Rumors, gossips, predictions, and more. During the run-up to Apple products release, online media generates a lot of content around features, specifications, and prices of iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV, iPod touch, etc. And nine out of ten times, rumors rule the roost. Media professionals contact analysts and experts to seek comments on future products and readers make a beeline for such contents.
For more than a decade, Apple fans enjoyed consuming rumors and gossips on their favorite products. iPhone, a leading device of Apple family, has garnered much attention as users are keen to know everything about this smartphone. In their own sweet time, Apple users ruminate on the products they might lay their hands on in a couple of weeks. But little do they pay heed to reasons why rumor-mongers create and disseminate gossips.
Apple’s Marketing Strategy: Spread Rumors and Gossips Before Product Launch
Nothing happens without reason. It’s a big business world with commercial interests. So rumors spun around Apple, and its products & services have some motives.
This is the first reason that hit my mind when I was planning to write this piece. From 2016, Apple had mysteriously stopped disclosing information on its marketing spend. It is challenging to guess the figures of marketing budget tech giant allocate.
Vital Design used numbers for 2018 when they published an article on what percent of revenue publicly traded companies spend on marketing and sales. Surprisingly Apple spent only 6.3% of revenue invested in selling, general and administrative.
In the same article, the digital marketing agency shared the figures of marketing expenses of other tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Intel, and Oracle. All these corporations used more than 10% of their revenue on marketing and sales.
The message is loud and clear: Apple uses rumors and gossips as its marketing strategy. The brand understands the consumer psyche; people are more interested in features, design, prices, and other stuff related to Apple. If you ask why they are so much curious to know all things Apple, Horace Dediu, founder of independent research firm Asymco, gives the nearly right answer:
“The stronger, more differentiated the product, the less it needs to be propped up by advertising (referring to Apple’s ad spend).”
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the 1990s, he decided to reject the popular belief and manufacture completely different products. This supplied enough fodder to rumor mills to churn out stories around its products and then services. With the rise of digital media, rumor makers began to show vehemence in their efforts to spread renders and leaks of Apple products.
Since Steve Jobs was a marketing genius, he created the most aspirational brand in the world. It is only human to talk more about something as adorable as iPhone and other products from the same company.
Blogosphere Creates Hype Around Features and Specifications, and Prepare Consumers to Make a Decision
There is always a degree of half-truth related to upcoming Apple products, and this excites users. Since 2011, Apple has enjoyed the status of one of the top ten valuable brands of the world. Rumors and leaks help Apple generate hype before the launch of its products.
On the other side of this hype, bloggers like to discuss features and specifications of Apple products on the blogosphere. This prepares consumers to dream about the features they expect from Apple’s next products.
Warm-Up Consumers for Prices
While Apple aficionados are more interested in features and specifications, those who actually plan to buy devices keep their eyes on prices. However, sources that circulate price rumors are different from those who speak about features and renders.
Financial analysts play a pivotal role here. Based on the technology and previous price tags, they predict the prices of future Apple devices. People do follow popular Apple analysts, although their predictions do not turn accurate at times.
The body of rumors around price definitely warms up consumers for prices of future Apple devices. This generates a strong desire to grab that device first, and probably, people start saving a few bucks to fill the gap between their current budget and rumored prices.
The Business of Accessories
For any Android and Windows user, Apple products are expensive; they leave no stone unturned to criticize Apple’s pricing strategy. But they hardly accept the fact that the best things are always cheapest.
Like Apple’s iPhones and iPads, accessories are also available at premium price tags. Since Apple has no control over the production of accessories, users have to choose accessories after thorough research.
For accessories makers, renders and prototypes of future products provide enough opportunity to manufacture cases, covers, screen protectors, and other essentials. They can envision the dimensions and specifications of products to be released.
Occasionally, famous accessories brands upload renders and leaks of Apple devices. Users, motivated by the contents, pre-order Apple accessories. Moreover, accessory brands ensure they get a loyal consumer base since they were the first to showcase renders and leaks of products.
When Influencers Speak about Rumors and Leaks, It Makes a Difference in the Stock Price of Apple
Influencers are a different community altogether; they enjoy tremendous fan-following on social media. Their views and reviews carry significant weight with users. They are not necessarily a part of rumor mills, but their words published on Facebook and Twitter have an impact.
Since influencers command respect in the eyes of potential buyers, their remarks on products can tip the scales in favor of Apple. The benefit is not just limited to the sales of products. The positive zeitgeist created before product launch can affect stock prices, which can make or break the brand Apple.
The Pressure Created on Competitors to Bring More Advanced Features in their Next Devices
There is ruthless competition among mobile companies as every brand wants to be on the top of consumers’ mind and ahead of the technology curve. Samsung is an arch-rival of Apple, and the former had shamelessly imitated the design of a few Apple products.
When Apple’s competitors come to know about leaks and renders of products, they feel pressure to introduce the same or more advanced features in their next products. However, rumors give ample time to competitors to take ‘inspiration’ from Apple products.
Even as Apple can take a legal route and sue its competitors, imitators would reap benefits from its products by the time judgment is issued in favor of Apple.
That’s all folks!
Hype, rumors, gossips, and predictions are tools Apple could be using to promote its products. These are not the only things that sell Apple devices and services. Antony Leather rightly says, “It’s not just marketing hype that sells Apple products. The fact that they’re often just better or easier to use has huge appeal. The iPhone is probably Apple’s biggest success story, coming from nothing to a massively enviable smartphone market share in just a matter of years.”