I recently purchased the new iPhone 11. I wasn’t caught up in the hype, or won over by Apple’s marketing – I just needed a new phone. Walking into the store, I had planned to buy a specific model phone the phone that had 3 lenses. As I got in there the salesperson there asked me what I did for a living and I said I own a marketing company. He shared he was going to school for marketing and mentioned his school which happened to be my Alma Mater. We had a good conversation and he asked for some career advice. As we continued talking and told him what I wanted, and he said I would be more than happy with the phone with two lenses. It could have been a sales pitch, or he could have been authentic, but I bought the phone with 2 lenses. I believed his authenticity.

The next day I was in a meeting with a client and we both had our phones sitting out upside down. Someone in the meeting made a comment to the client with the three-lens phone, wow is that the new iPhone 11? He said yes, I love it – it is my guilty treat. At that moment I realized that Apple charges a $300 premium for the third lens and some additional features. But the real genius of the phone is the marketing strength of differentiating their new line-up from their old phones. I realized this is brilliant marketing on Apple’s part.

How Apple Succeeded in Marketing

Realistically I am sure the camera lens adds a small percentage to the phone cost. Adding it however is a great marketing strategy and a way to raise profitability per iPhone manufactured. Apple is a very deliberate and disciplined company.

The second thing Apple did with the new iPhone is add some great filters. No matter what, you look much better in photos than you did in the old iPhone – especially if you are taking selfies. So they addressed the user experience and made sure that customers have a great user experience. I mean who doesn’t want to look great in a selfie or take amazing photos with minimal skill.

I will admit, I started to question whether I should get the other model phone, which is the marketing genius Apple did. They just made all of their old phones seem obsolete without the customer being frustrated because their old device no longer was supported. Customers will just want to upgrade to the latest phone.

At the end of the day the iPhone 11 does everything I need and more. So, I stuck with my decision. But from a marketing standpoint Apple totally hit a home run. They were able to tap into something well beyond features and benefits but emotion… Specifically FOMO or the FEAR of missing out. With their new camera filters, they make taking amazing photos easy. So, when you design your next product launch, while features and benefits are always great to rationalize a purchase, but if you are trying to create a movement you need to tap into an emotion and then deliver a great user experience. This is something every business should try to tap into!

Scott Kolbe

Creative Director & Co-Owner