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If you use an Apple gadget, there's a good chance you didn't know how much you needed it, or appreciated its value, until after you started using it.
That's almost a hallmark of Apple.
"Just yesterday, Apple unveiled two new products that I thought met unmet needs head on, the new iPhone and the Apple watch, " Cramer noted, citing Apple Pay, the new technology that stores credit card information securely in the iPhone and the health and wellness features of the new watch as two examples.
"I hate taking out credit cards at the register," said Cramer. "Thanks to the iPhone I won't have to, anymore. And, as I get older, I want a device to help me monitor health issues."
The new products satisfy those unmet needs.
And Cramer says it's not just Apple; there are many other companies doing much the same.
"For example, the kids I know love to show and tell what they are up to. So they get GoPros and film themselves," Cramer said. "GoPro answers that unmet need. "
Also, as any autobody shop can tell you, there's a huge need to avoid collisions. "Mobileye has the best technology there is for collision avoidance. Another unmet need, solved. "
In addition, Cramer said Twitter has met the public's desire for instant news and analysis, while Google has sated the demand for knowledge that could, once, only be found in a library. Again, unmet needs.
"And then there's biotech," Cramer added, "the most obvious place to find unmet needs. Gilead's been a horse because there's a huge demand for a cure for Hepatitis C while Regeneron's been terrific because there's a need to stabilize macular degeneration. "
Also, in the quest for a healthier lifestyle, Cramer said Hain and WhiteWave have met customer needs by delivering innovative new products such as almond milk, a product that's grown extremely popular among people looking to take cow's milk out of their diets.
Again, the need was met.
"Keurig Green Mountain has met the needs of people like me who are the only coffee drinkers in the house and are tired of making and throwing away a whole pot of coffee each morning, which I used to do for years and years, " Cramer added.
Or, there's Deckers, which has been aggressive in its quest to invent new athletic shoes that satisfy unmet needs such as the company's new sneakers that help people with knee damage mitigate pain. "And the company is developing a new shoe specifically designed for the active Yoga enthusiast, a group that's growing rapidly," Cramer said.
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All told, each of the companies listed above is, in some way, similar to Apple. That is, in each case, these firms all identified a need and then invented a product to satisfy that need.
In the case of Apple, its ability to satisfy unmet needs is, in part, behind Apple's advance. Because it has such devoted customers, investors can feel relatively certain that new products will be met with strong enthusiasm. Can the same be said of the companies above? Time to do some homework.
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