Henry Chancellor describes a conscious thinking on the part of Ian Fleming to create a somewhat generic physical image of the James Bond character. Why?

Consider the following marketing precept discussed by Theodore Levitt in his book, The Marketing Imagination (1986). “Feelings are more important than feeling. How we feel about a car is more important than how the car feels.”

At first this might seem at odds with the notion that customer satisfaction will rise as specific application benefits rise, as compared to generic descriptions. But that ill-fits the 007 appeal, fundamentally, because, as Kingsley Amis appreciated in 1965, “We don’t want to have Bond to dinner or go golfing with Bond or talk to Bond. We want to be Bond.”

This is corroborates the basis of the Henry Chancellor summary in James Bond: The Man and His World (2005).

Right from the beginning Fleming set out to write about a man who was only a silhouette. ‘The paradox is that I quite literally made him rather anonymous,’ he told Ken Purdy, a journalist who interviewed him in 1964. ‘This was to enable the reader to identify with him. People have only to put their own clothes on Bond and build him into whatever sort of person they admire. If you read my books you’ll find that I don’t actually describe him at all.’

Notwithstanding the fifth chapter of Casino Royale published a dozen years earlier, where Vesper Lynd says that Bond “reminds me rather of Hoagy Charmichael,” the Fleming quote above speaks to a philosophy. One need only Google for advice on “being James Bond” or aspiring to the “James Bond lifestyle” for evidence of just how far this strategy has gone in effect.