Martin Lindstrom says he found something interesting while doing some research for an upcoming book about brands: He handed a BlackBerry phone to about 20 different babies, and then watched their reactions to it. Without exception, they all reached up to touch the screen of the phone, which didn't do anything (since the BlackBerry wasn't a touchscreen), and then got bored. "These babies, all under two years old," he says, "have already been converted to the Apple brand."
Which makes for a fun tagline, and that leads into an article about how old brand experiences, like waiting for film to process, are being replaced by technology. But Lindstrom apparently forgets another possibility: That these babies aren't already conditioned to a certain brand, but that touch is just the natural way they would deal with the world anyway.
Yes, Apple has done a lot of work to build its brand and its reputation, and yes, the quality of the iPhone speaks volumes to anyone who has experience with one. But babies looking to touch something shiny doesn't mean they've been "brandwashed" by Apple -- it more likely means Apple has simply "tapped" into something that was already there in the first place.
[Image from oxtopus on Flickr]