Long term relationships – my take on Apple’s success

Apple Love

Apple Love

There are lots of opinions on this but that’s not going to stop me adding mine. My overly simplified take on why Apple has become hugely successful of late is that they focus on building long term relationships with their users.

While others are absorbed with creating features that help win the sale or are engaging in cheap tricks that help convert customers in the short term, Apple focus on creating products that build admiration and respect for their brand over time.

This means that those who own Apple products are unlikely to return to other brands and they also evangelise Apple products to others.

As Sachin Agarwal of Posterous very accurately pointed out in his recent post – A product is not just about features. It’s about experience:

“You won’t find a matrix where Apple compares their product to a competitor by feature. They measure products by the experience.”

The other ingredient for their current success is that I believe the IT consumer market is maturing and people are actually realising that the user experience is actually more important than the number of features.

4 Comments

  1. Dan

    Hi James,

    I partly agree. I think experience is a factor – not just in single products (ie. ipod) but in the way they fit together (ie. ipod + itunes).

    However I think the biggest factor is simply their marketing. They’ve convinced the masses that you’re cool if you use Apple products. Their marketing machine is their greatest triumph I think.

    Look at the hype around Apple products before they are released: their marketing people whip the masses into a frenzy and people line up to get the next product without even knowing what it does or how they will use it in their daily lives.

    Cheers,
    Dan.

  2. Dan, there is no possibly way to market a bad product.

    Marketing is a great way to reach a large audience, but you must have a great product first.

  3. james Author

    I agree with what you’re saying Dan, their marketing machine is very effective. Not sure whether it’s the marketing team or the management but I think Apple have a really strong sense of brand (personality) as well. They never really deviate from coming across as easy, enjoyable, clear and self assured in everything they do and again I think this works as a long term strategy.

  4. Its the whole user experience for me – iut all works and is integrated – not just a product – i.e. itunes, mac, phone, pod, pad.

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