iPod Nano vs. iPod Mini : Competing with themselves?
September 30, 2005 by Gwendolyn Regina T
Why did Apple come up with the Nano when the Mini is the hottest selling accessory on the market now? Wouldn’t they be taking away buyers of the Mini and thus additional revenue for themselves? Why compete with themselves? It may seem bizarre to some, but not so to me after reading a marketing classic by Ries and Trout – Marketing Warfare:
(Click on the link to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
According to these two marketing geniuses, there are 4 marketing strategies: Offensive, Defensive, Flanking and Guerilla. You should read the book to find out more, but using their research on real-life examples, the market leader should always play Defensive. And in this Apple case, I guess it is pretty clear that Apple is a market leader.
Okay, this clarified, but why did I say that I wasn’t shocked at Apple taking business away from iPod Mini and thus themselves? Before I go on, let me list down the 3 principles of Defensive strategy:
(1) Only the market leader should consider playing defense.
(2) The best defensive strategy is the courage to attack yourelf.
(3) Strong competitive moves should always be blocked.
- taken from Marketing Warfare by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Applying the 2nd law of Defensive Strategy, by coming up with a new product that makes the old one obsolete is good for Apple because it just makes life harder for competitors who are struggling to catch up. “A moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one” (Marketing Warfare).
The trick is to entice the public to buy something from you whilst they still think you’re great before competitors come in with rival products. Just like how people looking to buy music players might now buy the new much hyped-about iPod Nano rather than explore the possibility of choosing underdogs like Sony’s or Creative’s players. Why go for seconds when you can have something new from the best? As the book touts: “It’s better to take business away from yourself than have someone else do it for you.”
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About The Author
Gwendolyn Regina T - Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Gwen is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of SGE. Previously, she was a partner of early stage technology investment firm, Thymos Capital and she has had two exits, one of which is iHipo. She is also an investor in Padlet, a Y-Combinator startup. Gwen also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Singapore Innovation & Productivity Institute, Steering Commmittee for the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Awards 2013, and Board of Advisors for Social Media Week 2013. A frequent public speaker, mentor and judge at various startup bootcamps, events and competitions, Gwen loves meeting founders, developers, designers and scientists across all ages. An alumnus of the National University of Singapore and its University Scholars Programme, Gwen also spent some time in Silicon Valley and is a graduate of the NUS-Stanford University overseas college programme. She is also a mentor at Polish tech startup incubator Gamma Rebels, the Singapore curator for US-headquartered StartupDigest and the Singapore Ambassador for the Sandbox Network - the leading global network of innovators under 30. Gwen has also been a Worldwide Judge for Imagine Cup - the premier student technology competition helmed by Microsoft. She has also spoken in Hong Kong at one of its largest youth conferences, MaD Asia, and was recently in Austria to help envision the future of the country's economy in 2032 on invitation from an Austrian governmental organization. Gwen speaks 3.25 languages, loves physics, travelling, dance and adventure sports. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Gwendolyn Regina T