The trouble with setting high standards

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The special event to announce a new iPod Nanos, iPod Touch and an upgraded iTunes was held yesterday in San Francisco. Read more about them here.

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The routine with these events has become familiar for Apple fans, Wall Street and analysts: pre-event hype and speculation about what products will be announced, rumour sites will post spy shots of latest products followed by post event analysis. After yesterday’s event, blogs have written about an underwhelmed feeling – the announcements not having lived up to ‘expectations’. It failed to ‘wow’ Wall Street and many fans were wondering why these announcements warranted an event.

Are such high expectations good for a brand? When was the last time we eagerly awaited the next brand of laptops or cookies from a company? We normally don’t have *any* expectations. We simply come to know of the new launch. With Apple it’s different. Every move is compared and analyzed threadbare. If a new product fails to meet expectations, there is a collective groan. It speaks volumes about the high standards the company has set for itself and the reputation for innovation in every step. I guess its a double edged sword – it’s great that people expect to deliver outstanding stuff every time but you run the risk of being labeled a ‘has been’ if it fails to meet expectations.

Any other category where new launches are eagerly awaited, compared and analyzed? High end mobile phones come to mind. Gaming consoles for one. Movies from reputed directors & actors. Anything else?

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    Can you send me an email? I need to talk to you about something…

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