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excerpt Multiple choice

If the key to the iPod had been individuality or togetherness, technology or style, form or function, it would not have been as successful as it has been. The more salient the iPod became, the more consumers discovered ways that it was relevant—but not because of any single specific property of the device. The key wasn’t in a single answer; it was in the variety of answers. And this is what connects it to the Livestrong bracelet. The iPod succeeded not because of any specificity, but because of multiplicity. It fit into many disparate personal narratives, by way of many disparate rationales. . . .

Red Bull, the Livestrong bracelet, and even the iPod built a mass audience by cobbling together smaller ones. They were multiple-choice success stories, and if the rationales of different consumer groups didn’t match up with one another (let alone some top-down official meaning), that didn’t matter.