Homerun Nievera, Negosentro.com | One of the things that successful technology companies have in common is their ability to inspire their customers. The results of this kind of relationship can be very lucrative for the company and simultaneously rewarding for the customers. While this kind of inspiration didn’t become common until the 1980s, the long-term effects of it have driven economic advances for decades.
One of the companies that inspires legendary loyalty, support and purchases from its customers is Apple. The full history of this company’s relationship with its customer base is a fascinating tale of technological advancement, artistic expression and a culture that transcends the products it manufactures.
Here are some of the ways Apple and companies like it inspire their customers and encourage them to become closer to the products they purchase.
There is nothing more compelling to an inquisitive person than the prospect of discovering something new. This human trait underscores basic curiosity, numerous personality types and is the reason almost everyone loves to hear a well-told story. Companies take advantage of the love of discovery all the time. It is baked into their most powerful marketing messages and is used quite often to entice new customers to give their product or service a try.
At Apple, the products they produced always focused on what they could do to enhance a customer’s life. In nearly every instance, Apple products took something people were already doing and made it better. Then, they simply turned around and asked the customer if they wanted to discover a better experience. The results speak for themselves. Whether it is music, mobile devices, creative work, photography, application development, movie making or digital image production, Apple leads the way in giving people an opportunity to discover something new.
Those companies that succeed in convincing their customers they are participating in the process of discovery almost always make it clear they are participating in something bigger and more important than themselves. Technology has always represented hope for the average user. With technology, life becomes easier, income grows and expenses shrink. Good things happen when this technology becomes better.
This also happens to be one of the keys to making full service email marketing work. Email remains one of the most powerful means of communicating with customers both old and new. The mailing list is still an effective means of providing customers with the ability to participate in their favorite company’s progress.
Convincing someone they are not only witnessing advancement but also participating in it is a supremely powerful thing. It makes people more than simply customers. It makes them partners and cements a relationship that is among the most sought-after in all of business. No longer is there a sales counter between vendor and customer. With participation, both are on the same side of the table working together to make things happen.
Having understanding of a subject beyond that of the average person usually encourages someone to become a teacher. Most people have an innate desire to help others. When they believe they know something that might help someone else, people almost always make some attempt to educate and give their useful knowledge to those it might help the most. This dovetails with the processes of discovery and participation and turns a customer into an evangelist.
This also happens to be the process by which all “better mousetraps” reach their future customers. Word of mouth remains the most powerful sales mechanism on Earth. If a customer can be guided through the process of discovery and participation, it is likely they will learn everything they need to know in order to help others do the same.
There is every reason to believe students of business will be studying Apple’s rise from a hobbyist computer manufacturer to the most valuable company in the world for many years. What they will learn is that Apple understood its customers and what they wanted. It wasn’t just about technology. It was about relationships. That’s the most powerful and inspirational marketing of all.
Homerun Nievera is the publisher of Negosentro.com and WorldExecutivesDigest.com. He has interests in several tech and digital businesses as director and chief strategist.