10 Tricks Apple Uses to Sell You Things You Can’t Afford
In 2019, for the 9th time, Apple topped the rating of the most valuable brands in the world, according to Forbes. At the moment, the company is worth $ 205.5 billion, and Coca-Cola, for example, is worth $60 billion less. The presentation of the iPhone 11 was the biggest presentation in history, the ceremony was broadcast on YouTube for the first time, where more than 5 million people watched it.
We at Bright Side tried to figure out why the brand attracts so many customers and why they are ready to pay crazy money, that they don’t really have, just to get the new model with 3 cameras.
User laziness is one of the main selling points for Apple.
iPhones and MacBooks are extremely easy to use because the average user of these devices is pretty lazy. He or she doesn’t want to download, install, and set anything up, this is why Apple does everything in order to make it possible to just pick up and use Apple gadgets.
Users get addicted to this simplicity and eagerly buy the next iPhone. And because Apple devices are not really compatible with other operational systems (and it is hard to find anything in the setting for an average user), after the iPhone, they are very likely to buy a MacBook, an Apple Watch, and Air Pods.
The iPhone becomes outdated faster than any other device.
When the new iPhone model is released, Apple fans buy it because of what seems to them to be an objective reason. Because they start to notice the flaws of the old model: it doesn’t load their Facebook page as quickly, the screen is not big enough for comfortable usage, and so on. In reality, users are driven by 2 things: psychology and marketing:
- When the new device is released, the new iOS is released which is not very compatible with the previous model. Users update their phones and actually notice that their devices start to function worse.
- After the new model is released, users are subconsciously focusing on the flaws of their old devices because they want the new ones and notice the things that seemed unimportant before. This is their way to rationalize their desire to get the new model.
The brand doesn’t sell products. Instead, it sells stories.
Apple’s strategy is creating as much hype around its new smartphone as possible. Not a single other brand organizes such big presentations of their products. And Apple ceremonies are first and foremost about the brand, not about the users. The company uses storytelling and creates narratives — the stories of people that love Apple.
But this strategy doesn’t always work as they plan. Users and the media expect every new Apple product to be revolutionary. They want obvious and easy to understand breakthroughs. And when, instead of the new iPhone 5, the users were offered a 4s with minimal changes, the sales dropped quite significantly. Apple learned from its mistakes: the fact that the triple camera became a meme is the result of a well-thought-out strategy.
Every store from the brand wants to look like the glass cube on Fifth Avenue.
There are very serious requirements for the location of Apple Stores. They have to be very close to transport hubs, in very popular places, or in the best locations in malls. The design is always in the minimalistic Scandinavian style, using only 3 materials: stainless steel, natural wood, and glass. The idea comes from Apple Fifth Avenue — a glass cube on Fifth Avenue in New York.
The sales floors in Apple Stores are half-full for a reason.
Smartphones and laptops in Apple Stores are placed the way they are for a reason. The products should take up only 1/4 of the sales hall, and the rest is used as a space for help and ideas. This is where the Genius Bar is located — a special area for consultations, where the Apple “geniuses” work. They are supposed to help the customers forget about the time, ask them about their needs as fast as possible and in detail, and get them to buy something.
There are no cashiers or cash registers here. You can pay by card with any employee, and there is a limit for cash — usually it’s about $250.
You can spend the entire day in an Apple Store if you want. For many Americans, it is a very normal thing to stop by a store in order to surf the internet and check their e-mails. This is how the brand makes its customers more loyal.
The employees use the APPLE entrance: Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, End.
In order to memorize the sequence of interactions with clients, employees use the name Apple which is also an acronym: Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, End. In the beginning, employees approach clients silently with a friendly smile (this process should take at least 10 seconds). Then, they ask them different types of questions (“Is this your first Mac device?” or “How are you going to use it?”).
After that, they find a solution, not the most expensive one, but the one that suits the needs of the client the most. But it is not over yet, now, the employee has to listen to the client one more time and ask more questions about the things they might have forgotten about. The perfect ending results in a deal, but it is also okay if they just invite them to come back anytime.
The employees are not allowed to point to where the iPhones are.
Apple Store employees are not allowed to point to show their clients where a certain product is located. The company is convinced that their customers don’t like it when they are pointed toward something. This is why employees have to be extremely delicate and polite and take clients to the necessary place.
There, they help the client figure out how a certain device works. It is not enough to just tell them, they should offer a One-to-One course. In lectures, the employees not only talk about how the gadget works, but also about photo editing, video editing and so on. By the way, sometimes, Apple does these classes for free. These events don’t bring in any money to the company, but increase customer loyalty.
Blue T-shirts were supposed to symbolize the elite status of the store.
Apple devices are believed to be the perfect example of quality design, but the brand had trouble with trendy clothes. Steve Jobs wore the same jeans and turtlenecks, maybe this is why the uniform didn’t get as much attention. The first attempt to unify the uniform was done by Steve Jobs himself: he offered the employees nylon jackets with removable sleeves, which turned them into vests. Jobs was criticized for this idea and the employees didn’t like the design.
After that, the employees started to wear different uniforms depending on the season, like upcoming holidays or a soon-to-be-released device. In 2015, the vice-president of the company, Angela Ahrendts, decided to try and make a uniform for employees. She chose the blue color as a sign of the elite status of the store and then moved the white logo from the center closer to the heart, and also included T-shirts, polo-shirts, and long sleeves.
By the way, the clothes Apple employees wear are eco-friendly — made with 10% recycled materials.
The uniform was used by criminals...
This uniform helped a thief steal 19 iPhones from an Apple Store — he just found a similar-looking T-shirt, snuck into the storage room, and left with a bunch of boxes. And in 2011 in China, a network of 22 fake Apple Stores was found. The employees also wore blue T-shirts. By the way, some of them truly believed that they were working for Apple.
...This is why the employees wear black now.
It’s highly possible that this story and the wrong associations with blue clothes made the company do a rebranding and now, the employees wear minimalistic black or dark-blue T-shirts and polo shirts with a logo.
Receiving the Apple T-shirt is a solemn ritual and part of the corporate culture of the brand. Getting a job at the company is really hard — some people joke that it is harder than entering Oxford University. This is why when an employee completes all the stages of the interviews and gets the uniform, they are applauded. By the way, employees are prohibited from wearing the uniform in their free time.
Movie characters work on MacBooks really often, but Apple doesn’t pay for that.
In 2011, Apple products were shown in 891 films, TV series, and shows. The head of the marketing department, Philip Schiller, confirmed that the company has an employee that ensures the collaboration between Apple and Hollywood and promotes the products to appear on the big screen. Apple has never paid for this, but producers still shoot the Apple devices and don’t hide the logos. These devices increase the status of the characters and the film starts to look more “elite.”
As a gesture and a compromise, Apple presents an unlimited number of devices for the shooting which, considering their price, can be considered as a payment.
Do you use Apple devices? Why do you find them attractive?
Preview photo credit Xinhua/Photoshot/REPORTER