Apple’s new iPhone is unapologetically plastic. Are you flawsome?


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apple iphone 5c unapologeticallly flawsome

Apple released the new version of the iPhone. Drumroll please, it’s plastic (see launch video). To steal a line from a famous Breyers ice cream ad, its POLY, POLY CARBONITE Jony.

To Apple’s SVP of Design Jony Ive credit though, he doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t lead with polycarbonite or another fancy word. He says 42 seconds in that “the iPhone 5c is beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”

Flaunting a Weakness Into a Strength

A portmanteau is a combination of two (or more) words, and their definitions, into one new word.  The word comes from the English portmanteau luggage (a piece of luggage with two compartments), itself derived from the French porter (to carry) and manteau (coat).  Think blog (web log), infomercial (information commercial), or email (electronic mail).

I came across a portmanteau a couple of weeks ago that knocked my marketing socks off. Flawsome is a combination of Flaws and Awesome.  My friend Dave Rendall shared an article by Claire Dunn that talked about the concept of being flawsome.

The core message of the article is that today’s consumers are empowered.  They know more than ever before.  Therefore, don’t hide your flaws.  Honesty is truly the best policy.  Dunn states,

“We no longer buy ad campaigns that are too good to be true.  Consumers now want honest conversations about products and appreciate brands that show some maturity, humility, and humor.”

freak factor bookRendall has a similar message is his book, Freak Factor – Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness.  Most advertising is still about features and benefits, negating any form of weakness.  Instead, Rendall wants you to flaunt them, exaggerate them, and amplify them.

For example, the Australian brand Buckley’s has embraced a key weakness.  The mouthwash has succeeded not despite their bad flavor, but because of it. Parent Novartis doesn’t hide the flavor issue.  Instead their campaigns have slogans such as “It tastes awful.  And it works,” and “Open wide and say ‘ &*!’.”  

Brand manager Kironmoy Datta says,

“One of our principles is to be honest and straightforward.  The brand has no qualms about stating it the way it is.  We’ve made a conscious choice to not be everything to everyone.  We believe consumers respect our honest approach.”

Takeaway:  Think different like Apple and Buckley’s about your so-called weaknesses. Embrace them and be unapologetic.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here is Dave and his TEDx talk on the Freak Factor:

Credit: Part of this post was originally on MENG Blend.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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