In a Seismic Shift, Brands Find Ways to Add Value to One-Off Products

Posted on by Patty Odell

If you take the example of Google-owned Nest, the self-learning home thermostat, marketers will see that a seismic shift is underway. Marketers are taking a page from what brands like Nest are doing and moving from simply marketing a product, to adding brand value by solving bigger problems.

brand value
Broadening the value of consumer products can improve sales and build loyalty.

In the Nest example, the thermostat doesn’t just control a customer’s heat, it learns what temperature they like and when they come and go and builds a schedule around that to conserve fuel or electricity. It uses sensors and the customer’s smartphone location to see if they’ve left home, then sets itself to an Eco Temperature to save energy. It also generates a monthly energy report for customers that explains usage and other data. That all adds a lot of brand value.

The challenge for CMOs is to learn how a one-off product or service can move beyond what its original purpose is to broaden the brand value for consumers. has outlined five key technology, behavioral and commercial influences to keep in mind, including innovative partnership and personalization. For example, the author, Heather Martin, says to be effective, this shift needs the cooperation of the CMO, CTO and CIO when it comes to identifying new services or product attributes that satisfy unmet consumer needs.

The article provides a handful of examples beyond Nest of products or services making headway expanding basic function or use, including Walgreens, Spotify and Adidas.

Another benefit to broadening value is increased loyalty. The products and services discussed here are not the formal loyalty offerings marketers are accustomed to seeing (and signing up for and later ignoring) from run-of-the-mill grocery stores, gas stations and airlines, but loyalty design principles, technology and mechanics that have been baked into the very products and services of some pretty nascent and disruptive brands. Nascent brands are learning what and what not to do from brands with existing “informal” loyalty programs, like Nest’s.

These “informal” loyalty programs are engaging customers on a more personal level.

“That means fulfilling customer needs while appealing to their aspirations and aligning with their values,” Sean Claessen, executive vice president at Bond Brand Loyalty, said last year. Read the article …

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