Specs are not important to the majority of people. Not even top 3 on the list. Think about it…
Just consider for a moment, the marketing strategy behind Apple’s products, and their drive to sell what they create. Within their innovations there is a degree of excellence that is required, which will always keep the majority of today’s users close at heart. The reason why their marketing always works well, when many other companies flop, is because they aren’t attempting to sell products. They sell an experience.
Take for example the commercial below. This is a brand new Apple iPad 2 commercial that was just released. What you will notice about this commercial, is that it is nothing like their competitors. Similar tablet manufacturers always come out with a bang, and excitement, and always (ALWAYS) talk about “specs” like it means everything to everyone. The problem is, specs don’t mean everything to everyone. In fact, they mean “something” to “almost nobody” in comparison to how they feel when they use it, and how easy the device is to use.
My argument is not that the iPad 2 is a better tablet. My argument has nothing to do with which device is actually better, because this argument is impossible to deploy. All users, whether you are using Android and love it so much that you’ll never go to iOS, or the exact opposite, will never actually be persuaded by another person via the internet why the other side is preferred. This is because these products offer unique perspectives on how things are meant to be done in our highly mobile society, and only by truely going out and experiencing the other devices can you really determine which is right for you.
Notice that I said “right for you” and not “is the best.” There is an undeniable difference between those two terms. It’s not what is better, because you cannot prove that… It’s what is right for you. Apple understands this better than anybody else on the market, bar none, and they have used this exact knowledge every time to win people over and literally make them love their products. I’m not talking about actually forcing you to like it, I’m talking about making products that are specific to catering the behaviors of their target market so well, that users don’t really feel like they are using sophisticated technology anymore. They feel syncronized with their device. They simply know how to do everything already, because of how it’s designed. That’s the iOS difference.
But you’d never know this unless you gave it an honest try. That doesn’t mean you visit your local Apple store and fiddle with it on display for 20 minutes, because that’s not trying it. That’s observing it. You haven’t actually experienced what Apple has designed for you until you use it in sync with your daily life. Their marketing really does explain that quite plainly. I’ll explain more about that after the commercial here. Just watch it. Watch it twice. Don’t just go “eh, it’s Apple so it sucks.” Ignore your bias. In fact, ignore the product completely. Don’t even think about it being an iPad, because in the end… Apple never actually says it’s an iPad. Instead, pay attention to exactly what the commercial says to a viewer, and exactly the message they are portraying.
Watch it again, please… I want you to really understand this. I’m trying to share with you exactly what Apple is doing here. After that, we’re ready to analyze this a bit further.
What you should have taken from this commercial, is that the product itself is NOT important. It literally doesn’t matter what is put on the screen. Take your favorite tablet, and put it in the iPad’s place here. Then play the commercial again…. it will have exactly the same effect on you. Apple is sharing parts of your daily life with you. They are showing you the things you are already doing, and then allowing you to see how it could be changed if you owned an iPad. They don’t specifically say iPad until the end (in text), but you know it because you see it.
You can see how a person’s life could be impacted by using it. You can see the joy in people’s faces (this isn’t fake by the way… I’ve seen countless instances where people have had a genuine heart-felt smile when they picked up an iPad. It happens). You can see how a child’s life could be improved. All because of a tablet. Not just a tablet. An iPad. That’s what they want you to see. However they want you to see it, without actually seeing it. Does that make sense? They are looking for people, from this marketing strategy, to incorporate the iPad into their daily lives so smoothly that it doesn’t feel like technology anymore. it just feels like a part of you, or an extension of your life if you will.
If that same iPad was brought into, say, a Blackberry Playbook commerical, you would have heard “specs” about it. It has this, and it can do that, and it does this FASTER than that. Okay, that’s nice… But how does “that” really effect me personally in my life? How does being able to do it faster than this guy really change my life for the better? – They don’t tell you that part. They simply expect people to piece it together, and that’s their mistake.
Below is another iPad commercial, and then below that, the commercial for the Motorola Xoom. Compare these two back to back, and see which commercial would make the average person feel more about a product. Examine both of them, and see which one makes you want to explore the options, and the changes within life that it could bring you, more. IGNORE the product completely. It doesn’t matter. Swap the products themselves interchangeably if you want, I don’t care. The same video, no matter what device you put in their hands, will always win. If all companies started marketing TO people, rather than AT people… they would be far more successful. Tell me how your product will change my life. Don’t tell me how awesome you are, tell me how awesome my life could be.
Specs do not matter at all. The user experience does. This is why Apple will win every time.
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