Brand loyalty is found in every industry, but of all the technology companies in the world, why does Apple have such a loyal following? What is it that Apple offers that other companies don’t, and how it be replicated? Why Apple?
There are primarily three reasons why Apple has such a loyal following.
1. Their primary focus is on the customer’s experience.
2. They do everything with Excellence.
3. Privacy and Security are paramount.
How did Apple become the first publicly traded 1 trillion dollar company, with over $245 Billion dollars of cash on hand? Let’s find out.
Your Experience is Their Priority
When you walk into an Apple store, you are treated as though you are their one and only customer . . . . every time.
Of course they focus on my experience because they know that when I need a new phone or a new computer, the first thing I will remember is the experience I had with them, and in turn, I’ll buy from them. I don’t know about you, but I like being catered to. I like being followed up with, after I’ve purchased a product, just to make sure that it meets all of my expectations. Don’t you?
A Welcoming Environment
When you enter an Apple store, you are greeted and signed in by an Apple employee who will direct you to the right part of the store where you will a specialist will address your needs. If the store is busy, (and it usually is), you will be placed in queue so that you can be given the same attention as those ahead of you. While waiting, you are free to play with any and all of their products.
If you make an appointment ahead of time, or simply drop in, every detail of the process has been refined over the years to make sure that your visit a great experience. Apple is more concerned with your experience as a customer, than they are in selling you one of their products.
In fact, Apple is so concerned with your experience, that all Apple employees, (including seasonal employees), do not work on commission. Apple does not want an employee’s commission to determine what you buy or don’t buy. They refuse to let commission interfere with your experience in any way. This is why you will never find an Apple employee pressure you to purchase anything.
Talking the Customer Down
It is not uncommon for someone to walk into an Apple store and say that they want the top-of-the-line most expensive computer for their college student, just to ensure that their child has the best computer available on the market.
Before purchasing that computer, however, the Apple employee will ask the customer numerous questions just to ensure that the computer that they want to purchase is not more than they need. If a customer only needs to use a word processor, surf the internet and check their e-mail, purchasing an iMac Pro would be overkill.
Apple wants to ensure that the customer does not purchase more than they need. The reason for this, of course, is because it builds trust and loyalty to the brand. Apple realizes that people tend to buy more than they really need when it comes to computers, so they go to great lengths to ensure that there is no “buyer’s remorse” by asking the customer a lot of questions to help them determine what computer or device is the right fit for them.
Excellence is Essential to Everything Apple Does
Excellence is found in the details. Every detail.
Amit Chaudhary, a former Apple employee, shared the following story about the first time Apple engineers presented the one and only prototype of the first iPod to Steve Jobs.
When engineers working on the very first iPod completed the prototype, they presented their work to Steve Jobs for his approval. Jobs played with the device, scrutinized it, weighed it in his hands, and promptly rejected it. It was too big.
The engineers explained that they had to reinvent inventing to create the iPod, and that it was simply impossible to make it any smaller. Jobs was quiet for a moment. Finally he stood, walked over to an aquarium, and dropped the iPod in the tank. After it touched bottom, bubbles floated to the top.
“Those are air bubbles,” he snapped. “That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”
This is just one story of many, but it is this type of thinking that made Apple what it is today.
Details matter. It’s worth waiting to get it right – Steve Jobs
We can look online to see the craftsmanship found in how an iPhone, MacBook, iPad, or even the Apple Watch is created. But did you know that this same excellence is found in the Apple store itself? For example, did you know that . . .
- Did you know that when you walk into an Apple store today, the ceiling gradually slopes about 2 feet from the front door to the big wall-screen in the back , so as to draw you in?
- Did you know that Apple hired an architect who traveled to Italy and spent two weeks at a rock quary where he meticulously ensured that each slab of granite found in the walls of the store, would match the one next to it?
- Did you know that they place wiring in the floor that will wirelessly connect to the hearing aids of deaf people via bluetooth so that they can hear what is being said by their Creative Specialists who give presentations in the store on the wall-screen?
- Did you know that cold air always blows on the front glass windows of an Apple store so that the windows won’t fog up?
- Did you know that the Apple store has 4 bathrooms for it’s customers to use, just in case three are occupied.
- Did you know that you can “self-checkout” using your iPhone at an Apple store?
The fact that Apple gives so much attention to the environment in which you interact with their products, shows just how committed they are to the experience you have during a visit to their store.
Apple’s attention to detail lays the foundation for your experience.
- You can take any case off of the wall and put it on your phone to see what it will look like. It’s OK, they want you to.
- At the start of the day, every MacBook is set at a 70 degree angle so that when you stand in front of it, you will be forced to touch it to adjust the screen so that you can see it. They want you to touch their computers and interact with them.
