Only Apple – Time to make an appointment to buy your new watch!

Katherine Gracey & Jane Honeyman

So in a few days the technology world as we know it will again change.  And once again leading the charge is Apple.  The Apple iWatch will launch on April 24.

Take a look….

Pretty impressive.

Now things are pretty standard in how they have promoted their new product.  Fast paced, hotly featured product and of course the Apple brand.  But there are a couple changes in how they have gone to market with the Apple iWatch which are not “typically” Apple.

Apple has strong brand associations.  We know associations can be simply physical (their logo and packaging are highlights of this).  But Apple have also done an outstanding job in connecting with their customers emotions.  They have been able to connect with their customers like no other.  Once you buy Apple, many people find it very hard to go back.  The brand carries a promise that it can help achieve a desired persona (Iacobucci 2008, p80).  The Apple brand can also serve a social function.  Brands can become a focal point of bonding, in Apple’s case Mac user groups (Iacobucci 2008, p80).

Featured image

Firstly the release date.  In all the time that Apple have advertised their new products, there has never been a launch date.  They annouce at Apple Live keynotes, then the techies get involved – blogs, social media, You Tube.  Leaks form a big part of how they go to market – although I doubt they will ever admit that! And then their promotions – their ads.  From the first time they released the iPod, their ads were synonymous with the brand, memorable but most of all desirable to the consumer.

But the release date with previous product launches was the last to be mentioned and known to consumers.  But why this time??  The concern Apple has is they want to ensure demand for the iWatch is met and that the launch experience is memorable for the right reasons.  So this brings me to the second change in the new product release landscape – make a booking! So pre orders for the product have begun.

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Customers will need to make a 15 min appointment to try and buy their new iWatch! So the die hard Apple fans will have no need to lose sleep the night before!  But this has also caused a problem, demand has certainly outdone supply.

Those lucky enough to place their pre orders and book their appointment will have the opportunity to get their shiny new iWatch on April 24.  Those who missed out will have to wait till June and beyond.  So is this a desirable launch experience?  Apple product launches in the past have told us that this does not matter.  They are so good at the product development and their product launches, that the noise about low stock will only be a blimp in their launch.

So for the first time consumers know when the product will hit stores and we have to book a time.  Is this the right strategy…should Apple have stuck to what they know best?  Create the hype, land in store, line up.  It will be interesting to “watch” in a few days’ time….

Oh and in case you were wondering, the price ranges from $499 to $24,000. That’s right, you can buy an 18 karat gold Apple iWatch for a lazy $24k.  I’m not sure if I will be making an appointment just yet!

Read more about the Apple iWatch here.  http://www.cnet.com/au/products/apple-watch/

References

Iacobucci, D 2008, MM4, Cebgage Learning, Mason OH, USA

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9 thoughts on “Only Apple – Time to make an appointment to buy your new watch!

