“Steve said let there be Apple. And there was Apple . . . there began to appear, the Cult of Macintosh. For they had tasted of Apple. And it was good” Belk and Tumbat (2005)
Before reading the blog have a watch of the youtube clip. It is from a comedy news channel called The Onion. It shows how Apple have manipulated their consumers to be completely dedicated to the product
The content of this blog is going to be about the technological giant, Apple. I have chosen this to be the theme of my blogs for a number of reasons. The main reason though, is that Apple have developed, not just products, but cult followings. Individuals who purchase Apple products are generally firm believers that Microsoft products are the spawn of satan, and vice a versa. The question I aim to solve throughout the ongoing weeks is why? Why do people have such conflicting opinions on Apple and Microsoft? Also, I will be discovering how the companies use different elements of consumer psychology to create their brand image and sell their products.
Apple have developed a very powerful brand image that portrays them as avent-garde, free-thinking and untouchable. This brand image is the reason why 400 million people use Apple products. Belk and Tumbat (2005) describe Apple’s consumer’s devotion to the brand as a kind of religious following. Belk and Tumbat asked their participants a series of questions to understand what the consumers thought about Apple. One question was “If Macintosh and PC were animals, what kind of animals would they each be?”. The participant’s describe a Macintosh as a type of “horse or fish, with colours and swimming in water and fluidity”. Participants also stated that Mac users were more “individual”. Apple’s image seems to be infectious to it’s consumers. Consumers believe Apple are an individualistic corporation and that people who own Apple products are also individuals.
Furthermore, Fitzsimons, Chartrand and Fitzsimons (2008) discovered that participants that were primed by the Apple logo behaved more creatively than controls. Thus, Apple have managed to manipulate the perception and behaviour of consumers. This enables Apple to sell millions of products and for consumers to keep on buying!
However, is it Apple that has created this image or is it the consumers which have bestowed this image? Phau and Lau (2001) found that when a brand had a high preference, like Apple, the consumers had an influence over the brands perceived image. Apple not only create their brand image but in a round about way, their target consumers then reinforce this image.
A company must invest in it’s own image (Dowling, 1993) that is for certain. However, Apple have shown that a meaningful relationship with the consumer can produce loyal customers who will enthusiastically promote your product (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003).
How have Apple succeeded in building a golden relationship with their consumers and why do they occur? Do you guys have any ideas on how Apple have done this? Are you a member of the Apple or the Microsoft cult?