want to hear and hope they will believe. In contrast, carefully designed signals sent to all human senses can achieve a memorable customer experience that provides social and economic value — across both space and time — saving people time and increasing their enjoyment of time.
So, if that first moment is achieved enjoyability, it leads to increased use of the brand over time. This mass of time should be voluntary engagement with a brand -- a sign of brand health. Massive amounts of time spent with a brand reinforce habits, leading to loyalty, higher profits and an asset of measurable value. And high velocity brands that rapidly gain time interaction create higher multiples of current value due to their future potential.
When brands gain economies of scale, production cost go down, increasing profits and often lowering prices — and since it takes time to make money, lower priced brands in effect save time. From a socio-cultural standpoint, brands help individuals fit in or stand out, so they can get noticed and find their tribes more quickly. Brands are used to save time, preserve fortune, and pursue fame. Brands are both social and economic tools.
By improving the time value of products and services, brands become vessels of trust, fueled by experiences. This is our definition of the word brand. We define branding as the act of filling a brand with meaning and promises kept. The value of a brand comes from customer experiences in space and time. Time is often the neglected dimension in this equation.
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People also experience brands through their sense in physical space. We explore the space dimension in Chapter 3 – But we have run out of space here. A new world of branding is emerging. It’s just a matter of time before new ways of thinking about brands take shape.