I’ve been writing white papers for B2B technology marketers for many years. It’s a variegated format, one that serves different purposes in the marketing process. That variety is both a strength and a weakness for marketers, however. It’s versatile, which… Read More
Summary: Be it cars, PCs, smartphones or any other popular gadget; upgrading to the new version or model is the trend nowadays. And pioneering this marketing strategy to cash on people’s urge for something new is Apple, which has successfully created an outlook for its ‘loyal customers’ to always expect for a new upgrade, and shed the outdated device even though it is working perfectly fine. It needs to be seen how long this ‘refurbish’ strategy works.
If you are a technology buff you surely must be bitten by the ‘UPGRADE” fever as the rest of the consumer world. Be it cars, PCs, smartphones or any other popular gadget; shed the old one and grab the new is the flavor of the season. And pioneering this trend to the best of its advantage is Apple Inc.
It is rightly said that ‘No one excels in building marketing strategies like Apple does’. Since the advent of its most popular device the iPhone in 2007 and later followed by others like iPad to the most recent iPad Mini, Apple has been overwhelming its customers with new versions of its popular devices.
What makes People go Crazy for New Apple Versions?
New models of cars or a new design upgrade revolving your favorite gadget has always made ardent fans or loyal customers (as smartphone giant Apple refers to) go weak on their knees. Such is the craze that people are ready to throng shops, stand in queues for days and even crash the most powerful of servers with pre-order rush. But the question remains, what makes them go crazy?
Studies have shown that popular consumable brands have been cashing on this marketing strategy to influence customer’s buying power and create the need and urge to ‘go for change’. There have also been instances when in the 1950’s Cadillac owners were cajoled into buying the upgraded version with a ‘bigger and better’ fin every year, thus targeting consumers at every level. Similar marketing strategy has now been successfully recreated by Apple.
Apple brand strategy is impeccable
Apple has been successfully making strategic alterations, upgrades and additions to their popular devices like the Mac, iPhone or iPad as in features and design (first-time with iPhone 5 since its inception). A careful study reveals that most of the so called ‘new variations’ might not be that significant. Most of the time, it revolves around a slight increase in camera’s pixel or ‘improved’ Siri, Passport or Facebook experience.
However, the buzz (leaks and rumors) they create around every pre and post release are loud enough to make you feel threatened to be categorized as ‘old-fashioned’, and its time you ought to replace your ‘old and outdated’ device- even though it is working and will possibly be working quite fine – with the new one.
Well, it’s part of the strategy that Apple has perfected over the years; and its contemporaries in business like Samsung, HTC, Microsoft and Blackberry have been following its footsteps too. Nonetheless, smartphone and tablet app developers from around the world have also benefited from this strategy. If you’re developing apps for Apple products then Creately’s iPhone mock-up tool and the iPad mock-up tool will make it easier to create realistic mock-ups. Plus with real-time collaboration you can easily brainstorm your app ideas with friends, advisers or investors.
Will the ‘Get New’ Strategy Backfire?
Although Apple is the most popular and dominant a brand to have successfully used this strategy of keeping consumer interest alive in its ‘innovation through renovation’ policy; Donald A. Norman, author of “The Design of Everyday Things” reveals another interesting perspective. He states that, “This phenomenon happened to the TV manufacturers a few years ago. They all started to look the same: flat panels on a wall.”
And this led to disastrous consequences, as consumers no longer had to buy the higher-end Sony model; instead, they could get the cheaper ones from Chinese or Korean market. He shares similar skepticism for today’s smartphones and tablets too. As in his words, “Turn off the screen on a smartphone or tablet and they look identical. They’re just rectangles.”, So what makes you and me obsessed to the latest ‘glass rectangle’ from Apple every year?
It is true, each year, the phone and tablet manufacturers are refurbishing those rectangles – either flattens them slightly, alter the exterior dimensions and showcase them as the next BIG release of the year.
So, will consumers continue to be mesmerized with Apple’s New Generation upgrades OR – Will the ‘until-now successful’ strategy backfire? Only time will say!
Justin Depp is a professional research Analyst with interest in Technology and related subjects. Being an ardent Steve Jobs and Apple fan, Justin has been closely following all developments in the smartphone and tablet market. AppsKnack is a small business iPhone App Maker that has been potentially catering to diverse industries such as entertainment, education, sports, medical and healthcare, and other businesses.
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