There are a growing number of die-hard Apple fans who have found a neat way to have their cake and eat it too – Inexpensively!
What they do is buy an old PC and then switch the operating system to their beloved Apple platform, a move that has apparently become a good deal easier since Apple now allows Windows to be run on its platform. I don’t fully understand how all that works, but the net result is the customer ends up with an operational Mac for less than 1/2 the price.
When investors asked some time ago why Apple won’t offer a lower-cost option, Apple president Steve Jobs replied “We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that.”
Bravo, Mr. Jobs!
Steve Jobs understands that rather than worry about how to offer something for every market segment, their overall brand value lies in being able to deliver a quality product at a premium price for the right customer segment. That way the customer can depend on the quality of the brand and of the value of the investment.
Before you try to offer product choices for too many market segments, put a pencil to it. Determine what the cost to your brand for serving new market segments less efficiently than the ones you currently serve could be. You may find that the benefits of supporting a sure thing greatly outweigh gambling on trying to serve everyone. You might be better off putting that investment toward improving your higher-margin products. When customers ask why you won’t provide a “cheaper” offering, tell them how you and Steve Jobs believe it’s for their own good!
“Diversification is for the ignorant.” – Warren Buffett
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