Pi Attitude Zone: Connectivity & Drive

Cellphones: A Life Beyond Technology

Pi was commissioned by the leading US Consumer Electronics trade association to investigate the deeper values and motivations of people buying high-end cellphones.

We ran the Pi-Charts, and sure enough, the stand-out attitude was “the tech thing”, as expected.  Top-priced smartphones clearly have a particular appeal for people who feel the pull of state-of-the-art technology.  The “novelty compulsion”, plus the chance to show everyone you have the latest gizmo, are indeed the brightest guiding stars in their attitudinal firmament.

But the Pi-Charts revealed a much richer and more nuanced attitudinal profile than that.  After tech and novelty, the next big preoccupation for high-end phone buyers is materialism, a feeling of “I shop, therefore I am”.  They are proud of being adept at decoding 'insider' messages in everyday life.  They are fiercely ambitious and committed to an entrepreneurial quest for self-advancement.  They feel a strong sense of self-motivating and self-reliance.  (Notice the prevalence of the word “self”?)  And they generally define the pleasures they seek as “life in the fast lane”, turning their backs on traditionalism and domestic preoccupations. 

There are lessons in this for those tech brands locked in competition for this year’s most lucrative mobile phone sales.  The selling message can’t afford to restrict itself only to the technical merits of handset performance and operating systems.  Campaigns need to express the excitement of the go-getter lifestyle.  The appeal has to be to the entrepreneur and fixer among target consumers, not just the tech-freak.  More than simply a phone, the device has to be seen as the indispensable adjunct of a lifestyle built around 'winning'.

Pi says:  don’t just show the phone, show the go-getter context.

Zone: Connectivity & Drive Country: USA / North America Product – Communications