What is it about Apple that draws so many eye balls and so much headline space? I’ve never heard of people queuing up or sleeping outside stores to become the proud owners of the first Samsung S3 or Nokia Lumia or Blackberry for that matter. But, what is it with Apple that creates this magnetic field. There is no doubt about the fact that Apple products are superiorly engineered but what is it about them that creates that “halo”? Umpteen numbers of articles have been written about the comparison of iOS with Android. Numerous tech-gurus have shown a hands down to Apple when comparing it with Android vis-àvis the entire package of features and pricing. Still it continues to make heads turn and stock prices soar.
The answer lies in the snob appeal of holding the half eaten Apple. Which basically translates into “I have an Apple product.. Do you?” But the question is how does Apple manage to do that, whereas Samsung or any other smart phone can only be called followers of that dream.
Apple has not come up with a path breaking feature this time with the iPhone but has still managed to keep so much hysteria around. The magic lies in the company’s ability to explain an almost insignificant feature in amazing detail. It’s done for a reason. It “educates” you and does not make a sales pitch. That makes you want the product even more. Any Apple advertisement will tell you very subtly and effortlessly about a small “wow” feature. Thus, reinforcing the quote “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
A company which feels that operating gadgets should not restricted to those “who know how to”, rather it should be designed for “those who need to”. I have seen my grandparents use an Apple device with such ease as it was something they were born with. Kids, these days also seem to be finding expensive pacifiers in all the iDevices. With applications that attract a wide spectrum of audience, it surely is on the wish list of one and all.
Not only the end users but the paparazzi also never seemed to get enough of Apple. We all seemed to be getting our dose of “an Apple a day” in the form of speculation on the new iPhone design, a new launch, an upcoming innovation or a patents law suit. Apple gift wraps news stories that are magnetic to talk show discussions, speculation and hype. A media frenzy of this kind definitely leaves us lapping for more by creating that insatiable curiosity about “What next?” It definitely, knows how to outshine its peers in demand generation marketing.
Another strategy which adds to the Apple-aura factor is its policy of not letting the PLC (Product Life Cycle) of any of its innovation peak. As soon as any of its new launches nears the peak of the curve, it cuts the product from the market and presents a sequel to it. This way, the moment a device becomes a mass possession it protects its snob value by presenting the crème-de-lacrème with a new offering. Apple has perfected the art of continually amazing the users with new products which create new markets instead of riding down the price points as the market expands. But, that doesn’t mean that the brand is bereft of humility. It provides scope for low cost entry inlets through its iPod, which gives users a taste of the Apple pie. An experience, which is likely to grow on them. An extreme demonstration of this frenzy was witnessed in China, when a teenager sold off his kidney to buy an iPhone and an iPad !
Even at the Customer relationship management level, Apple continues to amaze me. Here’s an excerpt of an amazing real life story that I read over the internet-An executive who was getting late for a meeting discovered he had left his Apple power supply at home and his Mac battery was dead. His first meeting was at 10:00 am and when he arrived at the Apple store he found that while there were people setting up they weren’t going to open until 10:00 am. One of the employees saw his concern and asked what the problem was. He then said, “Wait a moment,” went into the store, got a power supply, asked if there was an Apple-buying app on his phone and then used that to close the purchase. The end result was that the executive wrote a thank-you note to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, naming the employee and reaffirming his loyalty to Apple.
In a nutshell, “the Apple Brand Experience has no peers” period.