7.4 Identifying Key Meanings, Attributes, and Features

One thing is for sure. There are literally thousands of attributes, features, designs, and meanings that can be used to define products and services. This section details the major attributes that should be considered during product and service development.

Design attractiveness and innovation also applies to services. Packaging for a service includes the overall look and feel of the service. It is the gestalt or form and configuration of the service as perceived by the consumer. The key success indicator for a service is the customer’s perception of the overall experience with the service process.Bitner, Ostrom, and Morgan (2008).

Overlap in Meanings, Attributes, and Features

After reading through the list, you can probably notice that there is a significant amount of overlap among the different attribute categories. This is in part related to the imprecision of words in all languages and to the proliferation of synonyms. A Venn diagram illustrating the relationships among words and their meanings would visually depict significant degrees of overlap. This ties in very well with the concept of a brand and MDD. Recall that a brand is simply something that lives in the head of consumers.Adamson (2006). A brand is simply a composite of the mental associations that are generated when you see or think about a certain product. Another way to think about branding is as a gestalt view of the product. It is more than the sum of its parts (the attributes, features, functions, form, design, and meaning). It is the meaning we attach to the product and all the neural associations that are invoked when the product or service is recalled.