Apple was recently in the headline hot spot defending a practice that doesn’t make sense to many consumers – and photographers can learn a thing or two.
You all saw the headlines last week as 2017 came to a close: someone discovered, and then Apple admitted, that it was throttling the CPU speed1 in iPhones once the battery life had deteriorated to a certain point. The explanation of why they did it makes sense from a technical standpoint (not throttling the phone could lead to crashes, freezes, and other problems) and their explanation seems to pass muster according to some battery scientists.
But Apple did a poor job communicating about the situation, and it fueled theories that Apple intentionally slows down older phones to drive hardware upgrades.
Consumers perceived this as “Apple’s slowing down my old phone so I spend more money.” Even with the battery replacement program being offered, folks are confused; for example just this past weekend my father-in-law seemed quite unhappy that he was going to pay $29 to get the battery replaced “that Apple slowed down.”
So… there’s a legit reason for what’s going on, but poor messaging is causing unhappy consumers. Let’s talk photography now.
How Do You Talk About Prints vs. Digital Files?
As a photographer who works in any of the portrait, wedding, or landscape genres, do you have solid messaging about print and wall art sales and why they’re the best option for your clients?
Are your customers thinking “The photographer wants me to buy prints instead of digital files so she can make more money!”
You know the reasons why prints and wall art are right for your clients (longevity, the tangible feel of an image, having it become a family heirloom, having it seen every day in the home, the memories it will trigger as folks see it, etc) but are you doing an effective job of communicating these benefits to your clients?
Apple assumed that folks had an understanding of what happens to battery life over time, and that they would be okay with how Apple chose to handle the battery management in iOS. Are you assuming that your clients understand why you’re prioritizing the sale of print products and wall art and that they understand your pricing?
Or… like Apple, should you work hard to clearly communicate why you’re doing what you do and how it benefits your clients and customers?
Sounds like a good project for January.
- Technically, they were making several adjustments – slightly dimming the screen, slightly lowering the volume… all in hopes of keeping the phone operable given a worn-out battery. ↩