Reexamining the Core Product

I’ve been seeing it more and more lately.

Companies are selling other experiences to deepen the customer relationship with the core product.

Three companies excel at this halo effect:

Apple.  Sell iPhones and iPads through the large selection of apps, music, and movies in the iTunes store.

Rovio.  Sell more Angry Birds downloads through toys and merchandize.

50 Cent.  Sell music and tickets through headphones and clothing.

Sometimes consumers recognize the company for its secondary products.  It’s the old Hip Hop/Hollywood model, where different fans affiliate celebrities with a different section of their brand.  Will Smith was a rapper turned actor.  Some people may think of him as an actor first and foremost.

Pirates of the Caribbean is originally a Disney Land ride, which many only discovered after seeing the movies.

It matters a lot which way consumers best know the brand.  Will Smith now makes $20 million a movie as opposed to a few million through digital downloads and touring.  There’s no reason to do the latter.  The iPhone and iPad, however, are vertically integrated with iTunes so focusing on milking iTunes content distracts from the breadwinning billion dollar devices.

Revenue, marketing, and new lines of businesses ultimately revolve around the identity of the brand.  Make sure consumers recognize the brand for what it does best.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.