Written by Sibusiso Buthelezi

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What is the autograph effect?

You may have witnessed how autographed items cost way more than items without. The same phenomenon exists in a business context where some logos positively affect the monetary value of the product, making it worth more than the average product. We call that The Autograph effect.

This effect brings focus to the role of a logo in a brand. While it may be unique and distinctive, it is not a brand but a representation of the brand. Same as how autographs represent the popularity or notoriety of the author, ordinary people have signatures.


The Autograph effect in action.

An example of a brand that has achieved this effect is Supreme when it shocked the world by selling a single clay brick with its logo for about R 460 ( $30), which sold out, and the resell value soared to about R 1 540 ( $100).

Put this into perspective. A single brick costs about R5 ($0.33), and Adding the Supreme logo increased the value of the brick by 99%!


Curious as to how to attain this effect?

The Supreme logo wouldn’t have achieved such a feat without the brand to back it. However, some factors stand out discussed below, which greatly influence the effect of the brand.

1. Build a community:

The brand is synonymous with street and skateboard culture. It has served this community since its inception, resulting in having a cult-like following.

-Tip

Build or join a community with whom you share the same values, principles and outlook.

2. Create hype through scarcity.

Every line of product Supreme makes is limited and sometimes never made again. This scarcity creates high demand, increasing the perceived value of products.

-Tip

Create an air of exclusivity in your brand. Achieve this with the premium pricing strategy, niching down, or having an exclusive offer for a select few.

3. Remain Authentic.

Supreme has always been about being true to who they are. They are consistent in remaining authentic and is seen from their service ( or lack of ) to how they choose to collaborate. 

-Tip

Be consistent in who you are as a brand. Stand for something and stick by it, through and through.

The autograph effect can be attained when the foundation is rooted in strategy, empathy and authenticity. With a strong foundation, your logo will increase the perceived value of your offering as it is an emotional trigger that transcends its cost.