The iMac Channel

Promoting the Macintosh

9 February 2000 - Jerry Rogers

The following article was posted to the Evangelist and is reprinted by permission of the author.

"Why should I buy a Macintosh, since most everyone uses Windows?" Some may answer such questions convincingly, but I seldom do. What I say is taken to be my personal opinion, nothing more. Those I know usually get other opinions too, and nearly always end up buying a Windows PC.

While I wondered about ways to be more effective, I remembered a "feature-benefit" approach to promotion from years back. It may be what I'm looking for - a way to organize my thinking and have greater impact on those I'm talking to.

The method is simple. Start with a written or mental list of unique features of the Mac. For each unique feature, explain how the person will benefit. The approach can be used in discussions or be put in written form. Below is a list I started to make for myself regarding hardware. Each numbered item is a unique feature not found on a typical Windows PC, followed by its benefit. Use the list as an example for making your own personalized feature-benefit list.

1. RISC processors are used in today's Macintosh computers.

RISC processors give you a faster computer than common processors running at the same clock rate. RISC often doubles a computer's rate of doing work. The G4 RISC processor is swifter yet for complex tasks. Intel acknowledges superiority of RISC by using RISC architecture in its next generation of processors. Intel's first RISC chip will be for high performance, business computers. There will be a much longer wait before an Intel RISC processor appears in a desktop Windows PC.

2. Mac software is already designed and optimized for the RISC processor.

Software you purchase for the Macintosh today will work on future models as well. However, software purchased for a Windows PC will be obsolete when Intel RISC processors begin to appear in desktop PCs. Existing Windows software may actually run on these computers, but performance will suffer. Likely, most PC owners will simply pay to upgrade all of their software, so it performs well with a RISC chip.

3. High apeed Ethernet is built into every new Mac.

Ethernet allows you to connect to fast internet services through cable modems and DSL telephone lines. Ethernet also gives you a high speed connection between computers, for sharing printers and files or playing games. With a typical Windows PC, you must purchase and install additional hardware to get Ethernet.

4. Built-in antenna makes wireless connection easy on new Macs.

A simple option, called Air Port, lets you connect new Macs without wires. With an Air Port base station, all wireless Macs share the internet connection and can have internet access at the same time. If you have a portable Mac, you may roam 150 feet from other computers and the base station while remaining connected.

5. FireWire is built into most Macs, in addition to USB.

FireWire is a high speed connection for peripheral devices. It is much faster than USB. It lets you connect devices like external hard drives and scanners with no sacrifice in performance, and these devices are available now. Most digital camcorders are already equipped with FireWire, and after 2000 all camcorders will have it. You will be ready for these new devices with a FireWire equipped Macintosh. With a typical Windows PC, you must purchase and install FireWire hardware separately.

6. The new iMac has no fan.

Fans in computers emit a subdued but constant background noise, which can be a source of irritation in a quiet workplace. Every desktop Windows PC has fan noise. With the new iMac, the loudest sound you hear is the hard drive operating.

7. The iBook and PowerBook have TFT displays.

The TFT display gives you a far better image than the display on low price Windows notebooks. A side-by-side comparison will convince you. TFT superiority is very noticeable when observing motion, as in games and video clips. With the iBook, you do not sacrifice display quality for a lower price.

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