Brands are learning to exploit basic human needs to inspire the devout following of the buying public, according to a BBC documentary on the ‘rise of the superbrand’.
The human inclination for gossip, religion and sex have helped brands such as Apple take over our world at “lightning speed”, says Alex Riley in the BBC Three programme, Secrets of the Superbrands.
Riley watches as staff are whipped up into “an evangelical frenzy” at the opening of an Apple store in Covent Garden, and later takes a look into the mind of an Apple fanatic to discover that the company appears to stimulate the same parts of the brain that are associated with fervent religious following.
Riley’s mission – to discover how companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google have enraptured the consumer – sees him visit the set of a pornography shoot, where he learns that the adult industry is at the forefront of popularising the use of modern technology, such as iPads, high-definition and 3D.
Companies are also happy to sell at a loss in order to gain the loyal following of millions. The 41 million Playstation 3s that Sony has sold, for example, has equated to a loss of around £2 billion, but has also enabled the company to capture the vast share of the Blu-ray market after it muscled out Toshiba’s competing HD-DVD discs.
It’s a case of lesson learned for Sony, which lost out in the 1980s to the VHS, in part because of its refusal to allow the pornography industry to use its now long-forgotten Betamax competitor. There is no such restriction on the adult industry today when it comes to the use of Blu-ray.
“That’s not to say that clever marketing and brilliant technical innovation aren’t also crucial,” says Riley on the BBC website. “But it seems that if you’re not providing a service which is of potential interest to every one of the 6.9 billion human beings on the planet, the chances are you’re never going to become a technology superbrand.”
Photo taken by Flickr user jonrawlinson, licensed under Creative Commons