In this economy many companies struggle to find their competitive advantage to stay ahead of their competitors. In order to not only stay profitable companies must have some aspect of their product offering that makes them stand out, and keeps customers coming back.
You would think that in a recession luxury electronics would be one of the first products to be cut from budget conscious homes. Apple however, has found ways to not only stay relevant, but also grab even more market share than ever before. This is because not only does Apple have products that consumers enjoy and find to be a good value, but they also utilize interesting marketing and selling techniques to develop a long term relationship with consumers. In this post I examine some of the psychology behind Apple’s, and other companies, marketing and selling approaches and how it is important for consumers to understand the circumstances of these techniques.
Many people do not realize that amount of research and technology that surrounds them when they go shopping, and I am not talking about the products they are shopping for. Apple is no different and in fact is one of the industry leaders. When you walk into an Apple store you are not met by shelves and shelves of products for you to browse through. Instead you see dozens of products for you to use. I recently read an article about how the screens on Apple’s computers in their stores are preciously tilted to a specific angle. This angle is not one that makes the computer easier to read but is actually purposely tilted at a poor angle to make you as the consumer adjust the screen yourself. This act of putting your hands on the computer creates a sense of ownership and a connection to the product. Many other companies attempt to utilize similar tools to build a relationship with the consumer. Products that use a one-on-one sales people to sell their products often do more than just talk about the project. Sales people often work just as hard finding other things to discuss with you, such as your interests, your background, your family, and other aspects of your life. Believe or not this is not generally because they are genially interested in your life, but instead because it makes you feel better about talking in general. Therefore you will be more at ease talking about the product and the sale. You are more likely to make a purchase from someone, or in Apple’s case something, that you feel a connection to.
In this modern world it is important for consumers to understand the world around them, especially when it concerns their hard earned money. Companies are constantly looking for ways to make themselves stand out to consumers. This however, is not always through their products and services, but often how they make a connection to you as the consumer. As a smart consumer it is important to not necessarily ignore these attempts of building relationships from companies and their products, but be aware of them so that you can really make the most effective decision possible when it comes to what products and services to purchase.
Financially Stephen grew up in a family that preached saving and living below your means. That, in part, translated to his interest in Economics, especially how economics can affect individuals’ financial lives. Through his financial markets class in the fall of 2011, he furthered this interest by analyzing macroeconomic events. Stephen believes that finance, personal finance in particular, is a subject severely left out when it comes to public schooling in this country, and it is a problem that has manifested itself and contributed to many of the problems seen today. He also believes that education is the key to improvement and hopes that through his writings he will be able help people learn about finance, macroeconomics, and how to be financially savvy for the future.
In his free time Stephen enjoys playing and watching sports, wakeboarding, sailing, and country music. At UNC he has participated in Strive for College, UNC Dance Marathon, and UNC Relay for Life.