Friday, April 29, 2011

The power of “The”

I have never come across any information about how usage of definite article can affect market. At that, such an influence can sometimes become very, very efficient.

Before “The Social Network” movie became an Oscar-winner, there were a lot of social networks across the Internet. Now there exists “The Social Network” –, and when you hear ”social network”, your brain most likely helpfully provides you with a Facebook image. Great win for Facebook and great loss for other social networks, be they competitors of Facebook or not.

Another well-known example of how the definite article can be used, is the brilliant VW logo: “Das Auto”. After such a logo was registered by Volkswagen, all the other car manufacturers should have curtailed their businesses to start manufacturing something else, not cars.

Certainly, just registering your product as “The” product is not enough, first of all you definitely need to have a really good product. However, there are a lot of really good products, and not a few of them happen to become “The” products.

I’m trying to ponder on how to make a product worthy of “The” article.

As we have already noticed, just being good or even perfect does not guarantee to a product “The”-worthiness. Why? Can’t we think up a set of measurable (at least – partly measurable) must have parameters of “The” product? For example, length and height; or speed and fuel consumption; or number of dialog screens and buttons. Looks rather silly, doesn’t it? Unfortunately we cannot measure attraction. VW makes good cars, but they are not the best ones in the world. Nobody deceives himself about that; however “Das Auto” logo applied to VW production looks absolutely fine to us. We accept an image of VW car or of the Facebook social network as “The”-worthy. So, we operate with images rather than with real measurable products.

This way we enter the field of image-thinking (relative information can be found in the Web or in books, for instance: "Overcoming modernity: synchronicity and image-thinking" ). High quality advertising stuff impacts your subliminal consciousness rather than your brain, and it is exactly about effecting humans’ image-thinking.

So, what should we do to implant “The” image of our product into minds of our possible clients? Bad news is: Nobody knows. However, there exists good news also: At least we consider it an issue and we think about it.

To my shame, I have only one idea on the matter. The idea is simple and almost obvious: To make my clients accept “The”-image of my product, I first of all have to think out the concept of the product, to design the product, to develop, to market and to sell it with this “The”-image of the product in my head. Without my own dead certainty that my new product is “The”-worthy, there is no chance to convince somebody of the same.

Any other ideas?