Grant McCracken has a brilliant reply to “It’s the Purpose Brand, Stupid” – an article published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday by Clayton M. Christensen (HBS), Scott Cook (Intuit) and Taddy Hall (Advertising Research Foundation) .
While I agree with the authors of the article that “to build a product that people want, you need to help them do a job that they are trying to get done”, and that many companies are building the wrong product by not following this simple rule, I also agree 100% with Grant that taking that to the next level and start talking about “purpose brands” is somewhat ludicrous.
I love it when he points to the costs of building true purpose brands:
“Some costs of the Purpose Brand proposition: Pucini becomes entertainment, indistinguishable from Disney. There is no difference between time keep devices called Patek Philippe and Timex. Ford makes the same thing as Volkwagen. All business schools, mark you, Dr. Christensen, are pretty much the same. Intuit is only a couple of features different from Microsoft Money. Most of all, Mr. Hall, there is no longer any such thing as advertising strategy. Now, it’s sell the function all day long. (And to think that marketers and agencies actually fund the Advertising Research Foundation!) “
No reason to wonder what Grant really thinks about the authors…it’s clearly stated in his post: “The three wise men are a wrecking crew. ”