By way of Matthew Frederick’s excellent 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (Amazon), I came across a Virginia Woolf quote that captures a kind of elemental truth about why some brands and products soar while others flop, despite having comparable or even better features.
The success of the masterpieces seems not to lie in their freedom from faults – indeed we accept the grossest faults in them all – but in the immense persuasiveness of a mind that has completely mastered it’s perspective.
When you look at which products are doing well and which are flailing, ask whether the people behind them have a sense of a mastered perspective. Look for it in marketing and political campaigns, in individual products and in brands. I suspect the answer will jump out clearly.