Branding risk: Anyway or Whatever

In products and in life, people are always looking for ways and means to fulfill their psychological needs. One area of basic human motivation is the desire for change and transformation; taking a risk and trying new things if you will…
When I say risk, I don’t just mean betting $10,000 at a casino or investing in an American bank – I also mean little everyday risks. For example: tasting something new in a restaurant, meeting new people at a function or buying something different at the grocery store.

The desire for transformation and risk is present in all of us. We all have some appetite for risk; indeed, it’s an essential part of human nature. Unfortunately, so many of the products and services we experience on a daily basis ignore this and choose to work with a limited spectrum of our motivations.

Contrary to popular belief, conscious decisions and rational thinking do not represent the majority of human thought – in-fact according to Prof. George Lakoff cognitive scientists now believe that 95% of all human thought is actually unconscious (For example: Philosophy in the Flesh; The Embodied Mind and Its Challenges to Western Thought).

On that note, I’d like to share with you a brand that is (in my opinion) one of the best examples of building psychology into a product. It’s called Anything or Whatever:

This line of soft drinks comes in a unique style of generic packaging, so you literally don’t know what the flavor is until you taste it; it could be Anything or Whatever. Whilst the brand, packaging and communication for this product are brilliant, what I like most about it is the underlying strategic insight. People sometimes like to take risks.

So what can we learn from this innovative product?

Risk is a fundamental human motivation and one that has been fundamentally ignored by many brands. Risk doesn’t necessarily mean risky; and if businesses are serious about connecting with new customers and new generations, perhaps they should start considering some new motivations.