This morning I drove by an AT&T store. There were people lined up out the door and around the building. I found out that the new iPhone went on sale yesterday. Presumably, people have been camping out to get first in line.
That is product marketing — to convince people to camp out in front of a retail store to get in first.
This does not happen for too many products. The few I can think of:
- Tickets for the Superbowl, the Olympics or other major sports events (a very limited number are available)
- Tickets for a rock concert (The Who, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the like – a very limited number are available)
- The newest Harry Potter book (plenty are available, but the kids want to start reading at midnight of the release)
- Maybe the X-Box, in its heyday (scarce supply early on, addicitve product)
Now people are camping out to buy a cell phone, a consumer product that anyone can buy any time. They can’t wait a few more weeks when they can just walk into the store to buy it without the hassles. They need it now.
Well done, Steve Jobs.