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Your product needs an identity

Have you ever asked yourself why people fall in love with products? Recently I listen Seth Godin saying that "if you are making a product for everyone, you are making a product for no one". I believe that this incredible sentence reveals the answer to the question.

This post will tell you why it's so important to create a strong identity for your product.


The philosophy behind Seth's words isn't something new. You probably heard about this on product development methodologies or about the horizontal marketing vs vertical marketing.

I'm a defensor that we should read Seth's advise as "a product should have a mission, a vision, an identity, as if we were describing a person, a friend", because when we are creating something for everyone, a "horizontal product", we usually add complexity and a lack of "identity" to our product.

So, what makes up an identity? It’s what you stand for, it's your passions, values and beliefs.

The world around us has a lot of good examples of this, for example:

  • Apple: Has an identity of innovation and design.
  • McDonald's: Provide the best quick service restaurant experience. Let's be honest, isn't McDonald's one of the first options that came to your mind when you need a quick meal?
  • Basecamp: Has started with a mission to create an awesome project management tool for design companies.
  • Personas: UX and Design teams, usually start by creating a persona that represents a hypothetical customer.
  • Google: Simplicity and information side by side.
  • Gourmet restaurants: They create a clear identity based on quality, trying to reach a concrete market.

Why an identity is so important?

People feel attracted to strong identities and tend to create a relation with a brand or a product that has some characteristics that they like. As Amy Hoy said "Nobody wants to be everybody". Your friends are amazing because of their unique personality or because they are likable people?! I bet that you like them because they are awesome.

So, if you are creating a product, you should try to find your identity and remember that, your target market should see in your identity a personality that they love. Then, just keep in mind "who you are" and you will see people falling in love with your product.

An identity isn't just something to be written on a wall. It’s something that you believe and that you live it everyday.

Just remember, "it’s for everybody!" probably isn't the best answer.