Brand loyalty is something that every company dreams of, fights for and would sell their first-born child to obtain. Apple has it in spades. According to a recent survey done by Reuters, Apple costumers are doggedly loyal, even when then don’t mean to be. One major reason: iTunes and the App Store. Another, Apple makes simple products that everyone can use.
According to the Reuters survey, those who have already invested in the Apple ecosystem are much more likely to continue using their products.
One shopper surveyed was looking into Samsung’s Galaxy Tab after his iPad was recently stolen. “The Samsung appeals to me because it has an SD (digital memory) card and is more flexible in terms of software and hardware you can use with it,” said Parisian Max Cevenne, 62. “But I may end up going back to the iPad since I already use other Apple products, and it might be simpler.”
A mother in London looked into the Amazon Kindle Fire for her sons this Christmas, but ended up buying three iPad minis instead. “I looked at going for another tablet, but although they are cheaper, you have to re-buy everything,” said Joanna Sargent. “We’d have to buy all the music again, and you have to take that into account.”
I purchased my first Apple product in 2005. The iPod existed, but Apple was mostly known for its desktop and laptop computers at the time. The only reason I went with Apple versus PC was that my college used them in the Journalism department. I decided it would be a smart move to buy a computer that was easily compatible with my school.
Since then, I’ve invested thousands of dollars on dozens of Apple gadgets and I’ve never been disappointed with a single one. I’ve purchased iPhones and iPads for family members in an effort to sway them to my side (my brother still refuses to download iTunes to any computer in his house).
What makes Apple products special to me is how easy they are to use. If I can teach my technologically challenged former boss how to download apps, send pictures in text, and even update her devices, then Apple is doing something right.
Another reason Apple products stand out above others is their customer service. If you have a problem with your iPad, you can make an appointment with an Apple Genius through the Internet and have someone ready to help you within five minutes of your appointment, even if it is just after a product launch and the place is packed with people. If there is something wrong with your iPad that they know they can’t fix, they’ll just hand you a brand new one, right there in the store (if you are still under warranty, of course).
If you are having a problem with your iPad, but you don’t want to take it in, there is a fairly good chance that the answer is in the Apple forums. The community of Apple fans is supportive and helpful.
I recently discovered a charging issue with my iPad. It wouldn’t charge when connected to my iMac. I looked into the support forums and found out that I needed to plug the iPad directly into the computer, instead of through the USB hub I had it connected to. It turns out, the third-generation iPad’s battery needed more juice than it was getting through the hub. Problem solved.
When non-Apple users complain about iPads, iPhones, and the like, what do they say is the problem? Price and lack of open-sourcing are usually the biggest complaints with PC or Android loyalists. Sure, I can’t get the latest iPhone for $0.99 with a two-year contract, but you get what you pay for. Apple isn’t friendly with open-source software, but they do work pretty hard to make sure that apps being downloaded into your devices aren’t coded with viruses.
Why would Apple work so hard to make the perfect product, only to let any old geezer come in and ruin it? If you bought a brand new house and needed to have it carpeted, would you let your inexperienced friend come in and lay down carpet? Probably not. You’d want to make sure that someone who doesn’t know what he is doing isn’t going to ruin the interior of your house.
These are the reasons why Apple has earned its brand loyalty. The company makes a solid product and surrounds it with a healthy ecosystem and helpful support community. That is why I go back to Apple every time. Why do you?