“The little white boxes and ear-bud headphones are ubiquitous devices on college campuses, but the iPod, like other fad gizmos, is an accessory that often demands its own accessories. Although there are other MP3 players on the market, the faddy nature of the iPod has spawned an entire aftermarket of products designed to make it run longer, work better and appear slicker. This accessorizing is emblematic of the trend toward marketing and selling products to consumers that promote the individualization of mass-produced goods,” Steven Neuman writes for The Oregeon Daily Emerald.
“[University of Oregon] Assistant Professor of marketing Simona Stan said that there is a tension, especially when it comes to young consumers, between the desire to conform and the desire to be an individual that is epitomized by accessories. ‘You belong to a group at a brand level, but you’re different at the product level,’ she said. ‘For example, we all have Apple computers so we belong to a group … but we each have our own colors and styles that makes us an individual. That is very appealing,'” Neuman writes.
“According to Angie Reinhart, who works in the electronics department at Target on West 11th Avenue, Apple products have such a variety of options because of their trendy nature. ‘There is a lot of advertising right now,’ Reinhart said. ‘They’ve been pushing their product and they want those accessories available right when you buy the player.’ However, consumers proved resistant to purchasing other alternative players, Tishman said. The bookstore only offers one player that is not an iPod — a Polaroid Pocket Jam player with 123 megabytes but no accessories. The store discontinued selling other players after they sold poorly,” Neuman writes.
Full article here.