Even among technology giants the brand is all important. People will buy or use a particular brand– one that is well known– even if a similar product is available at half the price. Smartphones with decent functionality and features are available for less than half the price of an iPhone.
Yet, Apple’s iconic and revolutionary devices sells in numbers greater than any competitor, regardless of brand. Obviously, brand is important. Even Google’s brand has been structured in such a way as to obfuscate or hide or diminish what the company really does. What do you think of when you think of Google?
Gmail. Free. Android OS. Search engine results. Applications. Google’s colorful, playful and multi-colored logo belies the relationship between the advertising company and its users. What about customers? Google doesn’t have many customers. Android device owners buy applications. A fewer number buy smartphones. Even smartphone device makers that use Android OS are not customers as much as users. Got Gmail? Use Google’s search? You’re a user, not a customer (advertisers are Google’s customers), so that makes you part of the product that Google sells.
Yet, Google’s carefully crafted brand image makes it appear as if the company is a technology giant and because so much of what Google does and makes seems to be free, users think positively of the company. That positive reinforcement helps Google to balance and hide what it really does– take user information and sell it.
Do you trust Google now?
Apple is a technology company with more than 1-billion customers and works hard to cultivate a good image and trust. Apple does not cull personal and private information the way Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and others do– but our favorite iPhone and Mac maker makes money the old fashioned way. One hardware product at a time. That means Apple is one sale away from losing a customer if a product does not meet expectations and the company cannot repair the rift.
Got a bad list of results in your latest Google search? Try again. No harm, no foul, and no expense on Google’s part to rectify the situation for you. Got a bad iPhone? Apple is to blame, and has actual expense involved to help overcome and rectify the situation.
Do you trust Apple?
Actually, the better question is, “Who do you trust more? Apple? Or, Google?” Google gives you free applications and services, sells a few products here and there, but mostly prospers because users don’t know they’re not customers, and don’t really know what they’re handing over to Google with each app they use. Privacy and security are not considerations that Google wants users to engage in on a public forum.
Again, Apple generates good will and brand loyalty the old fashioned way– one product at a time. Yes, Apple, too, cultivates that relationship but also recognizes that the premium end of the product spectrum– regardless of the product– is where the profit is, so Apple works diligently to provide additional value add so customers will pay more for the privilege of using an iPhone, Mac, iPad, or whatever else the company sells with extra spin and shine.
Who do you trust more? Apple? Or, Google?