Why performance stats no longer sell
Consumers have proven time and again that they're willing to pay more for a superior user experience
Which is better? The Samsung Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6? Brand associations aside, how could you make that decision, and how could you justify that decision? Your initial thought might be to look at the specs of both devices. Unfortunately, that strategy isn't as sound as you might think.
When it comes to enterprise technology, specs matter. And price matters. To ensure that a CIO has made the best purchasing decision, his or her IT team will have gone through several rounds of serious number crunching, focusing on how well the equipment will perform relative to the price it costs to procure it.
This is because, firstly, enterprise-grade IT equipment is laughably expensive, and secondly, IT budgets are under constant stress. As a result, CIOs need to consider what the product will deliver that the old one didn't, how the product will generate measurable benefits for the business, and how much the product will cost over the course of its lifetime. And to get to grips with all of this, they need to know every little detail about the product.
Things used to work in a similar way in the consumer technology world. Back in the ‘90s, when the personal computer revolution hit, there were real benefits to spending more for better specs, usually related to how quickly your computer would run. Better speeds meant you could do more with your PC. If you required more from your computer than the ability to use Microsoft Word or check your Hotmail, you'd need better specs. Maybe you were an early adopter or Photoshop, or you wanted to play the new Doom game that everyone was raving about. The point is, specs mattered.
The same thing applied to the mobile phone market when it exploded in the 2000s. Mobile technologies were advancing so quickly that it soon became pretty obvious that you could do more with your phone than simply make calls. But to gain access to those new features, you'd have to pay for them. There were colour screens, attachable cameras, and then built-in cameras. Then there was WAP, mobile e-mail, and basic web browsing. But, still chained to the PC-centric way of doing things, phone manufacturers assumed that buyers of these cutting-edge features would also want top-of-the-line specs. So that's how it was done. To justify buying a really expensive phone, you'd have to consider the specs.
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