RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Its Apple Picking Season

It’s apple picking season. It happens every year. The anticipation of fresh new apples starts around mid-June. Then the speculation begins as to how good the crop will be this year. If last year was any indication, this crop is the best ever. In the first 24 hours of availability, over 4 million orders were placed. Yes, Apple’s iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models appeared to be a hit. You thought I was talking about fruit. You don’t really think that apple harvest time and Apple’s new product release time every fall is just a coincidence, do you? It’s all part of an amazing brand strategy. My son Carver and I love this time of year. It’s fall update season. This happens EVERY year. There is no surprise here, yet listening to the news, you would think, “Wow, this has never happened before.” Whether you love or hate Apple, you have to respect and admire the brand loyalty and the amount of free advertising they enjoy. For the past several months, the technology world was abuzz with leaked photos, anticipated features, speculation on new design and enhancements. How Apple did it, is a bit more difficult to explain. Some of it was carefully crafted strategy and some of it was just luck. From a branding and sales strategy viewpoint, there are five things to explain the success: 1. Positioned as “Cool Underdog.” Psychologically, this caused people to “cheer” for them. Bill Gates and Microsoft had a virtual monopoly and represented “the man.” 2. Controlled distribution channels. You can’t buy Apple products just anywhere. While this may seem counterintuitive to the “get it to the masses fast” approach, by controlling the distribution, Apple controls the customer experience. Because of this, Apple is famous for customer experience. Even the way they package their products is “cooler” than anyone else. 3. “Genius” reputation. Go to a big-box store that sells computers and the last thing on your mind when talking to a salesperson is “genius.” Go to an Apple Store, and the employees all have the familiar blue shirt with a tag around their neck, and you instantly refer to them as “Genius.” They even have a “Genius Bar” for you to get help. 4. Apple products play/work well together. Once you’re “in,” you’re kind of “stuck,” which is of course, part of the plan. Your iPhone and iPad can all share the same content as your Mac. You can effortlessly synchronize devices with no wires. The software seems made for the device and user. You don’t have to read a “For Dummies” book to figure Apple products out. 5. Created perceived need. Apple creates products we didn’t know we needed, but now can’t live without them. Before the iPad, you would have asked, “Why in the world do I need a device that does nearly everything my laptop does? It’s an iPhone x10 in terms of size, but it can’t make calls? Who needs that?” Now it’s the Apple Watch. Do we really need another watch? No. Bet they sell millions. There is something very magical that happens in Cupertino (hometown of Apple’s headquarters). This is a bonus point, because it’s hard to figure out how they’ve done it. If you own Apple products and you even consider looking at another product, they have created such a loyalty in their customer base that looking elsewhere causes guilt or feelings of “cheating.” I have admired the Galaxy line of phones from Samsung and often thought to myself “if iPhones didn’t exist, I’d buy one of those.” Apple doesn’t just exist; they dominate the hearts and minds of their customers. Is there anything on that list than can help your selling efforts or your customers? If you take each of those factors and identify your own strengths and opportunities, you might enjoy a better harvest.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB