Does your brand have a high thread count?

By Ben Foden

(This is a reprint from a blog posting of Ben’s back in Nov 2009. See

We are willing to pay a lot more for high thread count sheets because they touch our skin — they are something that is truly close to us on a regular basis.

High thread count cloth appears nicer, feels better, and costs more per square inch than others and your product can too. It’s high level of detail should disappear to the naked eye making it appear cleaner and feel better than lower thread count products.

Let’s compare two services, products, or even entire businesses so you can make a clear thread count comparison. Apple has a higher thread count than Microsoft, thus people are willing to pay a premium for Apple’s products and love them fanatically. Moleskine has a higher thread count than a wide range of competitors, thus people  pay considerably more for the quality of the paper and finish of the notebook and have self-organized a large community around it.

It is no coincidence that these companies also have fantastic histories and excel at telling their story. High thread count is about maintaining a standard of integrity, consistency, and quality above all competitors over time. It comes down to that closeness with the needs and realities of customers, and getting along super smoothly with those pain points.

In the early years at Apple Steve Jobs encouraged the flying of pirate flags and was the relentless teller of his story of impending industrial and cultural revolution via the personal computer (see the classic 1984 macintosh advertisement). His vision continues to guide the thinking at Apple and continues to imbue their products with a sense of uniquely polished rebelliousness. “I am going to think differently. And it is going to be better.”

Unlike Apple’s sexy portable computers, the brand Moleskine defines quality paper notebooks. Moleskine consistently touts the exceptional authors and thinkers that used and cherished its notebooks throughout history: “Moleskine® was created as a brand in 1997, bringing back to life the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two century: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin” This story attests to their integrity, their commitment to more quality per square inch than others. Indeed they are the favored notebook of many of today’s great thinkers and the feel of putting pen to that nice paper is unrivaled.

This level of focus on the quality of the end user translates to devotion and allegiance with the brand. The high thread count products and services these companies sell allows them to command a premium price, and also to command fantastically organic word of mouth marketing by their many evangelists. These evangelists have created an entire range of websites, social networks, and even organize in person meets with strangers on the internet sharing only the love of high thread count. More and more convert to these businesses over their competitors every day and they provide exceptionally high lifetime value.

In the same sense that it pays to build a personal brand as much as your business’ brand, it is becoming an imperative that you must build your own thread count to be as high as possible.

Do you have a high thread count?


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