Brand jealousy, Scoble has it bad

Brand jealousy, Scoble has it bad

Summary: The Scobleizer vents his frustration with the Apple Brand Juggernaut in his post today. He seems upset that Mac users are so vehement in defense of Apple products.


The Scobleizer vents his frustration with the Apple Brand Juggernaut in his post today. He seems upset that Mac users are so vehement in defense of Apple products. Well, after years of seeing the Wintel duopoly dominate PC development it's about time a contender is creeping up on it with better products, and yes some brand buzz.

Brand is not completely BS you know. It take more than marketing dollars to build buzz or cool. It takes good products, good product strategy, and satisfied customers.

Scoble makes a few points, somewhat facetiously. I feel compelled to defend one of my favorite brands (no, I don't own Apple stock).

1. If your machine behaves badly it’s your fault. Sorry I don't buy this. Sure I have had trouble with a bad sector on a disk. I had to download a special tool kit to fix it and finally I called Apple and paid $50 for someone to help me. And, hey! it works! The coolest thing about Apple is the help desk at the Apple Store. Just bring your machine in (which is usually pretty easy because it is so compact. I buckled my iMac into the front seat. Passenger airbag off of course.) There are really smart people wandering around the Apple Store. They know the products and want to help; something you don't get a CompUSA, or any other store selling PC's. I love an excuse to go to the Apple Store, it is a brand building experience.

2. Any idiot can use an Apple machine (that’s what they tell you before you buy one) but if your machine crashes then you must be a “genius” to fix it (they have bars at stores now where you can “borrow” a genius, but only after waiting in line — my son twice has been turned away from genius bars because they were too busy and was told to “come back tomorrow at 10 a.m.”). Obviously this is a rant. Scoble is a PC expert. He probably knows parts of the Windows registry by heart. Not me. I find Windows totally confusing. Mac OSX is a breeze compared to Windows.

3. If you dare complain about the brand promise you’ll get pounced on by hoardes of annonymous astroturfing Apple FanBois. And why not? These people love their Macs and hate your Windows. That's what a brand is all about. Let's hear it for the "FanBois".

4. If you don’t get the brand promise of Apple don’t attempt to point out that the ads are ridiculous. Instead, just leave the cult and go back to using that “inferior” machine you used to use. Can I help you "get it"? Good design, robust multi-tasking OS, innovative graphical interface, world class packaging, great support, knowledgeable sales people, believable billionaire leader/founder, and did I mention great packaging?

5. Check out my new Mac, with its cool brushed metal surface and the light-up Apple logo. Niiiice! FTW!

6. If you use an Apple machine you will be as cool as Kevin Rose. Yes, and all the cool security researchers I interact with. And those cool kids I see at Starbucks that flip open their Powerbooks and start working while I calmly drink half my latte waiting for my Lenovo T60 to come out of hibernate mode.

Scoble continues his rant but it is easy to just sum it up as brand jealousy. I suggest he get used to it. It is often said that Apple lost the micro computing battle by refusing to adapt to standards. It is one of the greatest text book cases of how standardization can lead to industry dominance. It is why Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Sony are always engaged in standards battles. Well Jobs took a different route. He went down the brand path, the same path Nike, or BMW, or Kate Spade took. And it is working.

Update Sunday morning. Just to drive home the point about Apple's brand check out the rankings of various brands at BrandChannel. Number 2 world wide after Google.

Update Tuesday, November 20. Check out this explanation for the "Cult of the Mac"

Topics: Apple, Operating Systems

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  • Boy are you going to get it!

    Daring to say anything not hateful about Apple is going to get a big reaction from
    the REAL zealots, the Windows fanboiz who can't stand to see any positive news
    about Apple without going on an Applesux rant.

    There are a few over-the-top wierdos on both sides of the "debate", and if some
    people really like their Macs, what's the big deal? And I really think that guy needs
    to watch less TV if the ads are getting to him so much. He should get out and away
    from all computers for at least a couple of hours a day, get some sun, maybe take
    in a museum or even "gasp" read a good book once in a while.

