The domination of Apple
From the sea of little glowing apples in any given lecture theatre to the countless group chats all thanks to iMessage, Apple’s reach certainly is extensive. It’s no secret that Apple is one of the largest and most influential companies in today’s technology savvy society. Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the rise of the Apple empire has quite a history behind it. From the very first Apple product, the hand-built Apple I computer, to today’s endless array of high tech products, the company sure has come a long way in just 40 years (as you can see).
As a pioneer in leading computer technology, Apple has shaped the way in which we communicate and interact within the digital realm. When thinking of Apple’s influence in the present day, the effects are endless. Take the iPhone for example. In the recent launch of the highly anticipated iPhone 7, Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook claimed:
“The iPhone has transformed how we do things every day.”
He couldn’t be more correct; the iPhone essentially holds our entire lives inside one small, sleek device. God forbid if we were to lose all of our photos and videos without a recent backup. In terms of the iPhone’s reception, as of September 2016, the product has produced over US $600 billion in revenue and US $250 billion in profit over the last nine years. If that’s not considered as global domination, then I don’t know what is.
Such success is embodied in the hype surrounding all of the media mogul’s products, with the Apple empire shaping the way for consumer choice. While there are some people (typically faithful Android users) that simply don’t wish to conform to or be associated with the Apple stereotype, many feel as though they must conform to ensure they have all of the latest and greatest Apple products. Not just the one Apple product mind you, but every single Apple product available. So to accompany an iPhone, one also needs an iPod, an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro and even an iPad. Don’t forget an iTunes and an Apple music account, as well as an Apple TV and an Apple Watch to top it all off. Am I missing anything?
Often referred to as iSheep, due to their unquestionable loyalty to the brand, Apple’s fan base of their most faithful customers are seen on a global scale. Some seem to suffer from a serious case of FOMO without their hands on the latest Apple product, almost as if their life depends on it. Followers will go to any length (just like Liam Neeson in the Taken trilogy) to score these prized possessions, even lining up and camping outside Apple stores at ridiculous hours to ensure they’re one of the first in the world to own the brand new product.
Such brand retention and performance of this type of behaviour is supported by a number of psychological theories. Research suggests that self-affirmation can be fulfilled through the choice and purchase of these highly aesthetic products (aka the iPhone). Affirming one’s sense of self, consumers are able to distinctly identify with the brand and everything that it stands for. From a social perspective, consumers often conform to a particular group, in this case that of Apple, ultimately establishing a sense of belonging. This social identity theory, although first proposed way back in the 1970s, remains relevant to group behaviours today.
While the theories of self and social identity support Apple’s success, others have described such success due to the brand’s ability to give us the sense of making progress. Each and every year Apple releases a new product equipped with the latest and greatest physical and technological features, gradually progressing from one model to the next. This progression promises a new and improved product with each release. Along with the sense of continually making progress, Apple’s marketing strategy attracts consumers by taking bold yet strategic moves. From the secretive lead up to the highly anticipated release of each Apple product, consumers are on edge to find out more. Delving into the secret behind Apple’s success, TechnoBuffalo discusses the marketing strategy of the recent iPhone 7 launch:
Setting you back a mere $229, these brand spanking new accessories will be available in late October. Claiming to forever change the way you use headphones, I know that I’m a little worried about losing them (make that really worried). I’m also left wondering whether or not the AirPods are just another way for Apple to make money? Or if they are actually a real innovation in technology? Generating a worldwide discussion, both in support and against Apple’s most recent decision to make the switch to wireless earphones, the brand gained a great deal of attention on a global scale. Any publicity is good publicity, right? I suppose only time will tell how Apple’s latest controversial product will perform in sales.
In terms of what’s next for the Apple empire, some say that they will tackle the virtual and augmented reality space and perhaps make their mark on the car industry. Only time will tell, but I’m sure the empire will continue to dominate the technological space, as will their global following (watch out for the iSheep).
Originally published at The Isthmus.