  1. Apple is a fascinating case study, from both a marketing and economics perspective. Basic demand and supply theory would suggest that Apple could charge considerably more than they do given the significant discrepancy between the demand for their products and the level of supply they are able to meet – especially on launch. However, they don’t get greedy with price (although the $24k gold watch might indicate otherwise…)
    My feeling is that the reason they are happy to accept a price where demand so significantly outstrips supply is that they are so reliant on the ‘early adopters’ who take up their innovative new products to create a market for them, that they establish a price that will sustainable once they get past their initial customers without them needing to lower their price and disenfranchise the early adopters.
    While an Apple ‘fanboy’ might be disappointed not to be able to purchase a product in the early days following release, in also serves to validate the esteem in which the product is held. Given the lead time between initial reports and release date, given the scale of Apple’s resources, is it realistic to think that they are unable to meet supply projections if they really wanted to?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Apple has managed to build its brand over the years. Its brand can certainly induce loyalty. Its product has the reputation for being reliable. But there have been times where some of the things did not work well. Read about it more here (http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/apple/10-terrible-apple-product-failures-3515144 ). Despite those failures, the brand is still associated with reliability. This shows why branding is important. Customers are also willing to pay premium prices for the Apple brands they love.
    Apple tried to release the colourful, plastic-backed, iPhone 5c, however it was a huge disappointment. it was because Apple “doesn’t do cheap” and its customers have no desire or use for them. The product simply did not reflect its brand.
    The Apple Watch does have a premium feel which again synonymous with the Apple Brand. The brand certainly allows Apple to charge high premium prices for its smart watches. It is too early to judge whether the Apple Watch will be a success or not. However, it looks like the value of the Apple brand will remain strong for the time being.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Apple was the first technology company to focus on not only on the product but the packaging. They have consistently created leading packaging experience of any technology brand, so much so that it has been associated with selling fashion instead of tech products for years. So it was only a matter of time for Apple to produce watches.
    Booking a one-on-one appointment in store is a personal experience for intending purchasers, they can choose the watch versions and sizes. The whole process is more like what we normally do in a high-end fashion boutique or a luxury store. Apple has always been uber-conscious of the brand experience they deliver from product to packaging, ecosystems, promotion, price and their retail environments. For Apple, every part of the customer journey is considered to be consistent, thoughtful and deliberate.
    Forbes reported that Apple is forecast to sell between 2-4 million watches in the first quarter to June. Will this form of launching new product successful? Let’s wait and see…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Apple has a branding strategy that focuses on the emotions. The starting point is how an Apple product experience makes you feel. The Apple brand personality is about lifestyle; imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology
    The Apple brand personality is also about simplicity and the removal of complexity from people’s lives; people-driven product design; and about being a really humanistic company with a heartfelt connection with its customers.
    The huge promise of the Apple brand, of course presents Apple with an enormous challenge to live up to. The innovative, beautifully-designed, highly ergonomic, and technology-leading products which Apple delivers are not only designed to match the brand promise, but are fundamental to keeping it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Apple uses the Apple brand to compete across several highly competitive markets. Apple’s brand has evolved as it has expanded its range of products and services. Apple’s brand position has evolved, but today’s brand is still consistent with these early promises. The Apple brand is not just intimate with its customers, it’s loved, and there is a real sense of community among users of its main product lines.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Apple Watch reveals a rather brilliant plan when the various arms of its approach are put together. Apple has connected the Apple Watch with the traditional world of horology to garner acceptance among watch lovers. Apple has obviously secured favor with the tech and electronics industry by mere virtue of being a new Apple product, and Apple has focused directly on the world of fashion to help people realize it is a product that does not
    clash with a modern lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just to share my little experience – I’m an Apple fan but I’m not buying Apple Watch, at least for now. Why? I was annoyed the other day, Apple “forced” to install an Apple watch advertising App. on my iphone when I was updating the software, and it could not be deleted.

    I read an article recently, marketers are at risk of turning customers away from their brand as a result of irritating online behavior according to a survey. So personally I think Apple should be careful with their marketing approach, don’t be over confident to assume that iphone users would also love to know Apple watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Do you think the change in launch strategy has something to do with the more personal nature of the product? I would never buy an expensive piece of jewellery (and thats what a watch is) without trying it on first.

    I went into a Apple store to have a look at the watch for my own blog research, and was encouraged to try on the different size faces to see which fit me best, and a few styles of bands to see which I liked best. Seems smart to me…if I was genuinely in the market for one – I’d say i would have walked out with a more expensive band, or maybe even 2 bands. With Apples other products, you are looking at an increase in price when you upgrade the technology. With the watch, the technology stays the same…i’s the fashion that changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a wonderful post about iWatch which is from Apple. I think that this product is a great one which many people may follow and buy it. Personally, i think this product is too much for me although I would love to buy it. You have shown many points of how important of iWatch. Personally, iWatch is able to make pepple’s life easier but it does now mean that people who do not have it iWatch will live harder. I am a fan of Apple for real but this product shows more than I want. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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