Cultural Marketing Analysis - Why Ipod? (a Case Study)

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ABSTRACT
The intention of this paper has been to investigate why certain products become cultural icons. The discussion is delimited to consumer products of technical character with a strong relation to contemporary culture. To reach our objective we have conducted a case study in the form of a cultural marketing analysis of Apple’s iPod, by studying its cultural meaning for consumers and the factors behind its immense popularity. Among the success factors identified is Apple’s strong brand image of creativity, innovation and imagination, which has been well transferred to the iPod. It was the community of Mac users that created the initial hype around the iPod, but through a deep connection to contemporary popular culture, the iPod community has expanded with new groups not before targeted by Apple. The iPod community broadly exhibits traits of a brand community, which increases perceived quality, brand loyalty, brand awareness and brand associations. Through advertising and design, Apple has successfully implemented the three levels of emotional design into the iPod: The aesthetics of the iPod, characterized by simplicity, provides an example of a visceral design, formed according to values inherent in us as biological beings. The visceral design also comes out in the advertising where the all-white iPod stands out as a naturally beautiful object. In addition, the advertising works at the reflective design level, and connects the iPod with the concepts of energy, joy, style, and youth culture. Moreover, the iPod’s high usability is consistent with the concept of behavioural design. The identity of the iPod, as created by the producers, has been well mediated to consumers. However, this identity is multifaceted and provides interpretive flexibility, which has contributed to its success. The iPod has acquired a market position with wider connotations than being ‘just’ an mp3-player. It has also established a close connection with pop-cultural trends and become a symbol for new consumption patterns of music in modern society.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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1.1 1.2 1.3

INTRODUCTION .................................................................6 Problem .......................................................................................................................................... 6 Purpose .......................................................................................................................................... 6 Demarcations................................................................................................................................. 7

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2.1 2.2 2.3 2.3.1 2.3.2 2.3.3

METHOD .............................................................................8 Case Study ..................................................................................................................................... 8 Cultural Marketing Analysis ........................................................................................................ 8 Overview......................................................................................................................................... 8 Theory......................................................................................................................................................... 8 Empirics...................................................................................................................................................... 8 Analysis ...................................................................................................................................................... 9

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3.1 3.2

BACKGROUND ................................................................10 Apple ............................................................................................................................................. 10 iPod...
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