How do most people make their decisions on purchasing a particular item? Their personal preference on whether a product is appealing to them or not. The effect of the product's appeal on our decision of purchasing is undeniable. The mentality that companies try to instill in the consumer's mind about their brand also contributes to their personal preference towards a product. Companies constantly come up with new strategies to target their main group of consumers, to fill in the gap of needs, based on age, sex, income, etc. Consumers usually become loyal to a specific brand name after years of using products. Hence, consumer loyalty is the top concern for high-profited companies, as well as for young, emerging companies. How to get the consumers to keep going back for more is the big question for them to solve. Bloemer and Kasper stated in the article "The complex relationship between consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty" from the Journal of Economic Psychology "... repeat purchasing behavior is the actual rebuying of a brand. Only the behavior of rebuying is important, regardless of the consumer's degree of commitment to the brand. However, brand loyalty not only concerns the behavior of rebuying, but also takes into account that actual behavior's antecedents." Companies always try to "walk in the consumers' shoes" to see how they feel toward a product and what concerns them the most when they make their purchase. It's in the hands of the consumers that help companies keep up their profits and revenues. Hence, companies must find what appeals to a certain group of people, based on various categories, and from there, develop their marketing plans and production line based on the statistic and preference of a specific group of consumers.
Satisfaction is always the cause that drives consumers back to buy more. In consumerism, MORE IS GOOD for both sides, more revenues for the companies, and more usage/satisfaction for the consumers. Appeal alone only wins a product the entrance pass, for it to meet the consumers' expectation, the product must offer the consumer a sense of quality, reliably and desire for more. Bloemer and Kasper again said in their article, "Manifest satisfaction is directly and unequivocally related to true brand loyalty because manifest satisfaction means the explicit evaluation of the brand which (in the case of a positive evaluation) leads to commitment to the brand. As stated, commitment to the brand is a necessary condition for true brand loyalty. So, manifest satisfaction will be positively related to true brand loyalty." It is so true that appeal and satisfaction will guarantee the company a higher chance to survive in the harsh competitive market.
In our design world, Apple did a phenomenal job in marketing their products. They have both strong appeal and trustworthy quality, which are the key to their drastic break through in the past decade. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apples once claimed, "We're the last company left that can bet the company on a new idea." (Jackson, 1988, Times) Jobs quickly realized the fastest-growing segment of the market, buyers looking for a cheap machine for the home, was still open and had no rivalry. Thus, "Jobs halted production and cut the line to just two categories: consumer and professional. Then he ordered his technicians to come up with one desktop and one portable computer for each." (Jackson, 1988, Times). Jobs saw an opportunity in making Apple a household brand in America by putting the appeal factor in the design of MAC products and also in what the company stands for. since then, Apple has created a craze in the design world and a revolution in technology. Many buy Apple products because of its appeal, as well as of the quality and easy-to-use system. Apple really knows what their customers need and try to fill it as much as they possible can. And that's also how they make us never feel ever so satisfied, KEEP COMING UP WITH NEW STUFF. "Apple desperately needs a new model that will retain the company's loyal users in the education market as well as appeal to all those first-time buyers looking for an easy way to get on the Internet." (Jackson, 1988, Times). Slim, sleek, multifunctional and easy-to-access Internet are Apple's leading products. It's irresistible not to want, say, an iMac, a Macbook, or an iPhone, when you pass by an Apple store. They just look so much fun to play with and so appealing to the eyes. BIG SIGH.
1) Bloemer, José. Kasper, Hans. (1995). The complex relationship between consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Journal of Economic Psychology 16.
2) Jackson, David. (1998). Apple's New Crop. Times, NY.