“It’s the white, white world of the iPod economy, an exploding universe in which marketers such as Hewlett-Packard, Kate Spade, Bose and BMW are tapping into Apple’s portable music player to boost their own sales and brand equity… the iPod itself is just the beating heart of a growing body of marketing centered on the device,” Beth Snyder Bulik writes for Advertising Age.
“Not only is there an array of over 1,000 peripheral devices – from carrying cases to cables – devised to add to the MP3 player’s functionality, but big marketers with their own histories of ingenuity are lining up to ally themselves with the product, basking in the iPod’s marketing glow,” Bulik writes. “Not that Apple, which has encouraged most of the associations, is complaining. ‘Apple has spawned something very powerful. The iPod is not just a consumer-electronics device; it’s a cultural icon,’ said Michael Gartenberg, director of research at Jupiter Research. ‘And Apple understands that. By making strong associations with other very strong brands, it establishes the iPod as a platform, ultimately using that as a way to get the iPod experience into consumers’ hands.'”
Bulik writes, “The iPod is not the first great innovation from Apple, which introduced drag-and-drop computing and personal hand-held devices. It’s the marketing, and co-marketing, that are different. Apple seems to have figured out that part of having an iconic status means other marketers can and will ‘borrow’ brand equity, and it’s pre-empting at least some attempts by cutting its own co-branded deals. ‘It would be a mistake for people to think Apple is going to make the mistakes they’ve made in the past,’ said Mike McGuire, director of research at Gartner G2. ‘IPod is clearly now a crucial strategic part of the company. But they’ll be very careful about how they extend the brand going forward, and how they share that brand equity with others.'”
Full article here.