Nobody remembers the specs


“People don’t care about technology. Nobody remembers the memory, thickness or processing power of the original iPod.” – Tim Kobe, Eight Inc.

When I heard Tim Kobe say this my brain really started whirring. It’s such a simple observation, yet so profound. You might not remember the specs, but you will remember that everyone stopped carrying packs of CDs. The advertising ‘1000 songs in your pocket’ was cleverly designed around the customer experience. As technologists and marketers we spend far too much time obsessing over specifications and the intricate details of the next best feature. We regularly forget this simple truth. Nobody will remember. It’s not that they don’t care, but they won’t remember – and that subtle difference is important.

What customers will remember is how they felt or how it impacted their lives. It’s important because that feeling, or that change – is what they’ll tell their friends about. Their entire customer experience will be boiled down to “I loved/hated it” and then a short story. Even with die hard geeks, I’ve never had anyone tell me how great the extra mega-hertz are. Loads of people have told me about how much faster programs open & run though. Followed by a bunch of specs that neither I or they now remember.

Tim’s adamant that the future of retail is really about the future of human interaction, I agree. I actually think that the future of product is about the future of human interaction. It’s as much about customer experience and sentiment, as it is about functionality. Consumers now hold everything to the standards of design & service that they get from premium brands like Apple. 

So when you’re crafting your next product or message, think about how your customer is going to feel. Designing for customer experiences, is what makes products people remember.