Product differentiation is the key to product marketing. Properly differentiated products can separate the successful products from a long list of also-rans. Differentiation also works hand-in-hand with bragging rights.
bragging rights pl. noun
a temporary position of ascendancy in a closely contested rivalry: “he walked off with a guaranteed $25,000 and bragging rights for at least a year.”
Bragging rights are important indicators of differentiation, though often relegated to feature and benefit bullet points. Are there examples of bragging rights related to Apple?
Apple’s iPhone and iPad lines have faster, more capable 64-bit CPUs; other smartphone and tablet manufacturers do not. Apple wins.
Samsung sells the most smartphones and tablets (according to Samsung, who never divulges an official number, and according to various and sundry analysts who merely ‘guess’ at the totals). Samsung wins.
Google’s Android OS is the OS of choice on 80-percent of the world’s smartphones. Google wins.
Microsoft’s Surface tablets-cum-notebooks run Windows apps and Office. Microsoft wins.
Viewed another way, though less meaningful to customers than Apple or the company’s competitors, the iPhone maker walks away with 80-percent of the smartphone and tablet industry profits, leaving competitors to scrap for crumbs and waste precious financial assets subsidizing products that do not make a profit.
One of the key differences between Apple and the few remaining competitors of substance is that Apple does not seem to care as much about traditional bragging rights. Lower price? Apple doesn’t care. Fastest CPU on the market? Apple doesn’t care. Number of CPU cores or GPU cores? Apple doesn’t care. Number of units
sold manufactured and stuffed into the distribution channel? Apple doesn’t care.
What Apple often cares about, but not entirely, is a number of basic attributes beneficial to the customer. Features and usability in the latest versions of iOS and OS X, respectively. What the 64-bit CPU in iPhones and iPads can do for apps and games. How Apple’s stores make for a better buying and service environment than competitors.
Apple touts the money it pays to app developers, the number of songs, TV shows, and movies available and downloaded, as well as how clean and green the company’s products are. Apple’s customers are better educated, have more disposable income, and often are concerned about the environment. Apple touts the company’s many green initiatives as a sign of corporate responsibility.
Radio stations often brag about being number one, numero uno, and with so many stations in each market serving many different demographics, every station is probably number one in something.
In product marketing, bragging rights are an important part of the product marketing equation. The question that should be asked is, ‘Which bragging rights?‘ They’re not all created equal. Android OS on 80-percent of the world’s smartphones sounds like pure bragging rights? How much of it is really bragging when Google’s Android device makers lose money while a much smaller rival takes the lion’s share of profits, and tops customer satisfaction and loyalty surveys (at least, those not sponsored and paid for by Samsung)?