Does your brand impute?

Are you hypnotized by your own marketplace experiences?
Have you rationalized that your brand is a promise and engagement is the Holy Grail?
Are you convinced that all you have to do is engage people with captivating content and deliver on your promise?
If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone.
Most brands haven’t a clue about how people actually feel, think and act.
They assume that we’re all searching for “the answer.”
So they desperately focus on making sound arguments, on making sense.
But what we’re truly after is novelty and recognition.
A sense of control and identity enhancement.
In Walter Isaacson’s book, Steve Jobs, Isaacson wrote, “Early on, Mike Markkula had taught Jobs to ‘impute’ – to understand that people do judge a book by its cover – and therefore to make sure all the trappings and packaging of Apple signaled that there was a beautiful gem inside.”
Leadership brands, like Apple, don’t make promises.
They create and fulfill expectations through thoughtful and precisely crafted associations.
Associations which create expectations of receiving a particular feeling about one’s identity.
Leadership brands understand that brand success is not about winning a debate.
It’s about signaling meaning.
It’s not about convincing people with well-reasoned arguments. 
It’s about unearthing what people need to feel good, smart and special and then giving it to them.
Leadership brands don’t compute.
They impute.

Tom Asacker