Would you recognize if your product shifted categories?



Remember the first desktop computers (shut up if you are too young!).  We were amazed at their capacity.  Their speed.  And their ability to change the way we work.

I can still remember saying "who needs a 1 gig hard drive…that’s crazy!"  Now, I wouldn’t buy one that has less than 120.  And that was just a couple years ago. 

When was the last time you marveled at your computer?  Or picked out a new one because it could make a spreadsheet or design a brochure or reach out to people across the globe?

Those functional aspects of the product no longer thrill us.  They’ve become a given.

It seems to me that computers have shifted categories a little.  Sure, they are still a business tool.  But all brands, makes and models are business tools and the reality is, any one of them can probably meet and exceed most people’s needs.

Apple was the first to recognize that computers also say something about us as people and that design matters.  Remember the first iMacs with their crazy colors?  People were taken aback.  The color of the computer does not change its functionality at all.

But it does change what your computer says about you.  A hot pink computer?  That connotes something about the owner, eh?

Dell has announced that they’re jumping on that boat.  Today, they launch their new Inspiron notebook series in 8 vibrant colors, including midnight blue, spring green and jet black.   

In a very Apple-like move, the product launch will occur in the Macy’s department store in Manhattan’s Herald Square.

What makes this fascinating isn’t the colored computers.  What makes this discussion-worthy is the recognition that companies, brands and products shift over time. Think about your business.  What used to make people ohhh and ahhh but now has become a given?

What’s your new ohhh and ahhh?  Or are you still hyping the given as though it gives your customers the same tingles it used to?

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