- The Apple Watch table is intentionally set up to function like “Build-a-Bear”, where you can mix and match any apple watch with any watch band just to see how it will look when you place it on your wrist.
- The animated floral watch-face was not produced via computer animation, but is a recorded time-lapse of a budding flower.
To say that Apple is focused on the details, is an understatement. It shows everywhere in everything they do.
Privacy and Security is Paramount to Apple
Rare is it that a company is faced with a decision that has to be made within minutes, that will expose the integrity or lack thereof. Apple was faced with such a decision on December 2, 2015.
Just How Much Does Apple Value Your Privacy?
At the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Californiaa, a married couple committed a mass shooting and an attempted bombing at Christmas party. These terrorists killed 14 people and injured 22. Both of the terrorists were killed in a shootout four hours later.
One of them was carrying an iPhone 5C, when they committed this act of terror, and that iPhone was the only potential lead that FBI had available at the time. Time was of the essence, and the FBI wanted to know if these terrorists had planned any other acts of terror, or if they were part of a bigger terror cell.
The FBI wanted to access the terrorist’s cell phone, but were not able to do so because it was locked. Because the FBI could not unlock it, they then asked the NSA (National Security Agency), to unlock it. But they too, could not hack into it. The FBI was running out of options. They finally asked Apple to create a new version of the operating system that they could use to install in the memory of the phone to bi-pass certain security features within the phone itself. Apple stuck with its decision not to “jailbreak” their own phone. They made this decision based on principle.
Even under intense pressure from the FBI, Apple refused to comply because of its commitment to never undermine the security features of any of their products. Not only is their integrity still intact, but they have gained an enormous amount of trust from consumers world-wide.
Think of it this way: If Apple won’t violate their own security protocols when asked by the FBI, out of respect for the privacy of a terrorist, they won’t violate your privacy either. That says something. It says a lot.
Just How Much Does Apple Value the Security of Your Data?
Apple offers the iCloud service that has 128-bit end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication. This means that your data is protected with a unique key that is specific to your device. That key, (every device has its own unique one of a kind key), coupled with the passcode you use for that device ensures that the data on your device is secure. This is something that only you know. No one else, not even Apple, can gain access to end-to-end encrypted information. This is why the FBI and NSA could not hack the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5c.
Two-factor authentication ensures that your data can only be accessed on devices you trust, like your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. So, if one were to try to get into a device of yours, two-factor authentication would require the approval from another Apple device, or by logging into Apple’s website using your Apple ID and password.
The IOS Adoption Rate
When a new version of an operating system rolls out, the adoption rate refers to how quickly that new version of the operating system is installed all devices that support that operating system.
Of all the iPhones in the world, 50% of them have updated to IOS 13 within 26 days. If you only count iPhones that have been purchased in the last 4 years, that number jumps to 55%. Android’s doesn’t even come close to this adoption rate. Android 9 Pie was only installed on 10.4% of all Android devices worldwide. The adoption rate of the latest version of Android, (now Android 10), is so bad, that Google appears to have stopped reporting those numbers. I would too if I were Google.
What if a Security Flaw is Found?
If a security flaw is discovered, they patch it immediately. Once an update is made available, every iPhone on the planet either automatically updates when the phone is plugged in, not in use, and has an active WiFi connection, or you can update your iPhone on demand.
Did you know that Apple has a “Bug Bounty” program where they will pay hackers who find an exploit in IOS? The program started in August of 2014, and at the time, Apple offered up to $200,000 to anyone who could discover a single technique that a researcher discovers and shares discreetly with Apple. As of August 2019, that number has been bumped up to $1 million.
How can they make such an offer?
Apple Makes the Both the Hardware AND the Operating System
The fact that Apple makes the hardware AND the software platform is no small thing. Think of it. The software was designed specifically to run on the hardware and take completely take advantage of everything the hardware has to offer. No memory leaks.
Unlike other companies, Apple’s computers and devices do not require “drivers” to get the software to communicate with the hardware like Windows does. Because Apple makes both the operating system and the hardware it runs on, the marriage between the two allows for unparalleled security.
I love that apple is more concerned with my experience with Apple and their products than they are about selling me their product.
I love that Apple values excellence and attention to detail in everything they do. It tells me how much they value me as their customer.
I love how Apple values my privacy and ensures that my Apple devices are secure. How secure is your iPhone? It’s so secure that the FBI and NSA couldn’t hack into it. How secure is your data? It’s so secure that Apple has created a unique one-of-a-kind key that is specific to your device. That key, coupled with your password and two-factor authentication, is required in order to access your data.