Our whole being responds to images we actually see or just imagine in our mind’s eyes. To experience this, think a word like beach, elephant, ghost… holding each word for a few seconds and see what images flashed in your mind and the fleeting accompanying emotions.
When brands build powerful associations with desirable images, we similarly experience them when using or thinking of buying them. Getting transported to that world. Much of a brand’s real payoff lies in this imagined experience and we pay a premium for it (while telling ourselves we are paying for quality). Much as it might seem ‘artificial’ because it is merely imagined, this value is as ‘real’ as it gets.