skip to Main Content

Apple’s Vision Pro Shows How to Market New Products and Services (Thinks Out Loud Episode 385)

Group of marketers using VR headset to illustrate how to market new products and services

Apple unveiled its Vision Pro augmented reality/virtual reality/artificial intelligence-powered headset a few weeks ago. It looks… interesting. It might be a dumb product, one that no one needs or wants. But, apart from a few brief mentions, they mostly didn’t talk about augmented reality or virtual reality or artificial intelligence. And even if the Vision Pro is a dumb product, their announcement was incredibly smart. In fact, it offers a playbook for exactly how you can market any new product or service.

Why is that? What did Apple do that was so smart? What can you learn from how they introduced their new product? And how can you apply those lessons to your business? That’s what this episode of Thinks Out Loud is all about.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you.

Apple’s Vision Pro Shows How to Market New Products and Services (Thinks Out Loud Episode 385) — Headlines and Show Notes

Show Notes and Links

You might also enjoy this webinar I recently participated in with Miles Partnership that looked at "The Power of Generative AI and ChatGPT: What It Means for Tourism & Hospitality" here:

Free Downloads

We have some free downloads for you to help you navigate the current situation, which you can find right here:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast:

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 21m 04s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Transcript: Apple’s Vision Pro Shows How to Market New Products and Services

Hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. This is episode 385 of the Big Show, and I think we’ve got a really cool episode for you today.

You may have seen that Apple introduced its Vision Pro Headset a couple of weeks ago, a virtual reality augmented reality contraption that you strap to your face. It’s very similar to the Meta Quest or the Oculus Quest, if you know it by that name though, there are some very specific differences in the way it works, and particularly in the way that Apple positioned this in the marketplace. And I think what they did here is brilliant.

There are lessons here that I think we all can learn. That are really important to anything you do. I don’t think most of you are gonna be marketing a, a AR or VR headset anytime soon, but they really showed a game plan. They really showed how you can introduce any kind of new offering to your customers.

And I wanna start by talking about the fact that they did not mention artificial intelligence or AI in its product launches at all. Whether it was the headset, whether it was the new iPad the new max didn’t matter. They really didn’t talk about artificial intelligence. Yeah, they said machine learning in a couple of places.

Yes, they absolutely did talk about how they’re using data in some ways. But for the most part, they didn’t mention AI at all, or the metaverse. Obviously the Metaverse is so important to Facebook’s offerings that they renamed the company meta something that I think they’re going to regret. Significantly in the longer run, just in terms of a point of folly.

I couldn’t be wrong about that, but we’ll see. I think what Apple did though is brilliant. Yes. As I mentioned, they had a few mentions of machine learning and automation and such, but what they were talking about was not ai. They were talking about the experience. Ai Artificial intelligence is a buzzword and it’s a perfectly fine buzzword.

Metaverse is also a buzzword, probably a less fine buzzword. Buzzwords like that are for investors, and occasionally early adopters. Experience is for customers. Apple talks about experience again and again and again, and they certainly did in these product launches. What I’m talking about ties together a number of themes you’ve heard me talk about before, how customer experiences queen and how we owe it to customers to make their lives better, and what I talked about last week about whether marketing has a future.

Taking care of customers, helping customers, always has a future, and that’s what Apple talked about with their product release, was helping customers providing a real use case for this product that they’ve introduced. I’m not sure that it’s actually gonna work for reasons I’ll get into a little later, but they were focused on the customer.

The late Terry Pratchett and the author had a character in his books named C.M.O.T. Dibbler, and if you don’t know what the C.M.O.T. stands for, you gotta read the books. They’re hilarious. They’re really, really good. Regardless. Dibbler would show up wherever there was a crowd, anytime there was a crowd, day or night, peddling "sausage on a bun." You know, in other words, hot dogs to hungry folks, wherever that crowd emerged, right? Anytime there’s a scene in these books and there’s quite a few of these books, and a crowd pops up, so does Dibbler because he’s there to make a buck. He’s there to serve the customer’s needs. In a life imitating art situation.

There was a kid who climbed out a second, a second story window in New York City the other day, and as a crowd gathered to watch the police and fire departments help the kid down. Kid, teenager, I think he was probably sneaking out of, you know, his, his lover’s bedroom or something along those lines.

But you know, as, as the fire department and the police department helped the kid down and as a crowd gathered to watch them do this, a local ice cream truck showed up. Which is brilliant. I don’t know that Dibber or the ice cream truck has a long-term strategy, but their tactics are impeccable.

