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Value of the brand

This article compares the Microsoft advertising campaign (I am cheaper) to the Mac campaign (I am hipper).

While the post itself focuses on the functional aspects of a Mac that make it more expensive than a PC, I believe the real truth lies in the brand. Sure there are a few people who are willing to pay more because the Mac is easy to use and generally maintenance free.

But I bet there are far far more people who buy a Mac because of its hip factor. It’s cool to be seen with a Mac.

Long long ago when I started in this business Ogilvy had a simple purchase filter that they/we believed prospects went thtough.

Performance Risk : The risk that the product you buy will not perform

Social Risk : The risk that people at large will look down on you for your choice

Self Image Risk : The rsik that you as a user will think poorly of yourself

Those were simpler times!!

So all brands operate in one or a combination of these risks.

You can think of any brand you own, want to own, and it will play to one of these risks.

Typically PCs/laptops are in the Performance Risk space.  The most basic of it all. The PC marketers are to blame for this. By driving price down they have made it a commodity thereby leaving no margins to invest in any sort of image building.

Apple on the other hand has transcended the Performance risk to definitely cover Social risk and in some cases the Self image risk as well. That is a great combination and an area of strength.

Which is why the brand tends to be relatively impervious to product flaws.

Ask any Mac user and they will say great things about their product. Functional uses. But you get a sense of pride.

A PC user?

The Microsoft campaign and the Intel logo in every PC manufacturers ad pretty much ensures that PCs stay firmly in the commodity category.

The article just sparked this stream of thought.

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