James Dyson: How To Be Different #3

Flaky branding
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The Independent Online

The flakiest attitude in business is the assumption that simply by branding something you can sell loads and make stacks of money.

Bring in the style consultant, tart up the product, slap on a logo, and wait for the sales to roll in. Boast about your brand and forget about your patents.

This is an inversion of priorities. Yes, an attractive brand is helpful. But it is not as important as the product itself.

People want a product that works better. The label is unimportant.

Companies do better when they concentrate on new and patented technology to solve problems or make things work better. But too many businesses take a different approach. Their customers might be surprised to discover how uncertain is the lineage of products they market.

Brand names often bear no relation to the designer or manufacturer of the product because more and more products are made by third parties and "badged" - which means you put your name on somebody else's work.

Hoover doesn't seem to mind that its US Windtunnel canister is actually designed by LG in Korea and badged the Cyking in Europe.

The Bosch Extraxx upright is the old Vax AVC1. And who makes this vacuum cleaner? Not Bosch, nor Vax but a Hong Kong manufacturer called TTI.

Putting your own fancy name on someone else's product is an easy route to market. It isn't always wrong, provided consumers are not denied their right to transparency. But when so many companies are more interested in selling than in creating, and in spin more than substance, the wise consumer is the wary one.