Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lifestyle Altering Products

It's interestng how some great gadgets actually influence our daily routine. But if we look carefully, it's not really the gadgets, but the marketing and brand building activities that actually breathes life into a product.

iPods could have been another very  sophisticated "walkman". But consider the impact from the product branding strategy, "Ultra-Portable MP3 Music Player Puts 1,000 Songs in Your Pocket." According to Steve Jobs, "With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go. With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.”

The PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). While the original form and function may have evolved dramatically into surviving smartphone versions, have changed the way we take notes, and made smartphones more of a necessity. Over 150 million smartphones are sold each year, while "stand-alone" PDAs without phone functionality sell only about 3 million units per year (Wikipedia).

The classic marketing explanation of augmented product (the non-physical part of the product) and the presentation creates purpose for the product's existence and sustainability. Marketing is about meeting the needs of customers effectively and profitably, so don't just sell on the product features and specifications, but recognize what the customer needs and sell the customers solutions.

Marketing myopia as introduced by Theodore Levitt suggests a wider perspective of marketing attributes. Some common examples include positioning as transportation rather than train, energy rather than petroleum. Organizations could explore more opportunities and improve their competitive strategies if they positioned the product(s) or corporate vision creatively.

Still on the topic of walkman...
on Monday, Sony announced the end of the classic cassette tape Walkman in Japan.
(AP) Published: Tuesday October 26, 2010 MYT 8:54:00 AM

'Sony Walkman' dies aged 31
NEW YORK: The Walkman, the Sony cassette device that forever changed music listening before becoming outdated by digital MP3 players and iPods, has died. It was 31 years old.

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