The brands which command a lot of attention–from consumers, the media, pundits–are entities which take hold of what you feel. You may rationalize along cognitive lines that this _____ saves me time, space, effort and so forth. That may be true in one or all cases. For the most part, many things we buy are things we don’t need. We need food, water and shelter. We need a strong sense of place and an even stronger sense of community to prevail as a civilized society. I certainly don’t need to have an Apple iPad [“I need it to do work while I’m on the go.”] or a 52″ OLED TV [“It provides much better pictures, especially when I watch _____.”] or a designer bag, suit or accessory [“This/they give me a boost of confidence and help me stand out from the crowd.”]
The brands that take hold of a consumer does 2 things: 1) consumers embrace a brand because they have emotional ownership of what it promises and 2) competitors aspire to that level because of the promise of more revenue.
In both instances, it all pares down to this: It’s not what you’re getting, it’s what you think you’re getting.