The question, “why do people love Apple so much?” boils down to consumer behavior. Consumer behavior is a complex process that goes beyond simply buying. Consumers use these to satisfy their needs and therefore these processes have a greater impact on the consumer and society at large. In an attempt to understand the decision-making process of buyers, consumer behavior takes into account the psychological, sociological, and economic factors relating to the target group (Hoyer & Macinnis 12).
Why Consumers Love Apple
Every single day, Apple stores word wide report thousands of consumers streaming in for Apple products. This is even though Apple products are considerably more expensive than other competitor brands. While some may argue that the Apple brand is simply cool, there is more to explain this trend in consumer behavior than meets the eye. Apple has chosen to create its own brand identity, by being innovative about the features that are so common to the computer technology industry.
Apple is a word that has now become synonymous with technology. Apple has always been on the front line of cutting edge technology. It has created a whole range of products for users of all age brackets. Apple has proven so far that it has an endless store of innovative ideas, enough to sustain the unveiling of a new product every year. This is what consumers want. It is a competition out there, and everybody strives to have the latest product on the market. Apple invests heavily in having technology experts on board. The entire board of the company has technology experts that truly understand consumer needs.
Apple stores countrywide have experts, right to the salespeople on the floor, who are equipped with the relevant knowledge regarding Apple products. Consumers love this kind of customer care experience where they feel like they are dealing with professionals. Apple incorporates the latest software and hardware to create a functional as well as a fun gadget that simply creates the desire in Apple consumers to be part of this self-created global community. Apple has dedicated fan groups, like the mac user groups where consumers can share vital information about Apple products and this ultimately makes Apple consumers part of a community. Apple has generated a simple step by step user guide that contains information for its consumers to enable them to educate themselves on Apple software thus optimizing their preference for Apple.
Apple first started as a marketing company but quickly gained a reputation for linking computer hardware to the software to come up with highly innovative products. This sets Apple apart from most consumer technology companies. Apple has more control over its product lines. They control how their products are created, built, and marketed. Apple users love the fact that the products come in sleek, stylish designs and are comparatively easy to use. They are intuitive, with all the apps on the home page ready for use. Apple’s iPhones have only a single main button that makes everything just so easy. It was the first technology company to come up with this unique feature on a cell phone (Linzmayer 21). This was a front runner in the industry and as it turns out, it became popular with consumers who were looking to move away from the complicated maneuvers of the common cell phone brands. Apple’s multi-touch screen with virtual controls set it above its competitors.
It was the first computer technology company to do away with removable batteries. Apple products such as iPods, iPhones, and iPods have batteries that cannot be removed. Many consumers think this is better as it gives the battery a longer life and avoids counterfeiting.
Apple did not invent the mp3 player but it appears to be the same as ‘iPod’ which in reality is not true. Apple’s iPod appealed to consumers in that it came with more storage, had an attractive navigation click-wheel and the iTunes provision made it easier for consumers to buy music through the iTunes store.
Apple’s popularity has a lot to with its marketing and customer service. The late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, was and is still regarded as the brains behind the success of the company. Interestingly, Steve Jobs had a different view on the role of market research in knowing consumer needs. Most people would think that market research is done primarily to gauge consumer preferences among products that are already in existence because consumers usually know what they want, right or wrong. According to Steve Jobs, he said that Apple did not believe so much in the consumer knowing what they want. They had to go out there and create products that the consumers did not know that they want, and make them want these products. The iPhones, iTunes and the iPods were all concepts that came into existence even as other cell phones from competitor brands were in the market.
Apple took advantage of marketing research to explore how the existing technologies could be reinvented into cutting edge technology. The essence of Apple’s products is in the imaginative integration of normal technology products with digital technology. This makes Apple products transcend the conventionality of its counterparts and thereby offer a wholesome customer experience. Steve Jobs also capitalized on the psychological aspect of consumer behavior. For starters, he was an expert in technology and he had a deeper understanding of what these innovative technologies from Apple would represent in society as well as their potential applications. Next, he applied his creativity to come up with well-known Apple innovations mainly the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and iTunes. The success of Apple and its popularity among consumers is simply a pointer that consumer reactions to new technologies and abstract concepts can be discovered by exploring the psychology behind consumer behavior at a deeper level. The psychological aspect of marketing measures the emotions that certain concepts do elicit from consumers rather than measuring consumer preference.
