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Fear, Hope, and Love with Electronic Gadgets and the Companies who Make Them February 5, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Apple, Blackberry, Dell, Directv, iPhone, iPod, Mac, Marketing, Microsoft, Quicken, Sprint, Verizon.

I wish I could take credit for this theory about why we as consumers engage with companies and their products. But I can’t. This comes from Seth Godin on his blog. It makes me think about many of the posts and comments on PTI about the electronic gadgets and services we all use. After reading Godin’s post, how many of the devices and the device makers fall into the Fear, Hope, and Love categories for PTIers?

What about Apple? Or iPod? Or iMac? Or iPhone? What about PPC-6700? What about Microsoft? Or Windows? Or Office? What about Sprint? What about Verizon?  What about Playstation? What about XBox? What about Slingbox? What about Blackberry? What about Directv? What about Quicken?  What about Dell?

Is there something missing from the 3 categories (fear, hope, love)? Interestingly, many of our posts are about complaints concerning the gadgets or services we use. Might there be another category called “Necessity” for why we buy and use certain gadgets (or continue to use certain gadgets and services while we face constant problems)?


1. Tell it like it TI is! - February 5, 2008

Of course, I don’t agree.

What ever happen to good ole fashioned value and functionality. What about buying a product because it delivers what it advertises??? Yeah, you might call it HOPE, but why do I have to hope that a Company delivers on a promise. In my opinion, it always comes down to product and the value equation… Is what you give me worth the hard, cold cash that I put on the table.

It doesn’t surprise me, though, that you liked this article. You give marketing too much credit. You, at the very least, put marketing before product. This is why your garage is filled with every type of golf club possible… long irons, wedges, putters, hybrids….. You HOPE that your game will get better.

Great marketing is OK, but it boomerangs and has a negative effect when you can’t deliver product. Product creates brands, not marketing. We have lived through an entire decade with Companies trying to create positive brands. It doesn’t work without product or delivering. Thousands of executive have become rich becasue they convinced folks that they were BRAND MANAGERS!!! WTH.

All of the great brands, Coke, Gatorade, Toyota, etc…. all started with the product. Not fear, hope, or love. And even though they are great brands, what do you think would happen to that brand if the product stopped delivering????

On the other hand, poor product and services also create brands… Sprint comes to mind. I don’t care how cool their marketing campaign is!!!!

What can I say… I believe in the product and functionality. I might fall in love with a brand if the product is outstanding. I might have more hope if the company has a good reputation for delivering on its product, and I fear falling victim to those companies that can’t deliver….

Hey just telling it like it is!!!

2. Fast Follower - February 6, 2008

So tell me TI, what electronic products or services deliver for you? You don’t seem to like anything you use on a constant basis. For me it’s easy. I’ve got a few. My Macbook Pro running Leopard. My Directv subscription and DVR. And my Nikon D200 digital SLR and Nikon lenses. I absolutely love these products and wouldn’t replace them with anything. That’s love.

3. Fast Follower - February 6, 2008

By the way, are you still getting the Windows XML error you posted about way back in July? If so, do you still love Windows? Have you ever loved Windows? Does it matter to you that you get these weird errors? Do you own any PTI-type product or service that you just absolutely love?

4. Tell it like it TI is! - February 6, 2008

That’s exactly my point… you don’t love your devices cause some brand manager told you to love them! You have grown to love them because they deliver the value and hassle-free functionality that you are looking for.

In the fast moving world of consumer electronics, you shouldn’t be happy for long. There should always be better innovated devices hitting the market that deliver more!!! That’s the beauty of the cycle!! The only decision I make is the one about VALUE. As soon as the functionality crosses the value/affordabiltiy line… I start complaining and eventually switch! This ain’t no marriage. If there is any love in this, it is the love for money! But even a great device can cause that divorce!!!

You keep trying to make this into a marriage!!! That’s the beauty of the game. Its not. This is straight up competition for my $$$$s. I don’t have to hang in there longer than I want. i can date or go out with anyone!!!

Just like a relationship, though, there will be good days and bad days, but overall you stick with it if you see value and it works for you.

Sure Windows is not perfect, but overall it delivers the functionality for me. I am able to do all the things that I want on the computer and it is still delivering.

Just like your Mac Book delivers for you. For me, the VALUE is not there. By spending more $$$$$, I get no added functionality!!! I have been asking you for months, but you can’t verbalize a single advantage. All I hear you talk about is how you found some conversion software that allows you to do what I am already doing! All I hear you talk about is styling and marketing. If you want to pay for that useless stuff… be my guest. Me and the rest of the PTIers will continue to follow our hearts.

By the way… the XML errors are gone!! Did you ever get that Leopard patch downloaded!!!

Just telling it like it is!!!

5. Fast Follower - February 7, 2008

Who said anything about a brand manager telling people to love their product. You either love them or you don’t. You still didn’t answer the question. Is there any electronic product or service that you just absolutely love? It’s ok if you don’t own or use something you love. If so, it’s kind of sad that nothing exists for you (or you’re too stubborn to give other products/services a try). I named 3 items that I just absolutely love. 1) My Macbook Pro (by the way the advantage of it that you asked about is….it just works and the design is absolutely beautiful and well conceived), 2) My Directv service and DVR, and 3) My Nikon D200 digital SLR and Nikon lenses, particularly the 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens (similar to the Macbook Pro….the camera and lens combo just work and the design is beautiful – not just in appearance). Are these things perfect? No they are not. But neither is my wife. But I love her too.

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