06 March 2011

The Message behind “Philip Yeo’s Apple Aps’ gullible dummies”

A comment by Philip Yeo on Apple making money from selling its applications at 99cents to gullible dummies was posted on Youtube. It generates many comments, some very emotional, from both sides.  They seem to miss a key point hidden the message.

The Key Message – 3 Levels of Value
People buy things on three levels: the rational, emotional and significant levels. The value of an offering comes from the 3 level too. Here are the details:

  1. Utility Value (Rational)
    - Solution to problems or increase productivity to jobs
    - Performance as Faster, Better, Cheaper, Safer, Easier
  2. Emotional Value
    - WOW, look & feel good, excitement, imagination, memory, fun, pleasure.
    - Lifestyles, fashions, the trends, the fine arts of living.Social Status & Prestige
  3. Significance Value
    - A Better World and improving people’s lives, health, happiness
    - Triple Bottom Lines  of Economic Profit, Social Contribution, Environmental Protection.
    - Thought Leadership – Religion, Belief ….
Increasing Stickiness of Levels
The customers loyalty and willingness to pay is positively related to the level. If customers are associated with our offering on rational level, such as cheaper or faster then we will loose them when the cheaper or faster offering come out. However, if we engage our customers on an emotional level, then we could enjoy higher premium than our competitors on the rational level. If we get our customers to believe in us, a status like Apple, then we enjoy greater support and loyalty. They will forgive our mistakes and even fight for us as shown in some of the comments posted in the YouTube.
However, engaging at the significant level have be demonstrated over time, at the other two levels. Big talking without delivery will lead to great disappointment. A Brand or a Religion is not built by talking but by both – communication of significance and the delivery of the promises frequently and over a period of time.

What About You?
On what level are we trying to engage our customers? How are you delivering the proclaimed value?

See also: In Praise of Dummies, 10 Design Rules for the Dummies

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