Fang Talks

It's not a plot hole, it's a plot device!

Or, over the top product placement for dummies.

You all knows Beats, right? It’s a great example of how aggressive marketing can make a product explode. Doesn’t change that fact that they’re way overpriced for the quality they provide, but there’s actually a strong reason behind that. And it’s marketing. You better believe they put a huge chunk of their budget towards marketing, and then sprinkled a couple extra millions on top.

But why? Well, why do companies advertise their products? To get the word out. But what did Beats do? They made sure to get the word out, and the image they’d like you to associate with their product. That is, the whole “status symbol” value of the headphones and related gear. They gave ’em out to all kinds of celebrities, saying “here, wear these for your next music video/photo shoot/event”. Along with the headphones came a wad of dosh, so those folks happily complied. Result, all the idols, all the people we common folk look up to, are using Beats products. This makes them desirable.
And then of course there’s the whole thing with them being wallet-kill expensive, of course due to the price of that product placement. But this isn’t a bad thing, because “they cost so much, they must be good!”, and, “bet you can’t afford these so you’re just jealous!” You laugh, but that’s how it goes.

On the flip-side of this, we have companies like OnePlus, putting close to zero pennies into marketing and ensuring they can ship a high-quality product for an affordable price instead. This is really powerful, too. The affordability of the product keeps it accessible to a broad range of people, though consumer awareness has now become your main limiter. Word of mouth really is your only decent tool if you’re looking for free advertisement, so you need to make sure to deliver something top-notch. The ball will get rolling eventually.

That’s the two sides of the coin, but I’m wondering if there’s some sort of curve you can map this to? Relating the amount of money you put towards marketing to an increase in product price, and how that eventually affects the profitability of your product. Replace profitability with popularity if you want, I think it’s a calculation along the same lines.

I couldn’t tell you though, I’m no expert on this subject.
~ Fang

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