Well, they must be wearing sweaters in Cupertino because I just purchased an iPhone. I’m the one who went public in my last blog about taking a stand against the Apple brand. When asked what changed, I was finding it hard to explain, especially since I didn’t even need a new phone. So to understand how I finally became an Apple convert, I went online for the answer.
I quickly found a 2008 InsideCRM article on "11 Effective Strategies Apple Uses to Create Loyal Customers." Did any of these strategies affect my purchasing behavior? Upon evaluation, I found that nine of the 11 strategies did indeed influence my decision in some way. Additionally, there’s a very high likelihood that the remaining two will influence the purchase of other Apple products.
So how can we take from this experience and apply to the medical device space?
- Plan your approach. With limited budgets and resources, it is more important than ever to plan out marketing activities in advance and execute according to plan. Apple is famous for its ability to strategically plan and target communications to ensure the success of their brand. Their ability to influence me to the point of buying an iPhone was no accident.
- Do nothing in isolation. No single marketing tactic from Apple led me to purchase the iPhone. It was the sum of all parts that moved my perception of the brand from one of skepticism to believer — a clever balance of targeted, integrated marketing efforts that blended traditional print and digital tactics with PR activities, social media and the all-important word of mouth.
- Keep the communications coming. It took Apple nine years to "convince" me that I should own one of their devices. I attribute much of my decision to finally make a purchase to their persistence and consistency as a brand. The repeated exposure to their look and their messages finally connected. There is something to be said for sustainable brand awareness.
Owning an iPhone has made me feel a part of something big. I am no longer missing out on conversations with friends and coworkers. I understand what people are talking about when they mention their "data plans." I too have the cool white earphones. I feel good when I carry my iPhone around. Effective brands stimulate emotion. So can yours. And thank you to the good people of Cupertino…
Please come see Seidler Bernstein’s own Rob Kinslow, VP of Strategic Communications, as a guest speaker for the Diagnostic Marketing Association’s (DxMA) upcoming networking event Sept. 21. Click here to register.
Jennifer A. Nichols is senior account supervisor at Seidler Bernstein whose prior experience includes healthcare communications at HealthGate Data Corp. and public health and social marketing consulting at Policy Studies Inc. of Cambridge, Mass. A licensed and registered dietitian, Jenn also worked at Mass. General Hospital as a clinical dietitian. These days she volunteers on the Board of Health for the town of Easton, Mass.