Apple adds a couple of nice touches with the iTouch

by Stan Phelps

in purple goldfish project

iTouch free engraving and gift boxApple listed as #148 in the Purple Goldfish Project

Graham Corneck weighs in on lagniappe, the iTouch and his thoughts on the Kindle:

#148. From Graham Corneck regarding The Apple iTouch

“Generally, it seems that the companies that do well with lagniappe are the ones that have it permeate through every aspect of their business. Said differently, adding window dressing to junk still results in junk and consumers will resent you for duping them.

Also, it seems that really good companies are able to charge a premium for these ‘free’ benefits. Think about that paradox: really good companies can drive their margins higher by offering ‘free’ benefits that are paid for by the consumers who feel great doing it.

Here’s a case in point: I bough Colin an iTouch for Christmas. The packaging Apple uses is amazing. The box is sparkling white and has a bright red elastic ribbon around it. Tucked under the ribbon was a blank card in an envelope. The box itself was made out of high end material. What really struck me was that the box opened more like an origami clam shell to reveal a clear plastic container with the iTouch mounted inside. The whole experience of opening the packaging made the product seem special before it was turned on. On top of that, I was opening it ahead of time so that I could charge it in time for Christmas only to find that it was already fully charged. And since we ordered it directly from Apple, they engraved a message on the back for free.

While the packaging was special, the iTouch has continued to amaze me. As a contrast, I had a colleague bring her new Kindle to work yesterday. It was really disappointing The display is bleak, the page turning is jerky and it doesn’t have any backlighting for reading in the dark. I’d heard that a lot of people are reading on their iPhones, so I went home last night and downloaded a free eReader application onto Colin’s iTouch. Within 10 minutes, I was reading a free copy of David Copperfield. The display is bright and in color (albeit smaller than Kindle’s), pages turn smoothly with a flick of a finger, and the application has settings for day or night reading. Now think about the value: iTouch $199 with 8GB of memory and multiple uses (music, video, internet, games, etc) vs. Kindle $259 with 2GB of memory and only one function. So while Apple oozes lagniappe out of everything it does, Amazon’s Kindle had better find some before consumers realize they’ve been duped.”

Graham makes a couple salient points.  First – you can’t make ‘chicken salad out of chicken sh*t’.  Window dressing won’t mask a bad product or service.  This is a point I will discuss at length in the book.  Second – it doesn’t always have to be free.  Companies that seem to get lagniappe tend to offer small extras that customers are happy to pay for.  The origami iTouch ‘gift box’ was $5.

We’re at 150.  HELP me catch another 851 purple goldfish for a great cause.  Click here to send me your example.

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