Technology as Fashion

When the Apple Store opened in Ginza last year, 5,000 people queued up outside, more than for Louis Vuitton’s Omotesando store opening the year before. In the first week the store brought in around ¥100 million in sales and since then, the store is reported to have averaged 5,000 visitors a day—on weekdays. Last month, the Apple Store saw another line outside its doors. More than 1,500 eager customers queued for the launch of a little music player called the iPod mini and the store sold out within a day.This is the stuff of legendary fashion superbrands, not a store selling boxed silicon. The ability to generate such enthusiasm for a small aluminum tube containing a chip, some memory and a bit of software is clearly a marketing phenomenon worth considering. Is it the brand? The function? The fashion? Most likely a bit of each.

The full article, with a focus on Apple’s launch of the iPod Mini in Japan, is here.