Yesterday, we talked about how Apple's PR efforts almost always create consumer excitement, while Microsoft - despite it size and heft - almost always fails to generate any positive buzz for its products.
It simply comes down to product quality, for the most part, coupled with the consumer's experience over time. Windows operating systems haven't just been repositioned by Apple as lame, unreliable, or problematic. We've all had numerous real life episodes over time with Windows to know that things often go wrong, and sometimes with dire consequences. That leads to natural skepticism about the quality of the product.
Using Apple computers, on the other hand, has always been an easier ride. Macs start up fast, rarely crash, and even shut down with speed and accuracy.
Isn't that essentially what gutted the American automobile industry? Yes, you can blame union greed, management arrogance, poor marketing, and a myopic view. But you cannot erase countless negative experiences that consumers had with K-Cars, Oldsmobiles, and Granadas.
But our perceptions of products can also be solidified by great marketing. And that's why the PC/Mac commercials did so well. By reinforcing our already existing beliefs of Microsoft and Apple products, these highly successful spots essentially gut new product launches by Mr. Gates' highly successful company.
That's the power of branding. And in today's world, it is amazing how many marketers have put it aside in deference to the supposed ROI of clicks. That's a serious marketing mistake, as evidenced by technology companies like Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, and others, still relying heavily on traditional advertising to win points and build brands.
It works in radio, too. I was recently talking with Arbitron's Gary Marince about what drives PPM ratings. Yes, execution, brevity, stopset placement, and playing the right songs and talking hot topics are all key components in preventing "meter migration."
But as Gary pointed out, brand matters a great deal. When consumers learn that your station is the place for Country. When their perception of your station is that it's a leader. When listeners know how to use your station. That's all about branding, and it is a major component in generating listening duration, regularity, and increased occasions.
Let's talk tomorrow.