Of ‘Shot on iPhone 6’, stimulus-response and story telling

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Apple revealed a new page, ‘Shot on iPhone 6‘, dedicated to showcasing great pictures taken on the phone. The page has some truly haw-dropping pictures making one wonder if such pictures are possible through a phone camera. In a clever move, the images are used in an outdoor campaign (apparently synchronised to be launched globally including markets in India) – all of which are meant to evoke a ‘wow!’ reaction. I don’t know if the campaign was timed to launch alongside the Samsung S6 launch but it appears to be so. At the Samsung S6 launch event the brand took pains to compare pictures taken on that device along with those from an iPhone 6, obviously showing the latter as worse off.

All of this reminded me of the stimulus-response theory. In order to evoke the ‘this phone takes fantastic pictures’ as a response, Apple provided a simple stimulus – the actual pictures taken by ordinary folk, not professionals. On the other hand Samsung was desperate to get into the consideration set and made iPhone 6 its reference point. Elsewhere here I have referred to this Pakistan-positioning problem of Samsung. With the previous launches (the S5 and the Samsung Gear watch) Samsung attempted two things: outnumber the features offered in the iPhone and outrace them into the market with a watch. We all know what happened with that strategy. Now with iPhone 6, Samsung has given up on the kitchen sink approach of adding all possible features. Instead it follows the iPhone 6 in not offering expanded storage, removable battery and more. Which in a way is still the original approach of copying the iPhone.

With the Apple Watch too, there seems to be signs of brands copying the Apple playbook. One might argue that in the tech world everyone copies everyone else, including Apple. But there seems to be coherent, singular messaging – starting right from the product, which Apple seems to excel in. And that story telling is what separates them from competition. That’s what makes many happily pay a premium for the Apple brand and perceive great value for money. We are likely to see that with Apple Watch story telling too – there will be a huge gap between Apple’s offering and the competition.

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