One man's insanity is another's normalcy

I think its downright insane to line up outside a store for almost twenty four hours so you can get the latest iPhone. But for the ones who do it, its perfectly sane. What's more, they'd think me crazy for not doing it.

Mala Bhargava thinks this is because of what Apple's done to its gadgets. She thinks its Apple's ability to combine design with functionality while retaining a seductive simplicity that is at the core of its product appeal. She also throws in Apple's ecosystem and the Steve Jobs factor as the other contributing reasons to this frenzy.

Though I agree that these factors do play a role, I think the Apple frenzy has moved into a territory that's beyond its own products. Its now more about the buyer experience. Remember, Apple products are not just gadgets. They are lifestyle accessories. As an accessory, there's a 'possession' factor that kicks in big time, for a buyer. Who then talks about it. That becomes part of a buyer's personal story. Read Mala's article and you know what I am talking about. She remembers the whole story abut how she first got her iPod and the rest of the details. Imagine that. The recall here isn't just about the brand. Its about the buying and usage experience.

Apple freaks aren't just after an Apple device. They are after a peice of buying history that they can personalise. That they can then repeatedly talk about to whoever cares. So the next time you see this frenzy again, know its isn't about a gadget, but about nourishing a certain consumer psyche through a distinctive yet disturbing buying act.

The larger question is, is it healthy? I personally don't care. After all, to me its also the triumph of a marketer who isn't selling a gadget but a personal consumer story.



Popular Posts