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"