Aren’t we over Apple’s apologies?

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Nope, not yet…

I woke up the other morning to an email Apple sent out to its universe of users, gifting MobileMe subscribers with a free 60 days of service to make up for recent outages and poor performance. I quote: “We know that MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.” As they’ve shown time and again, apologies work and Apple’s brand keeps on powering on.

If only I could get my Mr. to own up like that . . .

I’m not a MobileMe subscriber – yet. I’m only a few months into the iPhone. Surprised? Well, this long-time Apple-loving girl knows that you don’t early adopt with Apple products. That is, unless you’re volunteering to pay to be part of Apple’s beta testing.

Afterall, remember the initial launch of the iPhone just about a year ago? It was heralded like the rockstar of of all techie events. But the gushing turned into an angry hiss when not too much later, Apple slashed the iPhone entry price a couple hundred bucks. “Boooooo!” said Apple believers. Apple’s response? Promptly hand out discount coupons to early adopters, issue teary-eyed apologies, and promise a better future. Aaaaah…all was right in the world again.

A little time goes by and then, just last month, Apple repeated this move, launching its newer, cheaper iPhone 3G. And the transition was hardly smooth. But that was nothing compared to what happened when along came MobileMe, (oddly, launched the very same day as the 3G) bringing with it a whole slew of security issues and technical difficulties. . . .

Isn’t it extraordinary that Apple gets away with these snafus one after another and still maintains its standing as a powerhouse brand? How, you ask, do they do it? Elementary branding techniques, my dears. Apple has been the ultimate community builder all along, and now, they have involved their users as an integral part of the beta research. And not only do they respond to what their users tell them, but Apple gives them recognition for their part in moving technology—and their company—forward. Consumers get to be part of a bigger “mission” and they respond by spreading the word.

Essentially, Apple has managed to make their new products more than just a launch—they make it an event. Apple has mastered the experience of . . . the experience. They’ve instilled in us the desire for Apple to succeed so they keep on rolling out products that push the convergence of mobile and web to the next level. We’re just doing our part and we know there’ll be some glitches here and there.

And just like boy and girl or Ellen and Portia – Apple knows that it takes commitment to common goals and the ability to say a heartfelt “I’m sorry” when the time calls for it to build a strong relationship. And a dozen roses or two doesn’t hurt either . . .

Filed: boys, branding, entertainment

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