Small objects of desire

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					                                                                                chapter 11    Building Brands                              431




                                                                           Small objects of desire

                                           Read the questions, then the           the minimalist touch screen. The iPhone is beyond
                                          case material, and then answer          such restraints as a conventional keypad. Lucky iPhone
                                        the questions.                            owners just brush their fingertips over the sleek, full-
                                                                                  colour display. Time Magazine called it ‘the invention of
                                    Questions                                     the year’.
                                    1. Identify the elements of Apple’s              Over half a million iPhones were sold over the
                        brand identity.                                           weekend of its launch in the USA. This extraordinary
                   2.   Was the launch of the iPhone a line extension, a          level of sales made the company’s first-year sales
                        brand extension or a brand stretch? Explain your          target of 10 million look easily achievable. With that
                        answer and then discuss the advantages of this            sales volume, Apple would achieve 1 per cent glo-
                        strategy.                                                 bal mobile market share which, while impressive for a
                   3.   What evidence is there that Apple enjoys a high           new entrant in such a short space of time, would still
                        level of brand loyalty? What advantages does this         be a long way short of market domination – in volume
                        bring the company?                                        terms at least.
                   4.   Is Apple a lifestyle brand? Give reasons for your            Apple has a reputation for leading-edge technology
                        answer. (You may want to refer back to the section        and attention to detail, particularly style detail. Very
                        on lifestyle branding in Chapter 1.)                      few other brands generate such interest and inspire
                   5.   Should electronics manufacturers take respon-             the number of brand ambassadors that Apple does.
                        sibility for the impact of their products on the          Apple customers believe that the company really
                        environment? What could they do to make their             cares about the way they use the technology – and
                        businesses more environmentally friendly?                 about the way people look while using the technology.
                                                                                  As a web designer in the iPhone queue on that wet
                                                                                  November morning in London said: ‘…the point is the
                   Why would anyone queue for over 24 hours to buy an             attention to detail. I’m actually going to enjoy using my
                   (arguably) over-priced phone? Especially when they             phone, and Apple are the only company that I know
                   could buy it from a shop around the corner for the             in most of consumer electronics who care about this
                   same price and without queuing at all? Questions like          stuff.’
                   these were puzzling passers-by on the day that the                The Apple Mac pioneered an icon-based operating
                   Apple iPhone went on sale in London for the first time.        system (source of a long-running dispute with Micro-
                      The queues outside Apple’s flagship store in Regent         soft over the Windows design) which was the starting
                   Street started two days before the iPhone’s much               point for Apple devotion. Mac users would not dream
                   publicised arrival. It was November. It was cold and           of trading in their computers for mere PCs and, years
                   wet. Even the people queuing seemed bemused as                 after the Mac revolution, Apple’s entry into the MP3
                   to why they were doing it. ‘I’m a Commercial Director.         market inspired a similar response. The iPod domi-
                   This is ridiculous behaviour for someone like me’, said        nates that market, not least in terms of brand aware-
                   one member of the queue, while a civil servant near            ness and desired purchase. Apple products are rec-
                   the front offered at least a partial explanation for why       ognised as style icons by a wide demographic: their
                   he wanted to be the one of the first to own the iPhone:        appeal crosses divides of age, income, gender and
                   ‘Several of my colleagues have tried to arrange meet-          taste – although approximately 93 per cent of the
                   ings with me on Monday just to have a look at it.’             queue for the new phone were male.
                      The Apple iPhone combines a phone with fully fea-              The phone’s launch price was a hefty £269 (€399)
                   tured web browser, advanced camera and music                   but there was speculation that the price might come
                   player. Even at the time of its launch, it was by no means     down. In the USA, Apple cut the original price of
                   the only device on the market to do all of these things.       the iPhone by $200 (£100, €135) and then had to
                   There were a number of cheaper rivals but none of them         offer refunds to early customers who complained
                   inspired the adulation given to Apple’s new product.           vociferously.
                   Fans of the iPhone raved over the deceptive simplic-              Price was not the only off-putting feature of the
                   ity of the design and were especially enthusiastic about       iPhone. In the UK, broadband Internet access was
                                                                                                                               (Continued)




