Saturday, April 16, 2011

People want iPads, not tablets

Ask anyone today why one should own a tablet and no one will be able to give a convincing answer. Then why are all those iPads virtually flying off the shelves? The answer is simple; people don't want tablets, they want iPads. Call it Apple's marketing genius or anything else but they managed to revive a dying segment and turn it into a profitable one. They made everyone take notice of it and now suddenly it is the hottest thing in the technological space. Yet, competitors are unable to match Apple's success in the segment, despite of the fact that on paper they offer everything that Apple's device does, at times even more. So what is not working for them?

The thing is, Apple has not created a demand for tablets, they have created a demand for iPads. In their ads they show cool people doing cool things with the iPad and people want to do those things the moment they see those ads.  Apple's advertising has always been brilliant. They show people how to use their device. They never waste time boasting about specifications, which are meaningless to the general public, who form a rather large portion of the people who buy these devices.

In comparison you see other manufacturers boast about their high resolution displays, dual-core processors, RAM, basically stuff a common man won't understand. These things will appeal to the geeks but geeks actually form a very small portion of the people who buy these things. But show them a person sitting on a couch and browsing the web on an iPad with a mug of coffee next to him on a table and they get it instantly. They now know what to do with it, what to do with an iPad. They have no clue what they can or will do with a Motorola Xoom, for instance, because they don't show that in its ads. Apple didn't just tell people their device can do video call. They showed them people actually talking, connecting with each other through video over a distance using their devices. Now everyone wants to do that. Some people call this brainwashing, making it sound like it's something bad or evil but I think it is brilliant. Very few companies connect to their customers on the same emotional level that Apple does.

And that's the reason why iPad's competitors are failing to achieve the same success as the iPad. Apple is telling their users why they should buy the iPad, not tablets, and others need to give a good enough reason why people should buy their tablet instead of the iPad in a manner that people understand. That's how you sell a completely new product to someone, tell them what they will do with it instead of just shoving specifications down their throat. No one needs to tell people what they can do with a car before they sell it; they already know that. But they will need to explain if they ever decide to sell a magic carpet, that too about that particular brand of magic carpet, not magic carpets in general or else people will go to your competitors if they know what  magic carpets do and if someone else has a better model. The sooner other manufacturers realize this, the better for them. Or till then, people will continue to buy iPads, not tablets.

Source: TechTree

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