The new iPhone is out and already people are reporting problems with the product. The first problem is a “hissing sound” some phones are making, the second is the failure of iPhones to pick up a cell signal once airplane mode is turned off. Apple’s reply? We’re looking into it.
I’m an Apple person with a lot of Apple products, but their pattern of ignoring customer complaints, releasing buggy software and saying that they “are sold out” of products because they don’t have an adequate supply is getting old. Yet people will still wait in line and beg Apple to take their money. So why is it that Apple can still be a top ranked brand, but other brands are taken to the online woodshed because of small mistakes?
Social media, and social media mistakes, can cost brands dearly. Consumers are ready to pounce on brands that make mistakes via hashtag activism, but some brands have no problem making mistakes. Apple makes great products and has great online support so customers are willing to pay a premium price and forgive problems. The problem with this, however, is that eventually customers are going to grow tired of paying premium prices for problematic products. Apple needs to be aware of that warning as they are already losing share to Samsung and Windows 10 PC’s.
The key lesson is that no matter how good your brand is ranked by customers you need to continue to ensure that the brand experience is a great one. Apple has concentrated all their efforts on mobile but now mobile products have reached the mature stage and sales are declining. The iMac hasn’t been updated, in design, in over 4 years and Apple’s purchase of Beats headphones has some analysts still scratching their heads.
When Steve Jobs was the face of Apple people were willing to pay more because having an Apple product was “cool” and showed you were a bit of a “pirate” Today, Apple’s laptops are not as in style as new Windows 10 laptops and Microsoft is catching up to Mac OS which is dire need of an overhaul.