John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Does This Handset Make Me Look Smart?

What Palm lacks in market share, it more than makes up for in mindshare. In fact, according to a new study from research outfit Interpret, Palm’s new Pre handset is second only to the iPhone in that metric, despite its disadvantages in the marketplace.

In its study, Interpret identified the key drivers of smart-phone purchasing decisions as influenced by perceptions that the device is, in order of importance:

  • Smart (intelligent, adept)
  • Cool (hip, trendy)
  • Productive (efficient, organized)

The study found that by catering to these drivers in its marketing, Palm (PALM) was able to develop a heightened consumer awareness of the Pre even in a market already crowded with strong brands (see chart below; click to enlarge).

interpret_handset_mindshare

“Consumers intending to purchase a smartphone no longer feel that the iPhone is the only player in the smartphone market,” Interpret concludes, noting that by catering to the need by consumers to feel smart, cool and productive, the Pre is now a player in that space as well.

“It appears the most highly publicized signature smartphones are no longer expected to simply accomplish advanced tasks, but they must also project three key attributes of their owners to others,” the study declares. “Consumers are so pressed to portray these traits that they are demonstrating a willingness to accept phones that accomplish this undertaking at a higher price tag.”

Continuing, Interpret sums up Palm’s approach and the results: “In December, Palm was languishing as an irrelevant smartphone player, but it has now rejuvenated its standing as having a genuine presence in the market. Palm approached the Pre marketing campaign as a combination of smart, productive and cool brand associations….Even though the Pre has not sold millions, its significant role in jumpstarting Palm’s revival has put the brand in a place to expand to different carriers–and increase its market share by developing similar handsets.”

Evidently, Palm is cool again.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work