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Brands As Software?

Marketers have a soft spot for the notion of brands as people—the idea that imbuing brands with human characteristics is the key to connecting with consumers.

But Martin Weigel of Wieden Kennedy Amsterdam would like us to reconsider. Instead of thinking about brands as people, he suggests we think of them as software that rationally guides consumer decision-making by focusing on more tangible attributes, like performance.

Sound radical? Seem reasonable?

Well, it’s certainly true that no amount of humanity will save a brand if the product or service it represents isn’t up to par. And in a marketing landscape dominated by user reviews, it’s also true that top-shelf products and services do a fine job of forging strong consumer connections.

So, perhaps Weigel has a powerful new metaphor on his hands. Maybe the key to brand loyalty is less about humanity, and more about functionality.