Read an article this morning about the iPhone (Apple’s iPhone Does Well Despite Better Competition). Sadly the author cops out – takes the lazy way out – and suggests Apple succeeds because of their “aura of cool”.
Here, in a nutshell, is where too much technology marketing goes into the weeds. You see, in traditional consumer marketing, we know there are a 100 shades of better. And the ones that matter most are the ones that matter to consumers.
Hard core technologists live in an alternate universe that thinks it’s all about technological advancement. But being “leading edge” no longer matters. Having the “best” technology by arbitrary measures like megapixels, microdots, or gigawhumps simply isn’t important. What matters about these measures is whether they deliver value to consumers.
And it’s definitely not about cool. There are a hundred new phones that are cooler than an iPhone. Hundreds of handheld products with cooler “design”. (Samsung’s designs give me moments of phone envy.) I mean let’s be honest, the iPhone’s exterior ain’t the sexiest. (UPDATE June 2010: Okay, maybe the iPhone 4 recaptured a cool exterior. But a cool exterior is a passing advantage. It’s what’s inside that matters most.)
What really matters in technology marketing is delivering usefulness to people who need it. And that’s what Apple delivers. That’s the Apple brand.
Copyright 2010 – Doug Garnett