I have often said that their are four types of brand benefits: (1) functional, (2) emotional, (3) experiential and (4) self-expressive. In addition to this there are values that the brand might share with its customers. Let's explore examples of each of these using one brand and one product - the Apple MacBook Air. (This just happens to be the computer from which I am writing this post.)
What are some of its functional benefits?
- It is small and light, almost as small and light as a iPad, making it easy to transport to meetings and when traveling through airports.
- As with all Apple machines, it powers up quickly and powers down quickly. This is due to integrated software, and in the case of my laptop computer, a solid state hard drive. This becomes very beneficial when one has only five or ten minutes to use the computer (while waiting in a hotel lobby, during meeting breaks or during airport layovers).
- It syncs well with my iPad, iPod and iPhone. I can play my iTunes music off of any one of them and it transfers easily from one device to the other.
- It is less susceptible to computer viruses so I don't need anti-virus software and it is less likely to freeze or malfunction due to malware.
What are its emotional benefits?
- I feel good about having one of the best computers around. I feel secure that it will turn on and work every time I try to use it.
- The name Apple just makes me feel good. It is a more approachable name than that of many other computers.
What are its experiential benefits?
- I like the look of the backlit keys on the keypad.
- I like the touch of the keypad.
- I like the smooth rounded corners on the laptop.
- I like the way the hinge works when I open or close the laptop - very smooth.
- I like the way the plug attaches magnetically to the laptop and I like the green light showing me it is attached properly.
- I like the look of the backlit apple on the laptop cover.
- I like the sleekness of the device.
- I like the texture of the brushed aluminum body.
- I like the intuitive way that the operating system works.
- It pairs perfectly with my Bang + Olufsen headphones, whose volume control is designed to work with Apple devices.
What are its self-expressive benefits?
- The computer signals that I like quality products.
- It signals that I appreciate finer things.
- It signals that I am willing to spend more for better quality.
What values does Apple share with me?
- An appreciation of aesthetics.
- An appreciation of finer things.
- The love of innovation.
I have not listed all of its benefits and as you can see, some benefits interact with and support one another. If I were to summarize the benefits from my perspective it would be - high quality, easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and tactilely attractive. It is sophisticated yet very approachable.