brand loyalty, customer experience, demand, exclusive product

It’s About the Merchandise, Stupid.

Like the proverbial exploding cuckoo clock sending springs and gears across the room, my original AppleWatch came off my wrist undone/sprung last week.   Horrors.  A major dependency in pieces!  Of course I was out of town.  Nothing to do but to hope it charged and strap it on as best as possible in the morning.  Of course I researched the problem.  Yes, it was a known issue.  No problem then.  A simple trip to my local Apple Store would provide the solution.  Meanwhile, I could still see the time, but no alerts or activity tracking.  It did provide a pathetic haptic tapping while using apple maps, but no visual sooo not so successful.

Made it home with a plan to head to a store mid week to avoid a long wait at the genius bar.  That part worked as expected. I was told I would be notified when someone would be available for me.  Hmmm.  That meant I actually had to keep an eye on my phone for a text because my kerflewy watch couldn’t do that anymore.  Reinforcement that it had to be fixed!   But then the genius sat me down and told me that my watch was old and past the point of free repair for the known issue.  If I wanted to send it out for repair at $249, it might work better but there was no guarantee of success.  The recommendation was that I purchase the newest version.  Now, I am a merchant by choice and by profession, so I knew there had to be a negotiation point in there somewhere…some kind of discount as I would not be in the market for a new watch if the old one hadn’t physically failed.  Summon the manager.  Who calmly sat down and reinforced the message of the genius.  The technology on the watch was dated and they were no longer supporting it.  My choice was repair or new, no trade in value of any sort.  😦  Guess who walked out with a new watch in hand.

That is the power of the merchandise.  The brand.  Being hopelessly addicted to Apple’s value proposition since the early 80s, I was unwilling to take a chance on a less costly brand’s replacement.  I knew no amount of waiting would change the price…I would only suffer from the disconnection.  The secret.  Provide the best product for your customer base.  Invest in constant improvements. Don’t yank prices around. And be consistent.  You will always win.