Products have always been important in peoples lives. Most of the stuff we own and talk about is stuff we have purchased. There is a deep and profound relationship between people and a lot of their stuff.
Unfortunately it’s easy to get the impression that this relationship hasn’t been the focus of marketing, which has spent most of its energy on positioning, availability and sales promotion. To some extent one can suggest that marketing has ignored the existing relationship between people and their products, and instead built it’s own marketing relationship, different from the product’s and built on a different set of values.
This has led marketing and products apart, and often created a cleft between them. This cleft has been further forced by the traditional media mindset where it has been impossible for companies to connect with their audience and participants, where media has become an obstacle, a superfluous middle man, where the marketing and the advertising has become messages – not exchanges.
(And one might also suggest that where the product relationship is based on personal and individual narratives, the marketing relationship is based on a generic and artificial narrative)
There are two negatives here, the first one is that marketing is set on creating its own relationship – ignoring the really valuable one already in place between people and products. The other is the traditional communications landscape, which is increasing this distance between the marketing relationship and the product relationship.
Luckily the shift that has been going on for the last four years aims at correcting this. Where marketing changes from focusing on its own agenda to enforcing the values set by the product. Where we are seeing focus moving away from messages and to exchanges and relationships. Which brings marketing and products back together again. Creating a better environment for products, people, companies and the relationship between them.