Dustin Curtis makes an excellent point in his article skewering Visio entitled The soul of a “consumer electronics entertainment connected scenario”:
People stopped buying computers based on specifications and features years ago. All computers sold now are practically identical in functionality. Today, people are increasingly buying computers the same way they buy cars: to define themselves.
I own Apple products because I love fine software, I drink 12 year old scotch because I like fine drinks, I use a Nikon camera because I adore fine photography equipment and I celebrate at fancy restaurants because I really enjoy fine foods.
I also live in Uniqlo and Gap clothing because I really don’t care about my appearance, I drink instant coffee and Twinings tea because I am lazy about caffeine, I use Ikea flatware and glasses because I don’t care about containers, and I do not invest in quality or antique furniture, because I cannot put my feet up on it.
Or do I own Apple because I am a deluded fanboy, and quaff scotch, carry a nikon and eat well to make me look more fancy? Do I wear Gap because I like the style, drink instant because I like the taste, use Ikea glasses because I am a klutz and smash too many of them, and buy cheap furniture because I move countries too often?
Products may tell you something about me, but nothing about my true character, values, beliefs and morality. Am I true and honest or a scumbag? Nice or nasty? Good or evil? Trustworthy? Honorable? Violent? Stupid? For that, you need to get to know me, my family and my friends, and to spend time observing me in my natural habitat. You’ll either like me or you won’t.
I guess products can and do define us, if you interpret it right. But its only a tiny part of a much bigger picture.