Apple is an amazing and controversial phenomenon. As an Android and Windows user myself, I have several difficulties trying to understand how people can buy such expensive products.
And I’m not only referring to rich people, but to everyone, even the people that are counting the pennies to get to the end of the month.
So… with some curiosity in mind and after a lot of discussions with both Apple and non-Apple users, I started forming some answers!
I believe that Apple is a disruptive company on what comes to marketing, but not that impressive on tech. Although I recognize that they have good products, I don’t think they are 200% better than the competition, as it occurs in price.
To understand better my point of view, I suggest that you check a review comparing the recent iPhone X with the Xiomi Mi Mix 2.
If you understand Portuguese I recommend you to watch this YouTube video of Nuno Agonia, where he analyses the differences between the two phones. If you don’t, you should check this one.
With these reviews, we can conclude that Xiomi Mi Mix 2 is the same as the iPhone X. In some aspects, it’s probably better.
This takes us back to the main question: How is the iPhone worth 2 times more than others similar tech products?
On 2017, Forbes presented Apple as their number one brand in their annual study for the most valuable brands in the world. It is worth $170 billion.
From 2016 to 2017 the value of the brand went up by 10%, which represents 21% of the company’s recent market value.
There are multiples articles, interviews and studies that focus on this same issue, and that calculated Apple’s exact formula for success.
According to Christine Moorman, Apple’s creation was established upon 3 marketing pillars, that they affirm to focus on until today:
- Empathy – We will truly understand their (the customer) needs better than any other company;
- Focus – To do a good job of the things we set our mind to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities;
- Impute – People DO judge a book by its cover. We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software, etc.; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.”
Ryan Koonce on his blog refers to 7 key points on Apple’s Marketing strategic, that I believe to be true and make everything very simple to understand. Those are:
- Ignore Your Critics
- Turn the Ordinary into Something Beautiful
- Justify Your Price
- Communicate in the Language of Your Audience
- Extend the Experience
- Build a Tribe
- Become “The Name”
An exploratory study from January 2014 developed by Cant, Machado, and Seaborne defends that “besides word-of-mouth recommendations, the Apple advocates tend to have an emotional connection with the brand they love, they defend the brand and could overlook dissatisfaction.”
Advocates make use of word-of-mouth to recommend it to friends and share a sense of trust and confidence with the brand.
The users that participated in this study identified that Apple has as competitive advantages:
- match of expectations
- useful design
- Apple community
They believe Apple products meet their expectations and find the functionality and design of the products used. They also enjoy belonging to an Apple community and consider that Apple is irreplaceable by other competitive products.
Other studies, like one presented by Nikki Chapman, agreed with that study and defends that the price difference is only possible because “Apple has built one of the most hardcore fan bases ever, one that will gladly pay a premium because of the perceived value attached to Apple products.”.
Apparently, the key to success is all about emotion and people.
“The chance to make a memory is the essence of brand marketing.” Steve Jobs