This week’s blog is brought to you by Ching-Han Wan & Gareth Kolze-Jones from our Technologies team….
Word on the (Regent) street is that it’s not what it does, but what it stands for. Some of the avid Apple fans we spoke to as the doors opened at 5pm had queued up outside the store for as long as 29hours! To put into context, in that time I had slept twice, enjoyed five square meals (interspersed with *ahem* snacks) and bombarded my colleagues with innumerable tenuous puns, but for these guys, it’s all about living the brand.
School kids, office workers and app developers were all prepared to brave the hustle and bustle (on occasion there was a lot more bustle than hustle) to be among the first to get their hands on Apple’s thinner, faster, sleeker iPad. But why? Not because of what it can do, but because of what it says about them; It says they’re modern. It says they’re trendy. It says they’re cool.
There’s an interesting point here – the point that if we believe in a brand strongly enough, we are prepared to go to extreme lengths to maintain that connection. It’s the same principles as monogamy – if you already have an iPhone and iPod, you shall stay faithful to your fair lady, Apple, and not cheat on her with any other tablets.
So why not the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, or HTC Flyer? Is it the iOS or the work of Jonathan Ive? Simple answer, neither. A large majority of the people we spoke to admitted that the reason they were there was because it gave them that ‘special feeling’, a Je ne sais quois, the X Factor. This is all heart-warming stuff, but we think it’s fair to assume that hype of this magnitude for a single product launch is the exclusive property of the world of technology.
The question need be asked, how do technological brands continue to draw so much buzz around its product launches? Simple; Legacy. The most successful brands create a series of products that have their own cache to the point where as Vince from Birmingham (who had queued up for the iPad for 22 hours) said: “yes it’s over-priced, but I’ve got an iPod touch, I’ve got an iPhone 4, so it makes sense for me to have an iPad to keep up with Apple.”
There might be no jaw-dropping revelation here, no earth-shattering epiphany to shake the world of brand development to its core, but the question worth asking here is; are you innovating or are just creating another piece of the wardrobe?