The iPod Archetype: why is the ipod such a success?

After reading Seth Godin’s insightful little post on archtypes I started to think, “Why is the Ipod such a success?” Many other personal MP3 players are just as capable (if not more) as the iPod. Yet they are relegated to the fate of little to no market share. What’s the biggest factor?

The big circle! People are somehow drawn to the circle way more than your standard left/right/scroll buttons. The visual aspect of the circle and the simplicity of it (implying “i’m easy as pie to use”) work hand in hand to elicit a feeling of comfort. I looked up “circle archetype” in several search engines but only got back “hippy” results that all talked about stars and life and other stuff that made me want to put on a hemp dress. Anyway, the circle symbolizes womanhood, the womb, and life itself. Put the ipod in a baby’s hands, I bet you it will be happy to play with it. As we all are.

Look at these two photos – which one makes you feel better (ignore photo of the guy eating the razor scooter handlebars)?

The whiteness! Aside from Bono’s red/black version and some pinkish ones, the ipod is generally (and advertised) white. Once again, that brings you back to purity and comfort. And as we all know, product buying decisions are based in large part on comfort.

There are plenty more ways to deconstruct the ipod and analyze why it’s such a sucess, including the brilliant marketing that goes well to support it’s Google-like-friendly mystique, but at the moment I’ll say it’s all due to its white circle.

By the way, thank you, Seth, for adding two new words back into my consciousness lately: maven and archetype.