When you think about companies with PR challenges, Apple is likely nowhere near the top of your list. This is a company that makes the news even when it doesn’t have any real news to discuss. But Ronn Torossian says the company is dealing with a PR issue that might be a blip for Apple, but could be disastrous for another brand.
He’s talking about pre-order delays. Recently, the company released its latest iPhones and the new iWatch with anticipatory fanfare that included free U2 downloads, and a massive worldwide PR campaign.
Then, mere hours after the next-gen iPhones were made available online for pre-order, Apple’s website began warning consumers of 3 to 4 week wait times for the larger of the two new models. Sure, consumers could snag the 4.7-inch model and have it in their hands by September 19. But you would have to wait another month for the Big One.
Now, it could easily be argued that fans have waited in limbo for months now as rumor after rumor teased them online. At this point, what’s another few weeks? Well, for avid Apple fans, that may not be a big deal. They might be aggravated and huff and puff a bit, but they will go out and grab that phone as soon as they can … and all complaints will cease.
Would it work that way for your brand? Why or why not? The secret to success is their carefully cultivated brand loyalty. Apple is not just a brand releasing products. They are a culture with fully entrenched brand citizens who would never consider defecting to another brand.
It took the company years – and more than a few winning innovations – to achieve this status. Now that they have, it’s vital for them to continue to feed that brand loyalty. The wait may tarnish it a bit, but die-hards still have the iWatch to contemplate. Besides, the company has earned their loyalty. They can afford to cut it some slack.
And therein lies the key issue. Apple has earned its customer loyalty. It’s given much more to its users than it has asked of them. At least in the eyes of their loyal fans. Can your brand say the same?