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….
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).
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.
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/
Iacobucci, D 2008, MM4, Cebgage Learning, Mason OH, USA