Dec 25 2012

Herd behavior of consumer driven society

Heard behavior or mob effect is generally associated with riots. But it has a significant impact on economics ever since we started trading goods and services. I am not going to talk about the history or the future in this article because the present situation is far worse than what it appears to be.

Most people who brought an iPhone or anything with “i” or “Apple” attached to it would claim their products are great. Even when Apple products restrict the consumers from any type of customization, there are still consumers blindly buying it to it. Same can be said about Android devices such as Samsung phones/tables or Windows computers/phones. Every time a new OS (Operating System), a device, a technology or innovation is released into the market, the marketing teams of these companies should hire psychologists who are specialized in heard behavior.

With the increase in number of “young” (or still young at heart) people with access to good financial foundations growing at a rapid rate worldwide, a success of a product has much to do with cleaver marketing than innovation itself. For example;

  • What is the last time you heard about a Windows virus that Apple Inc. use as a tool to promote their Lion OS over the last few years?
  • Did you know that you can “hack” in to a Mac as easily as a Windows?
  • Did you know Samsung Mobile takes a long time to push their OS updates in each country because Android and Windows mobile OS is very flexible? Did you know that having a flexible OS is an advantage to the consumers?
  • How many of the technologies that claim to be “innovative” are actually re-branded items? (eg. Siri vs. VoiceCommand, Apple vs. HTC touch, Samsung dual window vs. multitasking of BlackBerry, Windows mobile security vs. RIM BIS)
  • STOP; now ask yourself, why did you buy the electronics you own? Because your friends have it or because you find it to be cool?

When you say, “I like X product over the Y product because X product fits my needs” you should be thankful that I am not laughing at you! Over the last three years in the retail industry from food services to consumer electronics, one thing I learn is that diehard fans of a particular product reflect your choices. If you have 90% of the family AND friends members on BlackBerry product, you will most likely love RIM. If you have most of your friends hooked on iPhones, you will probably end up buying the “next innovation” that Apple Inc. makes. So, next time you spend your money, think again if you really an independent thinker or a mob follower. Which one do you want to be?

Disclaimer

Why I picked on Apple? I am not bias, but with great success of capitalizing on mob style consumerism will come at a price. Apple Inc. is the poster child of modern day mass consumerism with blind faith driving the market over educated customers. If it happened to be Samsung, Microsoft, RIM, NEC, Sony or some other company, I would have picked on them.

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