Apple and its Touchpoints
Sindhura Chaluvadi (J02062518)
1. Choose any brand and identify all potential customer "touch-points" (accounts receivable, customer service, retail stores, social media, etc.). List as many as possible. Why is it important to manage each touch-point for brand image (brand reactions) purposes? Give an example of how your brand was helped and hurt via these touch-points.
Customer touchpoints are all the different ways consumers experience a product or service, from when they first become aware of it, until they dispose of it. I have personally never seen a brand master as many customer touchpoints as well as Apple does. I’m convinced the primary reason most companies fail to do so is that management does not go through the exercise of experiencing their own brands like their customers do. I always advocate that every product or service create a customer touchpoint map to chart the journey consumers take when engaging with their brand.
People often become loyal to products and services for reasons beyond the primary features and attributes all competitors offer. Touchpoints that ADDRESS important but overlooked aspects consumers also care about can be importantly differentiating. Mastering touchpoints is also more likely to result in customers trading up to larger amounts per purchase occasion and additional purchases. Every touchpoint plays a role in reinforcing the brand’s positioning and overall perception. Important touchpoints that are majorly mishandled can send customers fleeing and result in damaging, unfavorable word of mouth.
1) A Clean, Easy to Navigate Website: The website is clean, crisply designed, easy to navigate, and easy to find and learn about new offerings, set up appointments, and locate stores.
2) Packaging: The packaging radiates quality and design. It can also be clever, as with the plastic shopping bags with cords that can be used as a backpack. The original iPod package captured the wonderful colorful, animated visual and feel of the TV ads.
3) Demo Units in Store: The many demo units in each store make it extremely easy to try/sample the devices. I’ve always felt that if a product is truly superior, sampling is the single most effective marketing tactic. Employees at each store whose job it is to explain the products, support the sampling strategy.
4) The Number of Employees, Attitudes and Training of Employees in Stores: Apple doesn’t skimp on employees in their stores. There are plenty there to insure customers don’t have long waits to get information. The criteria for hiring and the training methods are unusual because Apple employees are collectively cooler, hipper, smarter, more patient, collaborative and more problem/solution oriented than I’ve seen in any other retail establishment. 5) The Cleanliness of the Stores, No Clutter, and Consistency of Design: The consistent cleanliness of the stores, the cheerful lighting, and uniform building materials and design, all contribute a familiar and positive vibe. Because the mandate is to make the stores clutter free, bags and receipt printers are placed