There’s Nothing Fruity Here
Regardless of your personal taste for Apple, the Cupertino-based tech giant, the statistics don’t lie: This company is hot, innovation or not. Apple has become a household name through the proliferation of their devices, ranging from desktop iMac computers to productivity-geared iPads to the ubiquitous iPhone. While not everyone has taken a bite of their wares, nearly all have smelled the alluring scent that comes along with the Apple brand.
Since the death of Apple’s founder Steve Jobs in October 2011, the company has been far less surefooted than before, dealing with software fiascos such as the initial release of Apple Maps to increased competition from companies like Samsung and Google. But many would say that Apple’s current CEO Tim Cook has finally come into his own, propelling Apple forward, if not in actual technology then at least in product desirability and overall sales.
But it would appear that once again, Apple is branching out. The Apple Watch is set to debut this April, and while the market for wearable tech is hardly new, it is still quite green in the leaf. Many experts say that despite setbacks, the Apple Watch will be a success. But how will Apple choose to market their product, and to whom will they market it?
For this blog, I’ll be creating a mock social media campaign on Twitter for the soon-to-be-here Apple Watch. It will by no means be exhaustive, but I’ll put my own innovation to the test to see what ideas bud in the world of social media and technology.
Apple of the Consumer’s Eye
Who buys from Apple? All sorts of people! But that earth-shattering generalization does nothing for our Twitter campaign. We need cold, hard demographic and psychographic facts about Apple’s target market.
Brandon Gaille, “The Business Internet Marketing Expert.” published an article on his site detailing the demographics that Apple aims it bow at when preparing to let loose another rendition of the iPhone. He writes:
Many businesses use Apple products because they have a higher quality that makes them incredibly useful and reliable . . . Parents are another target demographic because the iPhone can be used as an educational tool thanks to apps that teach phonics, reading, and math . . . People aged 25-34 are the most likely to own an iPhone, followed by the 18-24 age group. Interestingly enough, the 18-24 group is more likely to own an Android and the 25-34 group is second in this demographic . . . The older someone is, the more likely they are to own an iPhone over an Android if they choose to own a smartphone.
Based off of this twig of information, it would appear that in general, Apple customers seek higher quality products, are more likely to own Apple products the older they are, and are often 25-34 years old, or right around the age of having children.
While I do want to address this audience with our campaign, my target market is different, perhaps somewhat ambitious: I want to try to appeal to individuals 18-24. Why?, you ask with a certain degree of skepticism in your voice. Well, I answer, I want to try to appeal to this audience so that even if they are not the largest purchaser of the Apple Watch, they can help establish it as a product that is part of a lifestyle rooted in youth and culture, a lifestyle that will cause them to feel connected to the Apple Watch and its role in their day-to-day lives.
Apple Pie in the Sky
I know that this is a lofty goal, but Apple has had a way of subverting consumer expectations in the past, so why not continue now? Let’s clarify my vision for this campaign, though. Apple serves its customers well, and therefore has a large base of loyal fans and those in its target demographic who will readily purchase its products. I want to try to create a new essence for Apple, though. Apple already has the cool, quality vibe down pat, but they are lacking in the “I need this product” department for most of their younger consumers.
This campaign will use the Apple Watch to create an identity for the young adult, an identity inseparable from an Apple Watch and an Apple lifestyle. This campaign is about planting ideological seeds and watching them grow.
The Fresh Campaign
The Twitter campaign itself will focus on integrating the real-time nature of Twitter with the idea of the Apple Watch and time itself. The campaign will seek to show consumers how the Apple Watch is not only useful, but also practical and desirable in any and every part of their days.
The tweets for this campaign will be from the perspective of the Apple Watch itself, or rather @AppleWatch. The watch would discuss its daily routines and notes of interest relating to its use by its owner, @Jamie, infusing pertinent product info and periodically including a call to action. Several example tweets for this idea are:
- A good morning can make the whole day! Helped @Jamie wake up feeling fully rested [Link to sleep tracker in Apple Watch] #BreakfastTime #AppleTime
- @Jamie couldn’t decide on a scarf or not, so I helped out with some suggestions from the Weather Channel [Link to Weather Channel app] #ScarfSeason #AppleTime
- Why are knuckles so bony? They look like little mountaintops [Picture of knuckles photoshopped to look like mountain scenery] #AppleTime
- @Jamie doesn’t always notice when the iPhone goes off, so I’ve dedicated myself to making sure that no message gets past me! [Picture of important message to Jamie] #GotYourBack #AppleTime
Apple would also make an account for @Jamie, a gender-neutral Apple Watch wearer, who would respond to and interact with the tweets from the Apple Watch. An example response to the first post would be:
- Just made eggs, bacon and toast with @AppleWatch! [Picture of breakfast and hand with Apple Watch] #GoodMorning #AppleTime
@Jamie would continue to interact with the @AppleWatch throughout the course of the campaign and eventually, other characters could be added to the mix, bringing more humor and a more robust story to the Twitter campaign.
Creative vines would also be used alongside of the tweets, integrating videos from @AppleWatch’s perspective as well as @Jamie’s perspective throughout their days. These videos could also play off of each other, as well as demonstrate key features of the Apple Watch that would make it desirable for consumers.
To create this campaign, of course, would take resources. A small number of employees could upkeep the accounts for @AppleWatch and @Jamie, but Apple would need more employees to create the vines in interesting and professional ways. Proper equipment would also be needed, and of course, money would have to be involved to create the vines, any graphics, take photos, and brainstorm new ideas for the Apple Watch. The cost of this campaign would not be great, but it would need to be organized and properly staffed in order to be effective and engaging.
Crab Apple or Sweet Victory?
Now that we have a campaign, we have to be able to see if it is effective. Apple currently has no main Twitter account as well as no Twitter accounts like the @AppleWatch and @Jamie accounts. Therefore, it may be difficult to declare a starting point for measuring any metrics for this campaign against prior Apple social media campaigns.
In order to get a better view of our success, though, we will compare our audience’s engagement and our growth of followers with some of our biggest competitors, such as Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and others. Benchmarks of the industry in general could also be good to use, but as this campaign is rather unique, they may only be cursory in their ability to evaluate its success.
We will measure the results of the campaign through the number of favorites, replies, and retweets that the accounts receive, as well as monitor other social media platforms for commotion over the @AppleWatch and @Jamie accounts. We will also use trackable links to see how many individuals are visiting the sites in our tweets. As the campaign progresses, we will continue to refine these metrics and adjust them accordingly.
Do I think that this campaign will be a success? I do. I am not sure if it would drive large increases in the number of Apple Watches sold, but if done right, it could be a good way to connect with the 18-24 demographic and get them thinking about the impact that wearable tech from Apple can have on their lives.
That is what Apple has been good at doing: Impacting the public’s perception of what is essential to their lives. And I think that with the right campaign, a campaign that meets the consumers where they are, that this could continue to happen. But we’ll see how far the apple falls from the tree.