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        432                       part Four      Managing MarKeting




            (Continued)
            available through Edge but, at the time of the launch,    ‘Over the life cycle of a phone there is massive pollu-
            Edge only covered 30 per cent of Britain, so in most      tion. The phone companies are making big changes –
            places iPhoners would not be able to use that fea-        transparency and reporting is far ahead of what it was
            ture. Additionally, in an attempt to maximise revenues,   four years ago, for example – but it is still far away from
            Apple had negotiated exclusive contracts with spe-        being a really green industry.’
            cific network providers. All iPhones bought in the UK        A recent Greenpeace report claimed to have found
            were tied into the O2 network for 18 months. These        evidence of widespread, hazardous chemical contam-
            network deals had already broken down in France           ination of rivers and underground wells in countries
            and Germany, where local anti-competition laws had        where electronics goods are manufactured. Green-
            forced Apple to unbundle the iPhones and offer them       peace also complain that consumers are wasteful,
            with a free choice of network. This freedom of choice     replacing phones more often than is necessary and so
            came at an even higher price, of course. In Germany,      artificially inflating the demand for new phones. West-
            the unbundled iPhones were on sale at €999 (about         ern consumers in particular frequently replace work-
            £720), while it cost €399 (the same as in the UK) to      ing phones with the latest models, keeping phones on
            buy an iPhone with a contract with Apple’s German         average for only 18 months when they are designed to
            partner, T-Mobile.                                        last for ten years.
               Among all the Apple-inspired hype came a burst            Only a small proportion of these thousands of dis-
            of bad publicity too. Green lobbyists took advantage      carded phones are recycled. Nokia, the world’s big-
            of the interest in the iPhone’s launch to make their      gest mobile handset manufacturer, believes that about
            own attack on the mobile phone market. Greenpeace         48 per cent of old handsets are abandoned or forgot-
            claimed that mobile phones were significant polluters     ten by their owners – many of them are just lying at the
            and that mobile companies needed to do far more           bottom of drawers.
            to minimise their impact on the environment. Zeina
            Alhajj, Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace, said:        SOURCES: Burkeman, 2007; Judge, 2007a, 2007b




                                   reFerences
                                   Anon (2003) ‘Cosmo forced to scrap branded cafe project’, Marketing Week, 7 August.
                                   Blackett, T. (2003) ‘What is a brand?’ (Ch. 1) and Brymer, C. ‘What makes brands great?’,
                                     (Ch. 4) in R. Clifton and J. Simmons (eds) Brands and Branding: The Economist
                                     Series. London: Profile Books.
                                   Boots (n.d.) About Boots, Boots the Chemist, Nottingham. Available at: www.boots-the-chem-
                                     ists.co.uk/main.asp?pid=1673 (accessed 13/07/2007).
                                   Burkeman, O. (2007) ‘At 6.02pm the worshippers got their reward’, The Guardian, 10 Novem-
                                     ber, p. 3.
                                   Enis, B.M., LaGarce, R. and Prell, A.E. (1977) ‘Extending the product life cycle’, Business
                                     Horizons, 20 (Jun): 46–56.
                                   Grönroos, C. (1997) ‘From marketing mix to relationship marketing – towards a paradigm
                                     shift in marketing’, Management Decision, 35 (4): 322–39.
                                   Haig, M. (2003) Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All
                                     Time. London: Kogan Page.
                                   Hennig-Thurau, T., Houston, M. and Heitjans, T. (2009) ‘Conceptualizing and measuring the
                                     monetary value of brand extensions: the case of motion pictures’, Journal of Marketing, 73
                                     (6): 167–183.
                                   Holt, D.B. (2004) How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding. Boston:
                                     Harvard Business Review Press.




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