The publicity given to Apple has helped create exposure for its products. Exposure entails the way consumers come into physical contact with a stimulus so that they can take notice of what is presented to them. Apple first started as a marketing company and over the years, it has grown to be the largest marketing company in the technology industry. Apple has invested in some of the world’s trendiest advertising for its various products through the media. Apple creates catchy slogans for specific product lines that stay on the consumer’s mind. For example, the slogan ‘I think, therefore, iMac’ that was used for the iMac. The commercials also feature popular celebrities and make use of outstanding graphics and catchy tunes. In short, Apple is recognized for its effective advertising and marketing that creates the desired exposure for its products among consumers (Linzmayer 7). The availability of Apple stores at convenient locations across the world has also increased the exposure of Apple products.
Apple products have captured the attention of consumers majorly by their designs which combine creativity, information, technology, and digital interaction. They recognized the need to break through the already saturated market of computer technology and create an impact. Apple products are unique by design. The iPhones are multi-screen gadgets with virtual controls and a single main button. This makes them easier to navigate and the uniqueness captures the attention of consumers. The product developers at Apple are also aware that consumers lack infinite cognitive capacity and this drives them to unveil newer, more innovative products at such a high rate than other technology companies can put up with. Think of the short time it took the iPhone to revolutionize from the iPhone 1 to iPhone 4. The scenario here would be Apple store openings that attract huge crowds of Apple fanatics. This helps maintain consumer attention on Apple products and also to anticipate the next product.
Apple is a brand name in itself. People have a perception that Apple products are ‘cooler’. This perception was created from the onset, starting with the high cost of Apple products that denoted quality. Secondly, a survey carried out in 2002 by net ratings related the price of Apple products to its target market and concluded that the average Apple consumer was usually more affluent and better educated than the consumers from other competitor brands (Linzmayer 32). It is this perception of class that consumers carry with them about Apple products. After all, who would not want to look ‘cool’ or hang out with the ‘cool’ group? For Apple to change consumer perception, they had to know the competition, in this case, other technology companies. They realized that most of these companies dealt with computer hardware products, often outsourcing the software from an external company. Apple took advantage of this gap and became the first company of its kind to merge both the hardware and the software components.
To create a difference, they incorporated a user interface that included specific pre-programmed touch applications. By so doing, Apple created a perception among its users that endeared it to all age-groups. Apple sells on the concept of changing consumer perception. Initially, people though cell phones and other technology products like mp3 players and tablets had to be complicated to fit the term ‘technology’. Apple sought to change this perception and therefore came up with essentially user-friendly products. Apple critics have gone to the extent of saying Apple products can be used by babies without any coaching. True, and maybe that is what works for Apple. Apple also upholds the consumer perception in its products by consistently unveiling new products in the market that go a notch higher than the previous product. This approach makes consumers more aware of the products and the changes and differences in features that come alongside them.
Back to branding, Apple has a widely recognized brand name. The history of Apple stretches back to 1976 though its success shot over the roof in 2007 with the invention of the iPhone, iPod, and iPad products. Since then, each Apple product has been a success and this positive publicity has played a big role in creating great expectations on the consumer’s mind about Apple products (Linzmayer 29). It has become a trend among Apple fanatics to keep up with the latest product in the market and to acquire it as soon as it is out. Regardless of whether the said product may have flaws, the success of its predecessors helps sell it and also for the simple fact that it is an Apple!
So, in a nutshell, why do consumers love Apple? It’s simple. Apple products have come out to embody the needs of the consumers and presenting them in a way that is user friendly to ensure that consumer needs are met across the board. The design of Apple products puts them way above their competitors. The design is sleek, stylish, and ‘cool’. They also have a reputation for high-quality products, hence their high cost in comparison to other products in the market. The customer service offered to consumers is excellent. There is no better way to ensure customer loyalty than giving personalized service.
Apple is a leader in the industry. The long queues that are a common feature outside any Apple store before the launch of a new product speak for self. Consumers have come to identify the Apple brand as a symbol of quality, innovation, universality, and fun. Needless to say, Apple is also a social status symbol.
Hoyer, Wayne and Deborah, Macinnis. Consumer behavior, Ohio: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
Linzmayer, Owen. Apple confidential, New York: No starch press, 2004. Print.