Need vs. Want

I believe Gizmodo’s post on its final review of Monster Cables vs. Generic cables bought from Monoprice summed it up best:

“The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins. Fortunately for Monster, there are plenty of those people. They’re not even suckers, they are just rich as hell, and want the best. This testing did not prove that Monster is not the best. It just proved that the best is, for the most part, unnecessary.”

This not only applies to cables, but everything else. Our consumer economy has become so dependent on branding as a measure of product quality, that most people don’t even think twice about paying extra for brand insurance. Savvy consumers know that any kind of insurance is just a necessary evil. Do a bit of homework and you will quickly find that in most situations, “buying the best” only makes you the greatest fool.

I believe this also applies to the iPhone craze. Apple’s success rest primarily on its ability in spinning its devices from tools into objects of desire. Once those little devils of desire start yanking and distorting your voice of reason, the game is over. Fork over that credit card. Apple: 1, You: -1. Does the iPhone really provide you with extra value? I believe in terms of functionality and practicality, that’s difficult to say. But if you are the type who likes upping the Joneses, $500 is probably money well spent.

Apple’s marketing team is really the thing of beauty here– how is it able to consistently instill subliminal, mind-controlling messages in the minds of the public, and turning wants into needs? Why is it that nobody else is able to duplicate that magic? This is all beginning to remind me of the movie “The Prestige”.

I wonder if Apple’s competitors are giving this point enough thought. If you consider yourself one of Apple’s competitors (or even admirers), stare into this logo for a few minutes and give it some real thought:

Apple Logo


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