Mount Fuji, Japan

The difference between luxury real estate marketing professionals who are genuinely passionate about what they do and others who are not is palpable. It is your passion and competence that compels others to rave about you and refer business your way. But, competence alone is not enough. Emotions attract more business than logic. Tapping into the emotions of your target market and offering an extraordinary value proposition beyond competent service will give you the competitive edge.

In Japan, consumers of electronic gadgets have traditionally been persuaded to buy new products based more on extensive new features rather than the emotional benefits of ownership. Skeptics warned that Apple’s iPhone would not sell well in Japan because it lacked detailed technical features that would require hours of studying a thick instruction manual to master.

The skeptics were wrong about the simplistic user interface of the iPhone and also about the iPad, which was recently introduced to raving fans in Japan. Apple products have become a brand name accessory. They are considered a luxury on par with Louis Vuitton handbags which are extremely popular in Japan. Apple has found a way to tap into the deep seated emotional consumer needs of self-expression and the promise of gaining acceptance, approval and admiration from others. 

Showing off your new iPad, a product that has instant brand recognition, offers emotional currency to the consumer.  This effect can occur from twenty feet away simply by recognizing the Apple logo.  That is brand power! From twenty feet away you cannot tell if a competing gadget has the latest technical features inside.

Then, there is Apple's "coolness factor"-- an inimitable brand culture that has been developing over decades.  You do not just buy a product; you join a brand and you belong to a likeminded community. Have you ever walked into an Apple store? The brand culture, the passion and the camaraderie between customers and competent employees is obvious there.

The reason that Apple has such a superior competitive advantage is not because of features but, because of this emotional currency. Google, Samsung, HP and dozens of other companies are coming out with tablet computers in the near future.  But, they will all be competing based on features alone, not on emotions, a realm that Apple dominates. 

Dell is coming out with a tablet that has a 5 inch screen (double the size of a smart phone screen). The logic is that is can still fit into your pocket like a smart phone.  They will be given away free with a wireless subscription because Dell will subsidize the cost of the device in a revenue sharing model. 

When you compete on the basis of features alone, you become a commodity because features can easily be copied.  The only territory left, when all competitors have the same features, is price. We saw this phenomenon with discount real estate brokerage firms.

Tap into your passion, as a luxury real estate marketing professional.  Claim an contested market niche that you can dominate. Serve this niche better than anyone else in your marketplace. Then, you will find the winning formula of passion and competence.


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