Debating Apple Marketing

IT Business

Lord knows I hate Apple users. For decades Apple has been known for its delusions about being better while holding on to less than 5% of PC market share so now that they actually have significant share of a certain market they had to find a better way to insult potential customers: Charge people to come into the Apple store! One of the readers of Brian’s story said: “Five dollars to just walk into the store? It’s like they want to be elite snobs or something.” to which Vince Sciopiano, the VP of Apple Stores, said “That’s exactly the case.”

While I can fully appreciate the need to control the massive flow of people into Apple stores, pocket-qualification for mass consumer electronics is just a bad idea. How do I put this in a more plain terms.

The very reason people pile into your store to look at overpriced yet shiny garbage is because the store is packed with teenagers to begin with. Your products (hint, 5% share) are not what draws people in, people in the stores draw people in to see what everyone is playing with.”

Consider your average camera store or electronics shop. Notice how it’s always empty, with one or two sharply dressed immigrants just waiting to pounce on you the second your foot crosses the alarm beam? They also cater to the elite crowd with deep pockets, in much the same way that a squad of aging women hunts you with perfume as you enter Dillards. Yet those stores are empty, or in Dillards case have more people passing through them from the parking lot than anything else.

Think thats by chance? Yesterday I was at my local Best Buy which just put in a huge Apple display and demo station. Guess what – EMPTY. Why? Because there was 1 table, with everything Apple makes, surrounded by 5 Apple dweebs. 0 teenagers. 0 audience. 0 sales. But hey, $5 entrance is better than the $0 you’re getting at Best Buy so go ahead, charge the customer into the ground while they are still loyal to you for some reason.

Moral of the story is: If you’re a dick to your customers while you’ve got the leg up, they will abandon you the second there is a reasonable alternative. Treat customers like gold and they will be your fans forever.

5 Responses to Debating Apple Marketing

  1. andyparkes says:

    When i first read this i thought it was just a joke!!!

    The Sciopiano quote is classic

    Imagine if you had to pay a fee everytime you viewed a website….

  2. scottinflorida says:

    I thought it was a joke to andyparkes. (Okay, Vlad has some kind of link clicking logger and he’s playing me like a puppet)

    It’s no joke, Apple stores are actually charging to look at their wares, and they are going to track you in their store too.

    Gad Zooks!

    Guess how much money I paid to get into Harrods in London? Zero Euros

    Guess how much I paid to get into Tiffany’s in NYC? Zero Dollars

    Guess how much I paid to get into Louis Vuitton in Paris? Zero Euros

    Guess how much I paid to get into the Apple store in Cupertino? Uhhh, zero Dollars ’cause I didn’t go there nor will I.

  3. ababinchak says:

    My favorite marine hardware store has a sign “We are not a museum.” It’s such a cool store packed with so much stuff that even the owners aren’t sure what they have. Their specialty is new, used and vintage hardware for marine craft. It’s a very specific market and they’ll never take 5% of the market away from West Marine. But they don’t care; they’ve found their market and they are sticking to it.

    Apple has a problem….again. Just like back in the day when they gave Apple 2e’s away to elementary schools so only kids were sold on the product, today their new line of products appeals most to children. Apple needs a reality check.

    If what you want to build is exclusivity then you really need to charge for it. $5 isn’t going to keep the kids out. That’s pocket change to kids these days. $20 will. Now you’ll bring in the errogant. “I had to pay $20 to get a sales person to show me this beauty.” The should look down the hall in the mall and see how Bose does it. A store full of cool stuff. Lot’s of people milling about. But only certain people getting sold the good stuff in the sound room and the sales persons job is to figure out who to invite.

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