Who really cares if they own a Toshiba?

[Cache – #59]

Do you know what brand of computer or cell phone you own?  If you own an Apple, you probably think this is a stupid question.  Your answer to it will be a quick “yes.”  Everyone who owns an Apple knows it, and they also know the product name, be it Mac, iPad, iPod, whatever.

This high level of awareness is driven mainly by the incredible strength of the Apple brand and the pride that comes with owning one of its products.  It is not driven primarily by the name of the product itself:  if you own a Mac, the main reason you know its name is not because Mac is such a great name (although it is a great name), but because you are in love with Apple.

For most of the brands that compete with Apple, the situation is quite different.  If your computer is not an Apple, there’s a good chance that if you were given one second to respond, you couldn’t tell me what brand it is.  Who really cares if they own a Toshiba, vs. a Dell, vs. an HP?  Those brands don’t mean very much to us, so we don’t take much pride of ownership – so we don’t bother remembering the brand.

Nor the product name itself.  I have a Dell laptop with the product name “Inspiron.”  If before I wrote this sentence, you had forced me to tell you what the product name was, I’m not sure if the word “Inspiron” (“Inspiron 1525,” no less) would have popped out of my mouth.

Therein lies the great opportunity for every consumer technology brand that isn’t named Apple:  to develop product names that create a connection with customers.  How many women enjoy an emotional connection with their Razr cell phone?  In contrast, how many seniors feel a bond with the big-buttoned, simple-to-use cell phone made just for them, the Jitterbug?

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