Right, we want to set up a brand, and we want to inspire such blind loyalty to it that people will queue up for every new product launch, they'll entertain openly being verbally abused by passers by, and they'll wait there for 5 hours, for no perceived advantage other than the experience of buying it from one of our stores (even though they could stroll into John Lewis or Argos and pick one up).
So, how do you do this? I'm not exactly sure, but last week I experienced it first-hand and although I felt partly ashamed at the beginning, by the end I was fully onboard with the whole experience. Eventually the whole drama of the precision orchestrated occasion actually had me pitying a passing couple who'd just bought their iPad straight off the counter in John Lewis, 'idiots'. In retrospect I have no idea how I could have been this brainwashed. It's frankly embarrassing.
The queue itself was fascinating, lots of snorted laughs, iPhones, and alive with ideas about how to reduce a queue everybody seemed to be enjoying. What nobody seemed to consider was, Apple had us just where they wanted us, a living, breathing, snorting, Tweeting advert for the iPad.
While everyone in the queue was busy Tweeting and FBing their queue stories they're generating content for Apple. People walking past the queue filming 'the nerds' on their phones are all generating content for Apple. People asking what the queue was for, was another great message for Apple, they all found out. All of this precisely orchestrated, and importantly free, exposure creates a buzz around the launch that, you could pay for, but when you're Apple you don't have too.
Now, I'm not a maniac, I'm not blindly loyal to Apple, and I'll gladly switch to another brand, the day someone else starts making products that fit into my life better, and work in a simple way, that works for me, but at the moment there's nothing close, and those excited people in that queue were testament to that. The 3DS was launched that day as well, I could see Game from my plot in the queue, and you wouldn't have know it.
So how do you build a brand that inspires such great loyalty? It's easy, you brainwash millions of people by slipping drugs into the free coffee and muffins you give them as they queue up for your new products. Easy.
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