Apple, Inc. Brand Loyalty Is Sky-High [SURVEY]

Apple, Inc. Brand Loyalty Is Sky-High [SURVEY]
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has carved out a very specific niche within the smartphone market. Many that don’t consider the company’s products to be anything out of the ordinary have criticized them for being no better, and sometimes worse, than competitors’ handsets, yet priced somewhat more expensively. But one thing cannot be doubted: the name Apple still carries a great deal of cachet.

This was confirmed once again by a study that was recently conducted by The report carried out by a website which helps consumers compare smartphone deals looked at the amount of brand loyalty which many of the top smartphone manufacturers can enjoy. And it probably won’t be a huge surprise to anyone that follows the market closely that Apple came top of the pile quite comfortably.

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Apple brand loyalty huge

Around 2,000 iPhone owners were polled in the study, and the level of loyalty recorded will be very pleasing for Apple. As much as 60 percent of those surveyed described their relationship with Apple as one of “blind loyalty”, while 78 percent stated that they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone” than an iPhone.

It has been this such of attachment to Apple products which has enabled the California-based consumer technology giant to establish itself as one of the most significant brands in the world. It was only a few months ago that it was announced Apple had been named the world’s number one brand in the annual Interbrand list. Apple achieved the massive feat of displacing Coca-Cola from the top of that particular esteemed listing; the first time in its history that this had been achieved.

Entire marketing departments work slavishly on attempting to carve out a brand image for a particular product, or a particular company’s products, and this is something that Apple has done expertly. An Apple product is instantly recognizable, and the design quality related to them has been acknowledged to be unequaled, even by those who revile other aspects of Apple’s operation.

Samsung rivalry

It is this sheer prestige that Apple has created with regard to its products that Samsung will have to take on if they are to ever displace them as the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer. However, this study indicates that they have a lot of work to do in this department, although they did do relatively well in another statistic created by the survey. Of those who had switched to an iPhone from other smartphone brands, 9 percent had originally owned a Samsung device, compared to 17 percent from BlackBerry, 14 percent from a Nokia phone, 4 percent from HTC and only 2 percent from a Sony phone.

Intriguingly as well, the number of people who stated that they would stick with Apple through thick and thin was larger in percentage terms than the number of people who stated that they were particularly impressed with the iPhone. Only around half of respondents were especially impressed by the iPhone, yet much larger percentages have stated that they will never part with one. This is the sort of brand identification that every company dreams about!

Interestingly as well, the survey found that over half of iPhone owners have purchased a phone by a different company previously. This suggests that Apple does a very good job of attracting new customers and then keeping them. A surprisingly high number of ‘switchers’ took this decision due to familiarity with iOS, with 37 percent citing this reason in their decision. 25 percent stated that they moved to Apple because of iOS-specific features like iMessage and FaceTime.

Apple’s iPhone 6

With Apple due to release the latest iteration of the iPhone this year, these figures will be more than encouraging for them. If the manufacturer can retain this sort of loyalty among consumers then it seems inevitable that they’ll retain their position as the world’s most successful smartphone manufacturer. This has been a particular catalyst in their success in the Western market, but Apple will now be looking to establish such brand loyalty elsewhere, with East Asia particularly on its radar.

The iPhone 6 will be arguably the most anticipated smartphone release of the year, and according to analysts is expected somewhere between June and September; rather earlier in the year than recent iPhone releases.

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  1. I’ve worked in IT for over 15 years – having been involved in hardware assembly and testing back in the day of 8088 and x286, all the way into modern computing with multi-threaded 64bit software and multiple OS booting devises. I think this article points to a couple of very specific reasons that AAPL products are so polarizing. First off, techies really enjoy being “in the know” and they hate being told something they created or buy “sucks”. This bleeds into even the products they endorse (purchase). Everyone wants to feel as if they made a smart purchase. However, the real reason that AAPL products do so well and have such a high level of customer satisfaction is simple – they are built with quality ingredients, they are engineered VERY well (anyone involved with manufacturing knows this is without question), they are well tested, and they do exactly what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it. Throw in ease of use for the average user, above average security, and high resell value, and you get repeat customers. The real consequence of owning an AAPL product within the last 8 years is not a blind loyalty, but trust in whatever they produce will do what they say it should do. This trust can be lost…sure…but not in one product cycle

    For me personally, a phone functions on many levels – the differences between RETINA, OMLED, SAPHIRE, or any other marginally better technical feature, are small in comparison to the fact that I won’t be spending 15-20 minutes every few weeks upgrading or fixing whatever AAPL device it is that I’ve purchased. I’m able to install my home network, extend it with an airport, lock down the security, add 6-8 devices, sync ALL of those devices to a desk storage unit…all within less than an hour. My time is not worth working out all the bugs, kinks ,or dysfunctions that sub-par hardware and software presents.

    When talking features – it’s a game of millimeters in my opinion. It’s not about whether a finger-print scanner is just “cool enough” to own, or if HTC has a slightly bigger or better display. It’s about the total package and the services offered.

    I find it more interesting that such a large amount of non-apple postings are so negative, when most of the apple postings I read admit that certain features are better.

    Personally, I think people are just frustrated that someone is so happy with their purchase – and in doing so they are somehow saying to the other person they made a poor choice. I mean really…if the customer likes the product, why would that be consigning them to ignorance. I find in my IT industry that some of the most informed and intelligent people buy AAPL products because of the above issues. They simply don’t want to spend time tinkering with a device that should work for what it purchased to do. I find myself purchasing desktop computers or servers in order to tinker – or higher valued software instead of freeware that was crowd sourced and “trendy”.

  2. And then there’s more of us who wouldn’t be caught dead owning an iPhone and may even be embarrassed being seen holding one. I actually don’t know an IT person that owns an iPhone and most would be ridiculed if they did own one. I believe the perception is that anyone with an iPhone is pretty much tech-handicapped and doesn’t know or understand anything about technology. They don’t read enough tech news to purchase the best phone for the money or at least for what they’re using it for. I tend to agree with that. Since all phones are capable devices, why not get the most bang for your buck. The HTC One would have been my choice, too bad I type a lot on my phone and the physical keyboard on my new BlackBerry Q10 trumped everything else. Get the phone that works best for you, but you’ll never know that if you don’t read at least a little tech news. Don’t rely on advertisements from companies with huge budgets to woooo you over to their phones which may or may not be as good as another cheaper phone from a different company.

  3. This may be true in the US and maybe Japan, but not anywhere else. Apple’s iphones, for example, are seen as just another product that is very expensive, however, they are not viewed as premium products and in most places, they are not seen as being worth the money. Their sales are only strong because of the subsidies, but as a lot of carriers are now very seriously talking about removing subsidies altogether, Apple’s sales are going to be seriously impacted and then a true view of brand loyalty will present itself instead of the distorted view that exists at the moment; the bottom line being, just how many people will continue to buy the latest iphone when they have to pay the full retail price up front.

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