Our point of view
Customer value is often defined in very functional, financial terms. Our view is that customers derive utility from a number of sources, of which function and financial value are but two. The goal of successful branding is to deliver on the rational and emotional sources of customer utility by understanding both what the product/service can do for customers and mean to them.
Debunking the conflict between reason and emotion was the topic of our article "Emotion is Not the Opposite of Reason" that appeared in Fall 2005 edition of M50 Vista magazine.
Analysis of the role of trust in business relationships appeared in the article "Credit for Credibility" published in the McKinsey special report for the 2003 World Economic Forum in Davos.
The necessity of recognizing the human need for meaning in addition to functionality is a central theme of our book "Vulcans, Earthlings and Marketing ROI," published in January 2008.