Now think about the moment you bought your first 4G enabled phone. How did it feel? Was it a huge revelation? Was it a life changing moment? Was 4G your light in the tech darkness?
I might have been a complete Luddite back then, but I don’t really recall being excited in the slightest about 4G. I was just excited to get a new phone that would work better. Beyond 4G making my phone faster in some shape or form, I had no clue what the fuss was about, and I don’t think I was alone.
So now 5G is on the horizon, what can brands learn from 4G? What does the next G actually mean to consumers? Why should we care?
Put simply, consumers want to hear about emotional benefits. Not functional benefits.
Take the Motorola and Verizon partnership as one of the latest 5G examples in the market. Motorola have released the new Moto Z3, which will be able to support Verizon 5G when available, but only if you buy an extra 5G capable modem that can be added to the handset… So you still have to buy a new handset and an add on. It won’t come cheap to be one of the first 5G users.
So why should you buy it? Well you’ll get lower latency, speeds up to 1 gigabyte per second, increased bandwidth, watch 1080p videos etc etc… I think most people just internally yawned.
The above benefits are neither tangible nor compelling.
What about: with 5G, in the time it takes for you to tie a shoe lace you can download The Return of the King extended edition onto your phone. (For those who aren’t big The Lord of the Rings fans, that’s a really long film).
The brands that will really win in the new 5G landscape are those that can paint an aspirational future for consumers. That means talking about consumer benefits, not tech benefits. It can be hard for brands not to shout about how clever the functionality of new tech is, but it will be worth it.
Beware the brands that forget the lessons learned from previous Gs. We all should know by now not to rinse and repeat.