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    When (useful) Innovation Outweighs Inconvenience...psst...Cool Counts.

    Written by Anne Marsden on October 12, 2009

    describe the imageI'm involved in a Love/Hate relationship...with my Iphone.  The thing is simple, sleek, incredibly easy to use and has elevated my on-line mobile experience so far above what I had with my BlackBerry that I can barely imagine life without it.

    Except for the nearly every single day that I am either banging it in frustration when it takes FOREVER! to dial a number or load an email message, or the equally frequent times when I am frantically searching for a power source as it tells me I have less than minutes before it self destructs. I mean PLEEZ, can't it have enough power to allow me a modest "iMapMyRun" with a brunch stop thrown in before it wimps out? Can't it download new emails without freezing all other email actions in the interim? Can't I have a conversation without it dropping the call?

    So I have to ask myself - Why put up with such maddening irritation?

    Granted, I'm more of a techno-geek than many, and therefore more willing to suffer through guinea pig-dom than most. But by most Market Researchers' standards, I am not a bleeding edger. I typically wait 1-2 years for new products to work the kinks out. So, if I am wiling to wait - to forgo the cache of sporting the hottest new gadget - then why am I still screaming at my phone as if Apple or AT&T Customer Service could actually hear me?

    As a B2B Marketing person, I was seduced by the styling but it also had to have the email and synchronization tools to support my business. It did. The IPhone represented the perfect union of business tool and toy. And there's the rub - it is - not so perfect, but a such a game changing combo of features and functionality for both business and pleasure that I refuse to go back. Even as I rant and yell.

    Reminds me of my first cell phone...oops make that car phone (back when they were hard wired into the car because if we weren't in our offices or our houses, we were in our car!). The thing was ugly, bulky, hard to hold between ear and shoulder while shifting gears and drinking coffee, had no hands free attachment, and dropped at least one in three calls. (There's a good reason Verizon has done so well with "Can you hear me now?") And talk about expensive!!! It was almost more hassle than it was worth. Almost.

    But when something comes along that is both startlingly innovative and useful; when it provides that elusive combination of productivity and "can't touch this" cool; when nothing even comes close, then no matter how maddening, we just put up with the inconvenience and hope the fixes happen sooner than later.

    Oh, I expect Apple will fix the battery issue. So far they have focused on customer acquisition, market share growth and extending their dominance in mobile applications. But the time will come when market saturation will slow growth and competitors start catching up on cool features and applications.

    And AT&T will fix the network issues. When contracts start coming up for renewal, and Verizon and Sprint have their own cool smartphones. Or when Apple decides it isn't in their best interest to continue network exclusivity. But that's a different story - innovation is the story here.

    And so, love and hate, the affair continues.


    Topics: B2B Marketing

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