Apple Focuses on Adding Value to Our Lives - Competitors Don’t

| Editorial

Authentic Value

Companies that aren't very good at creating value for customers because of their culture or obsession with wealth play two clever tricks on customers. First, lesser quality means more money in their pocket, less in yours. Second, to compensate, they create an artificial sense of value through feature comparisons. The reason this works, in many cases, is because customers can be seduced into believing that more features = more value.

For example, if two loaves of bread cost the same, but brand A has 3 grams of fiber per slice while brand B has 2 grams, then brand A has greater value. That's why Apple's competitors love their comparison charts. They say, "Look! We have feature X, so our product has more value than Apple's."

However, when I listen to people who have forsaken Android phones and come to iPhone, they invariably state that their previous phone was of poor quality and usability. They are delighted with their new iPhone.

Apple's products, as customers know, display their values in more subtle ways. The joy of use through industrial design, an intuitive ease of use and great protection of the user's privacy and security via the app curation process are values that are hard to quantify in a comparison chart.  And so they are often (conveniently) overlooked, even by technical journalists.

This idea that we pay a little more for genuine value has made Apple a successful company. These days, when customers think about how to cut back with other companies, that Apple focus on value pays off handsomely.

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Teaser and Value images via Shutterstock.

Comments

Þorvarður Bergmann Kjartansson

Wow… I have so much I’d like to say but I feel like whatever I’d say, people will gang up on me and call me names. Like a fanboy or something.

skipaq

Nothing wrong with being a fan. Once again John provides good insight on a difficult set of features to quantify. Looking ahead to more of the value products Apple is working on. And yes the dividend is a nice little bonus for us each quarter.

wab95

John:

To your two clever tricks, I would add ‘specs’ to ‘features’, such as competitors providing a camera with more megapixels than that on the iPhone.

Whether or not the savvy consumer articulates this to themselves, they recognise that features and specs, however impressive on paper, either seldom make an appreciable difference in device performance, and even when they do, still fail to provide a whole solution to the end user’s problem. The end user is still left to themselves to figure out how to solve, for example, the integration of their digital data across all devices, or how to harden their system against malware and theft. What tech experienced consumers are looking for are solutions to common problems, and not a geek-fest of features and specs, however impressive.

This has been one of the more common complaints I have heard from people who have switched from another product to an Apple solution.

geoduck

and turning away from things that don’t contribute to their lives in a valuable way.

A good insight. Speaking for myself I always look at what a product will do for me rather than if it is trendy, is it popular, is it ‘in’ right now. It’s a balance between benefits and costs. Not just monitory but overall; what do I need to do to maintain, carry around, and support, the product. It’s why I have always owned Macs; I was spending my days fixing Windows systems so I sure as heck did not want to do that at home. Macs just needed less support.

Interestingly the question of if a device would contribute in a meaningful way is also why I don’t own an iPhone. I carry around an iPad instead. I nearly don’t need to carry a phone at alI as I get maybe two calls a month on my four year old LG phone. For roughly the same money as an iPhone I got a bigger screen on a system that will run iPhone apps and more. I have Skype and FaceTime and Messaging, and e-mail, and such on a screen that’s easy to read. Not to mention the work and game apps that run on it too. My work, home, and everywhere else I haunt has WiFi so connectivity is not an issue. The phone I do have is on a minimal month to month service with no data so it’s dirt cheap.

Cost/Benefit wins again.

mrmwebmax

+

Another way that Apple adds value is TCO. Apple products simply last longer and have longer serviceable lives than competitors’ products. I think this is especially true with Macs vs Windows machines.

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