They’re saying, Hey, here’s a crowd of people. Some of them are hungry. That’s brilliant. From a tactical perspective, apple looks like it’s trying to do a similar thing as, as weird as that’s getting to sound. They’re not going to, they’re not getting hung up on buzzwords. They’re trying to create a particular customer experience based on what they think customers want.

They might be wrong about that latter part. I’m not a hundred percent sure that they’ve actually accurately judged the market for augmented and virtual reality goggles, especially those selling for $3,500. That’s the main reason why selling ice cream and hot dogs is easier show up where you expect to find hot or hungry people and you’re golden.

You’re in really good shape. But, and this is important, apple at least seems to be thinking about the customer’s problem more than they’re thinking about the technology. At the risk of sounding like a commercial for Apple here, cuz my point isn’t that Apple’s gonna win. My point is that they’re thinking about this the way that good marketers think about this.

They’re thinking about the way that you can use tools to connect with your customers more effectively. You can use data to connect with your customers more effectively. I have used the Meta Quests two for several years. It’s kind of a neat device. It’s kind of okay. It also has an enormous number of limitations.

I’ve talked about these before when I’ve talked about the Metaverse. You can’t easily pick up a drink. If I need a sip of water or a cup of coffee or something along those lines, I have to take the headset off to do that. You can’t easily take notes. So if you’re using this to connect with people in a meeting, you can’t really do that all that well.

Yes, there are some tools. Yes, there’s some software. I acknowledge all that. My point is, it’s not intuitive or simple to do compared to just, I don’t know, taking a note or reaching for my drink. Most importantly, you can’t interact with people around you. Why, while you’re wearing this thing. I’ve referred to it as a disconnecting technology.

When you use it, you have to disconnect from the people you’re physically with. It’s like going into another room. You’re literally absenting yourself from whatever is going on around you to use the product. That’s not compelling for lots of folks in an age when we can look at our phones and just look up and talk to somebody.

It’s such a different experience and such a disconnecting experience, and that’s undoubtedly playing a role in why you don’t see these things flying off the shelves. Apple’s product. The Vision Pro by contrast, provides a way to see through its lenses and pick up a drink or take notes or connect with people in the same room as you at the same time that you use the device.

That’s undoubtedly better. They’re thinking about how do customers use this and what do customers want to do with it in a different way. In a way that I think is pretty smart. The second smart thing they did was price it at a ridiculous price. It’s $3,500. The, the meta aquest is like 3 99 or 4 99. It’s dramatically cheaper.

So why is that a good thing that Apple did this? Well, they’re doing at least two things here. They’re showing the marketplace that this is a valuable product. You might be familiar with the typical laws of supply and demand and the typical economics thing, and you know, developing a yield curve where we find the optimal price at which to sell a given product to ensure the greatest volume of sales.

And I’ll link to these in the show notes if you’re not familiar with them. But it’s pretty basic economic stuff, right? You wanna find the optimal price for a product that ensures you sell the most units and generate the most profit. However, there’s an idea in economics of something called a vlan, good vlan.

That’s V E B L E N. If you’re listening to this at, you know, a higher listening speed, VLAN goods don’t follow the usual laws of supply and demand. The high price actually drives greater purchases. Think about like a luxury hotel or a luxury automobile. If I told you I was going to sell a car and it was every bit as good as a Rolls-Royce or a McLaren or a Bentley, yet the car only cost $5,000, you’d think I was either nuts or lying to you.

The price tells you it cannot possibly be high enough quality. But if I sell it for $250,000, well wait a second. Hold up. That is clearly a really, really high quality product. Tesla, when they started the company, one of the most intelligent things they did was they started by selling a really high priced car.

Because A, they knew that they were gonna make less money per unit sold, and B, they wanted to show that this is a high quality product, make a little bit more profit and be able to funnel that into driving down the cost of technology over time as they ramped up supply chain. Really, really smart. Apple is doing the same thing with the Vision Pro.

By pricing it 10 times higher than Facebook meta quest’s, Oculus. They’re showing that it’s super high quality, whether it is or not. They’re telling a story to the marketplace about what this thing is actually worth. The price signals that this is a serious piece of hardware that’s really, really high quality.

The other really smart thing here is they’re restricting the supply only to those who want it badly enough to drop three and a half thousand dollars on it. They’re acknowledging that it’s a niche product. Think about it, you make money. You make money as a company, either by selling lots of things to lots of people at a relatively low price, or by selling very few things to a smaller number of people at a high price.

