Product as the souvenir to an experience.

I went down this rabbit hole after seeing this tweet:

“The product has become a souvenir for the experience.”

Fiona Noble of @q_ldn

I then found what I believe to be the originator of the ‘souvenir’ concept:

“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir. Your brand is your public identity, what you’re trusted for. And for your brand to endure, it has to be tested, redefined, managed, and expanded as markets evolve. Brands either learn or disappear.” —Lisa Gansky

With this related take:

“When a sale is consummated, the product is the souvenir – a reminder of exchanged or shared value with your business. Is that souvenir strong enough to stand on its own, or should your business have a follow-up process in place to further enhance its value?” —B2C

It’s in contrast to what Peter Thiel thins:

“If your product requires advertising or salespeople to sell it, it’s not good enough: technology is primarily about product development, not distribution. Bubble-era advertising was obviously wasteful, so the only sustainable growth is viral growth.” —Peter Thiel

I then started to think about logistics for the physical product space via Tim Cook’s fascination with George Stalk’s work (my friend Emmanuel explained that as Tim Cook was to Steve Jobs, Keith Richards was to Mick Jagger):

“In fact, as a strategic weapon, time is the equivalent of money, productivity, quality, even innovation. Managing time has enabled top Japanese companies not only to reduce their costs but also to offer broad product lines, cover more market segments, and upgrade the technological sophistication of their products. These companies are time-based competitors.” —George Stalk


Extended quote from George Stalk book:

Many executives believe that the competitive advantage comes from providing the most value for the lowest cost. This is still relevant, but the new success paradigm provides the most value for the lowest cost in the least amount of time.

Companies that have mastered this skill do the following:

1/ Make time consumption a core component.
2/ Use responsiveness to stay close to their most desirable customers.
3/ Focus their value-delivery systems to the most attractive customers.
4/ Set the pace of business innovation in their industries.
5/ Grow faster with higher profits than their competitors.

This new generation of competitors is obtaining remarkable results.

Wal-Mart was able to dominate its industry by replenishing its stores twice as fast as its competitors. Sun Microsystems achieved leadership in engineering workstations by reducing — 50% compared to its competitors — the time needed to design and introduce new systems. These companies and others that built time into their strategies have been rewarded with above-average growth and profitability.

A company becomes a time-based competitor by accomplishing four tasks: Understanding the rules of response; making value-delivery systems two to three times as flexible and responsive as its competitors; pricing how customers value these capabilities; and implementing a strategy for surprising its competitors with time-based advantages.


And then on the virtual “media” side of the house, I went looking for expertise on the topic of supply chain management of the communications industry.

“We are looking at this as a strong option for personalized targeted/addressable versus blending with linear. Overall, if TV wants to use data/segmenting etc., it needs to have more addressable options that allow for competition with digital dollars. The challenge is one will be much more cost effective than the other. We will then have to use the data to prove the attention/effectiveness of one versus other, as Joe Marchese would say.” —Dave Penski

“We think the curation layer is what’s missing from media brands. In the open web … right now the AI is curating content for people. And I think people are looking for something a little different. And then (with) media technologies … how are we going to measure attention better? How are we going to access attention, respecting consumers a little bit better? And how are we going to monetize attention in ways that it’s consumer-friendly?” —Joe Marchese of Attention Capital (acquired Tribeca)


Lastly, a note to self on Brand as explained to me by a former Apple friend:

Brand is an asset class that increases in value when the product is good. And it draws upon it when the product is bad.

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