Originally Posted by boswd
as to your second point, that is a yes and no. Sure people will buy products just so they don't follow the crowd but in many instances the crowd is being pulled along by the Pied Piper. And yes some products are the most popular because they are the better choice. But both cases are far and few in between.
For example, if someone today wanted to buy a pocket sized hand held camcorder, which brand first comes to mind? The Flip? 9 out of 10 times, yes. What was more than likely the best selling pocket camcorder this Christmas season, the Flip? I'd be shocked if it wasn't. Heavy adverstising creates herd mentality. It creates the "it must be popular so that means it must be the best".
now lets say you did something of at least 30 mins. of research. Then all of a sudden the picture isn't so clear. In fact your opinion would most likely change. All of a sudden the Kodak Zi8 or Kodak Playsport seems like a better option. better rated video quality, shoots up to 1080P and all the way down to WGA for computers, expandable memory (very key) replacable Lithium ion Battery, comes with an HDMI cord included.
All features the Flip doesn't offer. So why on Earth would you buy a Flip camera?
So then why is the Flip the better selling pocket video camera?
See what I mean?
Amazon has a similar strategy, and heavy promotion is at the heart of it.
I'm not sure that examples of the most popular being the best are that few and far between. As far as the Kindle is concerned, I think that it is the best reader. The screen is clear, the device is comfortable to hold, and equally important, they have the largest selection of books at the best prices, with try before you buy. I'm not trying to convince you that it's the best - you may have other priorities - but simply that people might consider it the best with good reason.
On the Flip, people are buying a brand they've come to trust which, originally, offered them features that were unique, but which are now being overtaken by others. I don't think that they'll stay popular unless they catch up. This is different to the Kindle case, where Amazon still have the best offering on the market in my view.