The 'real' iPhone 5 story
Sure, the video above is funny enough to elicit guffaws, but what it reveals goes beyond what's obvious, that consumers can't tell the iPhone 4S from 5. The video above is 'real' testimony to the power of perceptual differentials over real ones.
Let me explain.
The rule of Just Noticeable Difference in eliciting stimuli selection says that subsequent stimuli must cross what is a differential threshold to produce any noticebale variation in the sensory experience. Its also possible that any stimuli that falls below the threshold is bound to be ignored (read, not selected) by consumers. This means there's zero chance for such stimuli to craft differential perceptions. Sure, the iPhone 5 on 'real terms' may be different from the previous one, but that won't matter one bit to consumers. Consumers in their heads are so psychologically cued in to the brand that their minds will willingly engineer 'perceptual differentials' though there aren't any 'real' ones. Which means the iPhone 5 can be a carbon copy of the previous one, and still get consumers to believe its 'substantially better'!
Now here's the lesson. As a brand you don't 'really' have to be different for the consumer to see you as different! In a world of commoditised brands its increasingly becoming difficult for marketers to craft 'real' differentials. But that shouldn't' worry them because if marketers can manage the perceptual differential well, there are enough suckers (read, consumers) out there dying to see the 'difference'!
HT: Shruti Shanthakumar.