Apple has without doubt revolutionised both the world of marketing and the world of technology through its pioneering products as well as its innovative approach to advertising and marketing.
The brand has been so innovative in its approach to advertising that it has managed to create benchmark marketing standards adhered to by countless brands from across the globe.
Under the notable influence of leading business magnate, Steve Jobs, the company rapidly evolved to become one of the most sought after and popular technology brands in the world. Jobs always thought outside of the box not only when it came to products but also with regards to creating incredible campaigns that had a hugely influential impact on consumers.
Today, Apple has a huge community of passionate, devoted and loyal followers from all over the world.
So how has the brand managed to create this army of passionate followers? Here we look at some of the many techniques used by Apple to influence customers and keep them coming back for more…
1. Create an impression of rarity
Fear Of Missing Out is a well-known technique used by marketers. Apple uses a ‘product shortage’ technique to makes consumers believe that its models will soon runout; therefore they must hurry to buy them before it’s too late. This sense of urgency pushes the consumer to quickly decide to purchase the product.
This technique is very effective because we are programmed to think that something that is on offer for a limited time only is better than something that has no duration or limitation.
Apple very cleverly sells only a number of products per day. Even if it has more items in stock, the company adheres to a strict policy, whereby a maximum number of products can be sold each day. Once the maximum is reached, consumers must return the following day to buy the product, thus reinforcing the feeling of scarcity and demonstrating to consumers just how popular this brand is.
2. Commitment and Consistency
The Commitment and Consistency approach used by Apple is evident in the brand’s policies. Every detail from product design and packaging to advertising and in-store experience has been carefully crafted to deliver the same stylish experience to anyone who comes into contact with Apple.
The brand’s intention is to convey sophistication and even a sense of superiority. Apple’s values are so strong that many people who use their products have internalized these values and made them a part of their own belief systems. Thus, suddenly switching to Android would be inconceivable to an Apple advocate.
The principle of reciprocity means that we tend to return favours and treat people the same way we are being treated. Apple has attempted a few times to adopt this mechanism, although it tends to rely on persuasion tactics first.
One time it employed reciprocity was the infamous iTunes and U2 collaboration, where more than 500 million iPhone users received a copy of a U2 album for free. Unfortunately the campaign wasn’t very successful since the gift was forced onto users instead of being offered as an optional download. Needless to say, the campaign wasn’t a success, however if it had been executed in a less forceful way, Apple and iTunes could have experienced increased user loyalty as a result.
Studies suggest that when making a crucial decision we are more likely to believe an authoritarian figure – or at least someone who inspires authority. Apple clearly understood this stance by introducing the Genius Bar, a tech support station located inside Apple’s retail stores, featuring a concierge-style service for customers of Apple products. The term ‘Genius Bar’ gives the impression that Apple is extremely knowledgeable and influential in the technology space; therefore they are the brand to turn to for all of your technical needs.
5. Social proof
Social proof influences us to make decisions, especially when we are feeling insecure about the best course of action to take. For Apple, social proof comes in the form of testimonials, which are hugely influential in persuading potential customers to choose their brand.
Apple clearly takes advantage of the power of social proof by letting product owners leave testimonials on Apple products on the company’s online store. This demonstrates Apple’s confidence in its products and tells consumers this is a highly sought-after brand that is well-worth investing in.
6. The feeling of love
We’ve all seen the images of thousands of people queuing up outside Apple stores on product-release dates. This is a clever technique used by the brand used to show they have a huge community of loyal fans who return time and time again to purchase their products. Apple has proven that it is a true lifestyle choice for its customers who are loyal, lifetime fans of the brand.
As you can see from the above techniques, Apple uses persuasion techniques in its marketing to remain influential and appealing to current and potential fans alike. It will be interesting to see how the brand evolves in the coming years. Will it continue to tap into the above principles or adopt new and innovative techniques altogether? Only time will tell.
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