Who is an Apple consumer and what defines them? A qualitative study.
Previous literature identifies Apples segmentation strategy as a focus upon their consumers’ wealth; however, this current marketing strategy is not reflected within Apple’s contemporaneous sales data. Understanding the behaviour of an Apple consumer will ensure the future success of the Apple brand. This study considers brand loyalty in Apple consumers using semi-structured interviews to identify behavioural themes. This could help to define an Apple consumer in a more direct manner and improve Apples targeting strategies. The results of this study showed that defining a consumer is complex and their purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by personal motivations. Six potential themes emerged from the data, many of which were influenced by emotional factors. Not only where they Influenced by emotion, behaviours and characteristics of an Apple consumer where identified. Apple consumers may have a desire to fit in, within the context of a social setting. Consumers described Apple as being more than just a brand, suggesting this comparison is synonymous with their social lifestyle and a need to be part of a group as a described within social identity theory. The wide range of consumer spending that Apple’s sales data indicated can be explained by youth entitlement. The data identified young consumers (under 25’s) buy premium products without regards for their financial position, therefore sales distribution disparity is explained as a high number of Apple sales are made of young consumers. These data also demonstrate aspects of consumers’ lifestyles that push them to buy Apple products due to their suitability, which is reinforced though critical theory of technology. This effect is not apparent when consumer wealth is the sole focus, as Apple currently do. Future research should focus on the wider context of consumer purchasing decisions, such other factors influencing purchasing behaviours and consumers that buy from other brands.