Screenshot of Apple website selling MacBook Air

The Difference Between Marketing & Selling

Gee Ranasinha Business 3 Comments

You can talk about what a product or service does, or you can talk about how the product/service makes the buyer feel.

Most companies talk objectively. “This is what we’re selling. It does X, Y and Z. It costs this much. It comes in these sizes/colors/whatever. How many do you want?”

Other companies, in contrast, talk about the feeling of owning said product or service – and they back it up in their communication.

Take a look at the image below (you can click on it to make it open larger in a new window, if you like). It’s a screenshot from Apple’s website. It’s the way that Apple want you to see their MacBook Air laptop computer. If you can’t see the image below, you can click here.

Apple website screenshot

Now, take a look at the image below – again, you can click on it to enlarge it. Don’t just compare the design of the page, but consider the tone of the text. Again, if you cannot see the image below you can click here.

Apple website screenshot

As a comparison, this is a screenshot from HP’s website. It’s how you go about configuring and purchasing an HP laptop computer from their online store.

Two totally different ways of selling a laptop computer. But with Apple just posting their biggest quarter ever (Apple sold more iPads alone than HP sold PCs), it seems that marketing a product beats selling one hands-down.

Are You Marketing, or Just Selling?

How is your business promoting its value offering? Are you still talking about bits and bytes? About acronyms, minutiae and and techno-jargon that no-one but you and your staff care about?

Or are you selling the experience?

About the Author
Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

Gee Ranasinha

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After founding a successful media production firm, Gee became worldwide director of marketing for a European software company. As well as CEO of KEXINO he's an author, lecturer, husband, and father; and one hell of a nice bloke. He lives in a world of his own in Strasbourg, France, tolerated by his wife and young son. Find out more about Gee at

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Comments 3

  1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

    Hey thanks for this. Now I know the reason why “Apple sold more iPads alone than HP sold PCs”. I mean comparing from these 2 ads, selling experience is how to market effectively. It’s like you already made them feel what it’s like to own that product.

    1. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

      Hi Cathy,

      To me it seems that even the biggest companies can fall into the trap of commoditizing their value offering by focusing on features. In HP’s case it’s highlighting things like CPU speed, RAM and so on. Conversely, as you point out, Apple prefer to focus on the emotional connection that the user has when using the product.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  2. Avatar for Gee Ranasinha

    I don’t think that you can conclude that HP’s marketing approach is wrong from the above example.   Its equally an example of how there is a bigger market for tablets Vs laptops, and how HP is trying to sell to a contracting market. Well done apple for creating the tablet market.  However I do agree that the aspirational approach to Apples marketing lets them get away with charging at least 100% margin on each device. Nice 🙂

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