New Book Distills the Essence of Product and Brand Attraction

25 Oct 2005|Added Value

Making Meaning Challenges Companies to Innovate in a Meaningful Way:  Redwood Shores, CA., Oct. 25, 2005 – What makes some of us get excited when we hear that Volkswagen is coming out with a new model? Or gives us goose bumps when we see a Tiffany blue box? What makes the Red Cross effective at collecting donations? The answer is meaning. An insightful new book from the innovation consulting firm Cheskin explains how “making meaning” can be applied to develop products and brands that people connect with and value. The result, the authors argue, is better for customers and for business.

Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences (New Riders Publishing; January 2006; ISBN 0-321-37409-6) by Cheskin’s Darrel Rhea (CEO), Nathan Shedroff and Steve Diller, offers the idea that for companies to build and sustain strong customer relationships, they must go beyond functional or emotional benefits and address the essential human need for meaning.

“This delightfully clear book is intended to help companies connect to real people by placing meaning at the center of a company’s ‘culture of innovation.’ With wit, intelligence, and humor, Making Meaning is about as far as one can get from the rapaciousness of soulless consumerism. Louis Cheskin must be smiling,” said Brenda Laurel, Ph.D. and Distinguished Engineer, Sun Microsystems.

The concepts presented in Making Meaning are a natural outgrowth of ideas about business that have gone before, but meaning is deeper than emotions, values or experiences. Universal concepts such as justice, accomplishment, and community make meaning one of the best foundations upon which to base global innovation strategies. It is what the market is now demanding.

“Meaning is what differentiates great customer experiences from mediocre ones, important ones from unimportant ones,” says Darrel Rhea, CEO of Cheskin. “Making meaning isn’t about rebranding current positions or creating superficial marketing patina on current offerings; it’s about transforming a company’s ability to innovate by creating the highest value possible for customers. Companies need to deliver experiences that connect on a deep, fundamental level with who customers are as people.”

Designers, strategists, researchers, and marketers are only just beginning to uncover the techniques and processes for understanding audiences at this level. And through examples and anecdotes, the authors show how some companies are already creating meaningful experience, albeit often by chance rather than intent. This book takes it a step further, outlining a process the will help companies intentionally evoke meaningful experiences.

For more information about Making Meaning, please visit

About New Riders Publishing
New Riders Publishing, an imprint of Peachpit, provides a forum for the leading Voices That Matter in design and business across the landscape of Web, graphics, business, print, games, and rich media. The combined voices share unique visions, expertise and inspiration. Learn more at

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