So I’m a self confessed geek I love technology, but I’m also in a field where understanding marketing and your customer base is vital to company growth.
Apple are a great example of this, because as a geek I know that the new Apple iPhone 6 is around 2 years behind in relative terms for it’s technology, most of what the iPhone 6 has was featured in the Google Nexus 4 phone back in 2012.
So when Apple do a big announcement people usually forget one simple thing about how well Apple know their market.
Apple of course would love to convert customers away from current Android, Windows Phone or Blackerry (can’t believe they are still around). What Apple care most about is maintaining their current user base first, growing a very close second.
If you think about this you’ll realise that most people who have a previous generation iPhone will likely have never used one of the other more up to date tech phones, so they are usually completely oblivious to the fact that the technology in the new iPhone 6 is actually around 2 years old.
Relative to them the iPhone 6 is a major step up from what they have and that’s one of the the secrets to Apples business model. They usually only compare themselves to themselves because their brand and customer loyalty allows them to do that, which effectively eliminates competition in their current user base market.
Customers are so loyal that they are willing to ignore facts that the technology they are now buying is out of date, the secret here is they don’t actually care.
Apple have a lifestyle, an aspirational approach to their marketing and as long as the hardware and software allow for that style of living to happen, then they succeed in reinforcing that feeling and loyalty amongst their customers.
Apples growth in new customers has slowed down dramatically in the last few years, with Android being the main culprit, but that’s not to say that the Apple Marketing machine are just going to stop trying to convert it’s just not their main focus.
Apple now step into the world of digital watches, sorry smart watches. This new device let’s face it is really aimed at current customers with iPhones, it’s a product that Apple can make more money out of the already initiated. They don’t need to grow their user base just give it more things to buy to grow financially.
Of course there is nothing wrong with owning or using Apple devices or even buying into the cult’ish nature of their brand, in some ways it makes for a simpler life, less choice, less stress comparing the multitude of tiny differences in devices, plus Apple stuff *usually* just works assuming of course the rest of your devices are Apple too ;-).
It’s clean, simple and a very clever business model, but it took quite a lot to get it there.
So being out of date technically for me as a geek it’s wow 2 years old, but as someone who deals in marketing and helping companies grow, ultimately it doesn’t matter.