    • Great advice for any of us

      I am on a Patrick O'Brian kick myself. :-)

  • RE: Brand jealousy

    Wow, a honest and balanced Apple article on ZDNet, I had to read this text twice just
    to be sure I wasn't dreaming ;)

    Somehow I doubt that the majority of bigoted windoze readers here will see it like
    that tho LOL!

    But like the previous talkback stated, boy are you going to get it!
    Trotskiii (uk)
  • RE: Brand jealousy

    Great article. I find it humorous that he talks about an Army of Mac people who will
    call you every name in the book.

    I remember the days when PC users would laugh hysterically because the Mac had a
    trashcan. They'd throw every dumb name in the book at you, and now they're getting
    a little bit of it back... Boo hoo!
  • Try living in the real world

    In the real world, Apple is just a manufacturer of rebadged mp3 players and what ever other technology it can redesign and claim as its own. Yes it manufactures computers, but it's not really in the same league as MS.

    Over 90% of the world use Windows and they're quite prepared to complain about it as they don't have religious and ideological reasons about their OS. Contrast this to the Apple crowd who are prepared to believe outright lies in the Apple advertising and go into ectasy when Steve opens his mouth.

    But all the fanboi faith crumples into ruin with the release of Leopard (apparently a public beta) and the continuing problems with Safari show Apple's rank amateur status.

    So you want to use a custom version of last century's operating system, so you don't want to understand computers and are prepared to pay "geniuses" in an Apple shop to fix them, so you prize "cool" above features and compatibility - fine. Just don't go claiming you have some superior software.

    Apple will learn - it has to. Next time they might try testing it a bit more and recognise that most of their clients use some form of third party software and it's not their fault if Apple ignored it.
  • Things like this just polarizes the user camps.

    Scobles reaction will anger the Mac diehards and the reaction to Scoble will anger Scoble and cause non Mac users to dislike the Mac cult even more. I???ve said it before and I???ll say it again: You can talk about someone???s mother in a negative way and it won???t garner the same kind of response that you???ll get if talk about their OS, browser, game console, HD player, or whatever. Is there something wrong with this picture? Robert Scoble obviously has some frustrations to vent about his Mac experiences, but the reaction to him isn???t warranted.
  • Yes, branding is important.

    Microsoft has spent billions of dollars on its brand, and that's why it competes for the most valuable brand in the world. People will buy Microsoft products because they are Microsoft products.

    Articles for reference:

    Microsoft has been named the most powerful global brand, beating out big non-tech names such as Coca-Cola, GE and Marlboro.

    The software company tops a list of the top 100 most powerful brands carried out by brand consultancy Millward Brown Optimor.

    The goal of the study was to calculate the value a brand is expected to generate for its owner in the future. The top brands were shown to contribute tens of billions to future earnings.,39024653,39157840,00.htm

    April 4, 2006

    Microsoft has been voted number 1 brand by UK consumers for the second year running in an annual survey by Superbrands. Google were third, behind Coca-Cola.

    Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of Superbrands Council UK, said:

    The UK public clearly love Microsoft which performs strongly among all consumer groups, although relative newcomer Google is becoming a major challenger for that elusive number one slot.

    July 12, 2007

    Google has knocked Microsoft off the top spot and been named the most powerful global brand of 2007 in a recently published ranking.

    It's the second year in a row a tech brand has beaten household names such as Coca-Cola, Marlboro and Toyota.

    In the ranking, which factored in financial performance and consumer sentiment, Google ranked first with a brand value of more than $66 billion, nearly double its value in the 2006 ranking, according to market researcher Millward Brown Optimor.
    Other technology companies featuring in the top 100 list include Nokia (12th), Hewlett-Packard (15th) and Apple (16th).

    April 23, 2007
    Anton Philidor