You want to buy an item...you got to the mall and there are two stores about 100 steps apart...both stores are selling the same item for the same price...the only difference between the stores is the one has a line 50 people deep and the other has no line at all. What store would you go to?
If we were talking about anything other than an Apple 3G iPhone the answer would be simple. But since we are talking about Apple and iPhones don't count on too many people going to the AT&T store.
Read on for a story of unbelievable brand loyalty to Apple, the iPhone, and the Apple stores that sells them. Can you think of anything else that evokes this kind of passion.
Blog post from Engage in PR
I’m preparing for a long drive from Boston to Austin with the dog starting this Friday and want to make sure that I’m properly stocked up, which meant a trip to the mall yesterday to purchase a FM adapter for my iPhone. I figured that the best place to purchase said product would be at the friendly Apple store at the CambridgeSide Galleria in the People’s Republic (funny only to folks from the area, sorry). Obviously I’m aware of the iPhone mania happening right now, but figured it had been more than a day so things would go smoothly.
There was a line about 50 people deep at the Apple store and according to the folks inside it had been like that since opening on Saturday. Each person was waiting up to three hours or more to get the iPhone 3G. Fortunately for me they had created a separate line for those folks and those of us with iPhone classic, a Mac or, shudder, an iPod, could go right in and do what we needed to do. Ten minutes later I’m walking out of the store still giggling to myself at the people in line, but also understanding it a bit as an iPhone user and lover of 2.0.
Here is the rub folks…100 steps from the Apple store was an AT&T store with a HUGE display of iPhone’s waiting to be bought and ZERO people in line.
My wife was the first to notice and we both laughed a bit at the insanity of waiting in line at the Apple store for the same phone you could have at AT&T in four less hours. Sometimes brand loyalty is blind, but in effect that is the power of proper branding. When you do it correctly you create a systemic need for people to be with you, buy from you, support you and defend you. It didn’t matter to those people that they were waiting hours for the iPhone; they wanted it and the only proper way to purchase the phone would be from Apple itself.