Many brands over time have been built by using “mystique” as an ingredient, generally in the form of information withheld, scarcity, price, and the stories that surround the product.

In this connected world, we are bombarded with information, almost everything we could think of to ask is there, a few clicks away, and so it hasĀ  become counter-intuitive to build a brand based on a lack of information.

Could we build Coca Cola from scratch today, its “secret” recipe held in a bank vault? Would that story hold, or would an employee be on a blog giving us the recipe, and dismembering the bank vault story.

There is a marketing trade-off to be made, mystique against a real, quantifiable product benefit, but how do you demonstrate a benefit that is essentially qualitative. Pepsi tried it with its “Taste Test” marketing, and came unstuck.

In the end it comes back to making the brand stand for something specific, and hard to copy, so it says something about those who choose to use it.