I realize I’m, I’m waving off, you know, repeat sales and all that kind of stuff, but the basic idea in. Business, we’ve known this for years, is you can either sell a lot of stuff at a lower price or you can sell a very few things at a higher price and still be a profitable business. There simply aren’t that many products out there or services where you sell lots and lots and lots of things at a very, very, very high price.

If there were the competition for that business would be ridiculously fierce. Right, so we know this isn’t the case. Apple is clearly going for the relatively few sales at a relatively high price model that’s really smart for something. They’re still learning how to make and make at scale just like Tesla did.

My friend at St. S I was having a conversation with him the other day and I thought he wisely said this could be a strategy just like Tesla did to help their supply chain until they can scale manufacturing. I think that’s true. I think it’s also true. They are definitely trying to signal this is a really high quality product, so there could be other reasons, but those are the ones that seem most obvious to me.

And the point remains that they’re telling a couple of stories with the price. All of those stories speak to a great product, a great experience. No mention of the metaverse, no mention of artificial intelligence, just something that you have to have because it will be a great experience. Now that might not be enough to make the product succeed.

I still, with any of these headsets do not see a killer app for these platforms. In consumer use killer apps, you’re probably familiar, are the thing that makes a new technology. Must have. You know, examples include when spreadsheets and internet access came out, suddenly everybody wanted a home computer because it made the computer valuable.

App stores and social media were the things that really drove people to get smartphones because suddenly there was a really great use for this tool. The, the, these headsets don’t seem to have that yet. Maybe that will change. I just haven’t seen it yet. The Vision Pros, high price may also be an acknowledgement by Apple that this isn’t for everyone, that it’s only for professionals and business and industrial uses.

I do know that none of my friends seemed too excited about it, and as we lean towards being early adopters, that’s not a great sign, but time will tell. The point remains that Apple has done some really smart things here in terms of how you market new technologies or new products or new services. Sure, you can throw in buzzwords if you need to here and there to get, you know, wall Street or investors or early adopters excited, but customers ultimately care about their experience.

I originally wanted to call this episode. What’s smart about Apple’s? Dumb Vision Pro headset, because I’m not sure that this is the perfect product or one that everyone’s gonna have. But what is smart is the playbook that they followed. They absolutely looked at how do we make a great experience for our customers and how do we tell a story to those customers that they’ll, this will be a great experience for them, and they’ve executed on that brilliantly.

So don’t worry about whether the headset’s gonna succeed or fail. Learn from what they’re doing. Well learn from the process and use that whenever you need to. Introduce something new to your customers, a new product, a new service. Whatever it happens to be in a way that they care about. Let them see what the benefits are to them.

Let them see why the experience is gonna be great. Let the price tell a story about how it supports that experience, whether it’s a high price, whether it’s a low price, doesn’t matter. You are telling a story with the price, but put those all together in a way that tells a clear story. About the benefits and about the experience that your customers are gonna have, and you’ll have ended up doing something really smart just like Apple.

Show Closing and Credits

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for this episode as well as an archive of all past episodes by going to Again, that’s Just look for episode 384.

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Don’t forget that you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single week. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, Overcast, anywhere fine podcasts are found.

Leave a Review for Thinks Out Loud

And while you’re there, I would also very much appreciate it if you could provide a positive rating or review for the show. Ratings and reviews help new listeners find the podcast. They help new listeners understand what the show’s all about. They help get the word out. They help us grow our community and they mean the world to me.

So thank you very much. I really appreciate you helping make Thinks Out Loud, a better place for all of us involved. So I really, really do want to say thank you again.

Thinks Out Loud on Social Media

You can also find Thinks Out Loud on LinkedIn by going to You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. and as always, you can email me at Again, that’s

Show Outro

Finally, I know I say this every week, but I very much appreciate you listening. I would not do this show without you. It means so much to me that we can have a conversation and build this community together.

It means the world to me that you listen. It means the world to me that you comment. It means the world to me that you reach out to me on social. And I just love that we get to keep the dialogue going. So please, let’s keep the dialogue going. Go ahead, keep your emails coming. Keep pinging me on LinkedIn. Keep pinging me on Twitter. I love hearing from you. I love getting to chat with you about all of this each week.

With all that said, I hope you have an amazing rest of the week. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. And I will look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be well, be safe, and as always, take care everybody.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top