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Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

The Brand-Choice Algorithm

We were in the supermarket today and my wife asked me to get a bottle of laundry detergent. She did not specify the brand, so without “thinking”, I picked up the one that I usually buy— Woolite. This reminded me of a book I was just reading.

Why I Picked Woolite?

The other night, I read that “brand choice (is a) predominantly subconscious, memory-based process that follows a fixed algorithm.” The ideas in the book challenged me to rationalize my selection process a bit – something I usually don’t do. I recognized that my selection of Woolite was not really based on a conscious effort, i.e. getting more facts about the product, reading the specifications, thinking about our past experiences with the product and comparing it with other brands in the store. The truth is, Woolite simply came to mind as the preferred option and I chose it. Any conscious deliberation process which could have vetoed this choice came later.

Now that I think about it, there are two simple reasons why I chose Woolite over the others. First of all, the brand name itself – Woolite – suggests that the product is not harsh and is sensitive to clothes. These are features of a laundry detergent that I value. Secondly, the white packaging seems to elicit the same meaning. So I really wasn’t buying Woolite because of its specifications. I was buying it due to a perception I had from its name and packaging. It was a subconscious choice. A choice I have been making for a couple of years now!

Do You Know Why You Buy Apple Products?

Once, a friend of mine posted a question on Facebook – asking about the difference between an iPhone, iPod, iPad and the about-to-be-launched iPad Mini. One of his friends answered that it was the size – arguing that most of these products’ functions are very similar. In fact, most of the apps you use across different Apple devices are the same.

True isn’t it?

So why do so many of us own an arsenal of all those gadgets, if they really mostly do the same things? Think about the last time you bought an Apple product. Do you know why you selected this brand versus others in the market?

Branding with Brains

The book I mentioned earlier, entitled “Branding with Brains” by Tjaco Walvis, offers a good explanation. “You can rationalize with hindsight, but the fact is our brains make these decisions without really thinking about it,” wrote Walvis. “This is why successful brands appeal to customers on the basis of emotional association, images and experiences rather than just on the back of their product specification.” As one Harley-Davidson executive describes in this book’s convention-shattering case studies, “We don’t sell motorbikes. What we sell is the ability for a 43-year old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through a small town and have people be afraid of him.”

Buy and read the book, you might just find yourself rationalizing your buying behavior just like me!

Photo courtesy of Cogs and Gears

Will iPad Change How We Use Computers Tomorrow?

When I posted a link to an article about Apple’s new iPad on my Facebook page, the first comment I got was from my Mexican friend, Armando Rangel. He commented, “Esta bonito el ipodtote.” When a Mexican adds “-ote” or “tote” to a word it usually means the superlative or a bigger version of the root word. What Armando meant was that the new iPad is a bigger version of the iPod/iPhone. I think, in essence, that my friend is right.

The iPad is ready to run nearly all the 150,000 applications (or apps, for short) that have been created for the iPhone over the past two years. I am sure thousands more apps have been developed now for iPad. Isn’t it great? I mean if you love your iPhone, surely you’ll love this iPad too!

“(The) iPad will change the way you use computers, read books and watch TV- as long as you’re willing to do it the Steve Jobs way.”  – Daniel Lyons, Newsweek April 2010 Issue

Apple’s new iPad

So what’s the buzz about the recently released iPad?  

  • Keyboard – iPad is a type of portable device without the external keyboard.  For example, laptops have external keyboards.  Similar to the iPhone, it has a touch screen.  So imagine having a keyboard on the screen but you can’t feel the keys.
  • Price – The price of an iPad depends on the memory storage capacity. It ranges from $499 to $829.
  • Media – Most of what you will do with the iPad is what you are already doing with your iPhone. If you are reading books using your iPhone, don’t you get eye strain? iPad is designed for common media – books, websites and videos, etc.
  • Versus Kindle – iPad so much better than Kindle with it comes to look and feel and sleek page-flicking animations. If you like reading in the beach and poolside, you might consider keeping your Kindle. The black and white e-ink stands out nicely when you are reading in the sun.
  • Office – As I mentioned earlier, the iPad will support the same apps you currently use with your iPhone. Apple has also developed apps for Office that can create presentations, documents and spreadsheets.
  • Simplicity – If you know someone who is not ready to use a complicated computer (probably because they are beginners in using computers), maybe an iPad is a good start. The iPad is easier to use.
  • Versus your computer – For most people, the question is: will the iPad replace laptop and personal computers?  It depends on what you use your computer for. If you use your computer for work – such as creating things (for example, documents and designs) and run enterprise applications, then forget it.

I am sure that just like me, you have seen all the reviews and commercials about the iPad. However, there are some things you need to know about this new product before you decide to buy it. Check out this article from CNN if you want to learn more about Apple’s iPad: “Before you buy: 12 things to know about the iPad”.

Apple’s Innovation

Shortly after Steve Job’s first presentation about the new iPad last January, Roberto Verganti wrote about Apple’s innovation process in his article, “Apple’s Secret? It Tells Us What We Should Love”. He wrote, “The iPad Apple has not provided an answer to market needs. It has made a proposal about what could fit us and what we could love. It’s now up to us to answer whether we agree.”

Steve Jobs is a master of creating a signature customer experience. He steered Apple to deliver products that create new “meaning” to customers. This is the reason why Apple is not afraid to propose radical innovations. They are convinced that the product they create is the one that we should love. This is not like user-centered innovation where what you carry out mostly is what the consumers or market demand. This is perfect for incremental innovation, not for Apple. Steve Jobs is persistently creating innovative products that have changed our ideas about how things should work. Will the iPad change how we use computers tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine.

Photo courtesy of Apple.com

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