Consumers Get (Apple’s) Religion
Having begun using Apple products back in 1988, we thought we fully understood the unique connection that consumers have with the company and its products.
We’ve viewed Apple, both manufacturer and retailer, as epitomizing the call to action in Kenneth Blanchard’s and Sheldon Bowles’ classic Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service. "Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans."
Just how raving, Apple’s fans were, we didn’t fully grasp. According to a new BBC documentary, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests on Apple devotees found brain activity virtually the same as in religious worshipers.
The documentary points out that people at a recent store opening in England came from the U.S. and other locations to wait on line for the doors to open. When the store opened, what did they find? Exactly the same things they could find at the Apple location that is closest to their homes.
The most recent initiative by Apple to drive true believers to a state of ecstasy are iPad sales stations. Consumers at newly-remodeled Apple locations can simply tap a button on an iPad for help and a photo of a sales rep in the store will come up on the screen with a message that he or she will be there shortly to assist.
- Superbrands’ success fuelled by sex, religion and gossip – BBC News
- Apple triggers ‘religious’ reaction in fans’ brains, report says – CNN
- Apple adds iPad customer-service stations in stores – USA Today
- Apple keeps on giving lessons in retail – Macworld
Discussion Questions: What is it about Apple that engenders such intense levels of enthusiasm on the part of its customers? Why don’t more companies have this type of relationship with their customers?