It hasn’t been an easy ride for Apple recently.
Ever since the launch of its latest range of products, (and even before during the nude celebrity photo leaks), the brand has been getting jabs from marketers globally. While Apple is fighting back vehemently with facts concerning its engineering and production, marketers are still taking every opportunity possible to poke fun at Steve Job’s brainchild.
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Today, Apple has gone from a brand to a topic of conversation.
“Apple and its woes and issues have become a form of newsjacking and has taken a life of its own. It has become a talking point and trending topic for both marketers and consumers. It is to the point where brands and marketers are using Apple to accelerate awareness of their own products,” said one senior PR practitioner to Marketing.
While there is such a thing as bad PR, this probably isn’t the case here, he added.
Meanwhile, John Kerr, managing director, Zeno Asia added that Apple has diehard fans and despite all the mishaps, these Apple fans have hung tight to their loyalty. Kerr added that aggressive competitor marketing has also back-fired, pushing Apple fence-sitters squarely into iPhone’s corner.
“I thought that the iCloud/celebrity hacking scandal, coupled with iOS upgrade issues and what I consider to be a catch-up product would’ve dulled enthusiasm for the brand, but not according to search and social analysis,” said Kerr.
However, he added eventually if continued missteps mount up, consequences will be dire. But for now, the Apple juggernaut continues to roll.
Is software Apple’s Achilles heel?
Lawrence Chong, CEO, Consulus added that much like other mega brands in its category, such as Starbucks or McDonald’s, Apple is now a big target for criticism and a symbol for the negative side of globalisation.
“I think the big concern here is not the hardware but the software,” said Chong. He explained that Apple has always claimed that it is the only company that can provide the best integrated experience from software to hardware but its latest shortcomings have put a big question mark on its software credentials.
“If software is now a weak spot for Apple, this will seriously damage its long-term credentials unless it is fixed. This layer will affect everything, especially its newer services and products such as Apple Pay and Apple Watch,” Chong added.
Another struggle for the brand today is the need to maintain its sense of creativity and difference. This is ultimately what drew in its loyal fan base, said Chong.
“Apple’s green efforts, educating Chinese workers on their rights, and even the first major acquisition of Beats for the creative genius of Jimmy lovine and Dr Dre, all got nods to increase its likeability among young trendsetters.”
But nonetheless, there is a battle going on for the young trendy demographic which Apple needs to actively hold on to.