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Looking at the Consumer Experience

As Apple recently learned, consumer experience plays an important role in defining a brand's image.

As many of you are aware, the recent release of the iPhone 4G has caused quite a disruption in the cosmos of the interweb. In response to its problematic tendency to lose service when it is held in a specific fashion Steve Jobs reportedly replied “Stop holding it like that”. It was an interesting response from a brand whose image has been built off of being user-friendly and totally empowering for the individual. Unsurprisingly Apple’s response was taken less than favorably – consumers who have been virtually primed that it’s their way or no way don’t like being told what to do…go figure.

It’s all about the consumer experience, and the meaning that people associate with a specific product. For Apple customers the meaning comes from being able to have the power to do what you want, right there, right now, and even the smallest deviation from that message elicits a strong emotional backlash. Greg Stucky, CRO InsightsNow, a CPG Research Company was interviewed recently on the subject of consumer experience outlines and is very worthwhile checking out.

As Stucky says, “The meaning that you put on that experience becomes a really critical piece to understand as you are developing a new product to go onto the market…and how do I develop a product that actually has meaning” Apple could take a hint from this as they work to realign their brand image with the consumer experience. And while the brand will no doubt recover quickly from this hiccup in character, Apple should think twice before releasing a product that forces people to change the way they live in order for their product to function – they should keep in close mind the consumer experience.

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