Experiences vs Commodities


Over 95% of Apple product owners keep the box their iThing came in. Did my Lenovo Thinkpad come with a box? I can’t remember. If it did, I recycled it for being brown and soulless.

The Apple box is a product itself. It even has a patent. But the Apple product starts before the box. Back in the store, with the glass staircase spiraling a great glass elevator. That’s what the Apple product is: an experience.


Making a phone call or connecting to the internet can be commoditized. Any Android device will get you there. I wouldn’t be able to pick a Galaxy or Nexus out of an Android police lineup.

All Look Same
All Look Same

Samsung and Google make commodity products. Substitutable, fungible, replaceable. A commodity has no qualitative differentiation within its class, so consumers will buy the cheapest version. To avoid commoditization, build an experience.

Lyft, a taxicab, and a Greyhound bus are all ways to get from Point A to Point B, but only one is an experience.

The Apple iBox is not just a box. It’s a satin-finished white cradle presenting the physical embodiment of cool. The user instantly feels like he’s gonna get laid. Now that’s something that can’t be commoditized.

See Also:
Apple and Nike –stratechery

One thought on “Experiences vs Commodities

Leave a Reply