Photo from Vogue Insert, March 2015. 18Kt Gold watch

Photo from Vogue Insert, March 2015. 18Kt Gold watch

If you are interested in “owning” the lion’s share of business in your luxury real estate market, or a niche therein, one phenomenon to avoid at all costs is commoditization. You know you are on a slippery slide to becoming a commodity when you no longer have a unique promise of value to offer your clients and you are indistinguishable from your competition.  To make things worse, you begin to doubt your own value, as you get lost in a sea of sameness.

Another symptom of commoditization is trying to compete by copying your competitors’ features or adding features that can be copied. Samsung’s Galaxy models (top of their line) were temporarily able to trump Apple’s iPhone by offering larger screens until iPhone 6 (and 6+) wiped out that differentiator.

This allowed Apple to regain its lead as #1 in smartphones. Now, Samsung is playing catch up by copying iPhone’s fingerprint identifier, case design and finer materials for its Galaxy 6 model. They are even offering a mobile payment service to match Apple Pay, with a copycat name, “Samsung Pay”.

 Photo from Vogue Insert, March 2015

Photo from Vogue Insert, March 2015

The soon to be launched Apple Watch is a whole new product category for Apple. It will be used exclusively in conjunction with the iPhone (and no other smartphone) for many applications. This will create a switching barrier for current iPhone users and also persuade many Samsung users to jump ship.  That is one key reason why so much is riding on Apple Watch.

By positioning the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory it solidly targets upper-demographic consumers in general, not just current Apple fans, sports enthusiasts and tech geeks. ALL Apple products and services will benefit from the upscale “halo effect” of the Apple Watch. 

Fortifying and strengthening Apple’s sharp upscale focus with its Apple Watch marketing is an antidote to the potential commoditization of the iPhone, even if the majority of its Watch sales are the less expensive sports models.

Marketing the Apple Watch across multiple upscale media channels helps make the Apple brand inimitable. Apple will further out-distance Samsung as an upscale brand in the minds of its target market. The Samsung brand name is scattered on products in all price ranges, which makes it more difficult to sustain a foothold in upper-end products.

Feeling the symptoms of commoditization as a luxury real estate marketing professional?  Take the antidote: Become inimitable!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.