Seth Godin is right in his November 26 blog when he claims that how we “feel” about products/services like Google and iPod makes all the difference. When quality and abundance are ubiquitous and how much we trust the manufacturer is no longer at issue, it is the perceptual differences that count. The “story”–as told through advertising, web, and PR. And the “design”–the sensory icons of smell, touch, taste and sound, are all just two pieces that influence how we feel about things. It’s not just design and story, as Seth alludes, lots of products with great design and great stories have failed (witness the Sony AIBO ERS-7M3/T Robot.) It’s also what the product is about (its creed), rituals that surround the product, the lexicon of special words surrounding Google and iPod (iLife, iOffice, iWorld), as well as those people who just don’t “feel right” about Google and iPod (wherever they might be), and the commanding leaders: Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Apples Steve Jobs. It is this full surround (story, creed, icons, ritual, specialized words, nonbelievers and leaders) that make products, services, personality brands, social and political movements, even civic communities, feel better than other options.