So maybe I’m missing something, but I would think anyone who has a budget for a $599 cell phone probably isn’t so price-sensitive about their service plans. Although I guess all the kids who’ve saved their allowances for it might find it an incentive. I see this type of stuff all the time with my consulting work. Companies who have a great product/technology/service, but don’t seem to focus on the key messaging to actually sell the product/technology/service. I always look to TiVo’s early marketing campaigns as my pseudo-case study.
TiVo launched in 1999 with a huge marketing campaign (rumored above $50 million – huge for a startup!), focused almost exclusively around one key message: pause live TV. I still remember the first time I saw the ads (TV ones too), which, as a TiVo owner, confused the heck out of me. Here’s the thing – it turns out nobody really cares about pausing live TV, it doesn’t make much sense to a non-TiVo person, and even then it’s just a fringe benefit. There are two features that I think TiVo could’ve worked with and gotten much better results:
- Instant Replay – “Miss that shot? TiVo puts you in charge of the Instant Replay!”
- Season Pass – “No need to manage piles of blank tapes, TiVo’s Season Pass records all of your favorite shows, no hassle required.”
Overall, the iPhone marketing team has done quite a good job. Then again, the iMicrowave, iLunchbox, and iCeramicPotterySet would probably generate just as much buzz too. I just like to keep my eyes out for when companies misalign their target market, their key benefits and value proposition, and their messaging…