I once Tweeted: “The fastest way to brand loyalty: Don’t take customers for granted and provide them with unexpected, thoughtful product gestures.”
The word in this statement that excites me is gestures. It’s easy to see what a service gesture is, that’s a manmade experience, but a product gesture? Hmm. At the time I’m sure what I meant by product gesture was “service gesture,” or “corporate gesture.” However, now I’m looking at product gesture a little differently. A little more organically.
A rough definition of gesture is: A movement or action that is expressive of an idea, opinion or emotion. So let’s look at that for a second. When you pour a beer, is the head an expression? Of course it is. But of what? Freshness, glass cleanliness, taste? And don’t all beers have head? Indeed they do. Guinness Stout has a head, however that head is richer, fuller, made up of tinier bubbles due to carbonation from nitrogen not carbon dioxide. An organic product expression.
When brand planners look for differentiation they can start by asking product managers and consumers what gestures derive from the product. Product gestures are part of the consuming experience not the marketing experience.
Tink about it as my Norwegian aunt might say. Peace.
(More on experiences vs. gestures tomorrow.)