A few words: Meh

Just looking at the latest MacBook Air advertisement from Apple ( link ) and one of the complaints I’ve seen on forums is how they’re not doing the usual “this is what the product does” sort of marketing or some sort of scenario along the lines of “here are some end users making use of the different features in our product in an every day situation”. There are two types of marketing:

1) The type of marketing that focuses on winning over new customers which can include showing features but it can also do so by selling an aspirational lifestyle (“buy this product and show to others that you’ve made it”) associated with that particular brand or product. A good example of that would be car advertisements that bring about associations of freedom, speed, aspirational wealth, luxury and at times being invited into an exclusive club.

2) The other type of marketing is one that re-enforces the existing marketshare by reminding customers about the benefits of the product they currently own and why they should keep sticking with their product – that includes regularly mentioning that existing customers will receive updates to iOS (in the case of Apple) and that also incudes, where possible back porting and making guarantees such as HTC and their support guarantee which includes M7 and M8 phones receiving Android L upgrades 90 days after it’s launch which stands in stark contrast to Samsung (this guarantee actually does both re-enforce as well as grab new customers).

The second one is also employed by companies that are pretty much in a monopoly as well – not to win over customers but rather give them a nostalgic feel to the brand such as the NZ Post advertisement such as this one ( link ) ( link ) ( link ) where all the important moments have been bought together and tied in with the NZ Post brand as the entity that makes it all possible. Such ads existed even before the wide spread adoption of facsimile and email but again this comes back to nostalgia which also helps their non-letter business – first thing people think of when they think courier, parcels etc. they go straight to NZ Post so even after many years of many different courier companies emerging there is still a sizeable chunk of the population that’ll keep using NZ Post because of that brand loyalty created at an early age.

In the case of the MacBook Air the advertisement takes from both category one and two – firstly it wins over unsure customers that there are lots of people just like them out there running a Mac and just because you have a Mac doesn’t make you incompatible with the rest of the known universe. The second group has the re-enforcement that they’re part of a larger group of people who enjoy using and customising MacBook Air – that they’re part of a growing segment rather than dying, that their (the customer’s) investment is part of being on the ‘winning team’ rather than the one that is currently in the midst of a tail spin with the main company unsure as to the direction of the industry where as Apple has clearly articulated ‘the best tool for the job’. The old story of boosting morale at home whilst gaining ground outside the flock of the faithful.

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