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Description and Reason
The product purchased was an iPhone 8 created and distributed by Apple Inc. It is part of the company’s popular line-up of smartphone devices. The smartphone is a highly technological product, maintaining many functions and features. Beyond its basic phone calling and text messaging capabilities, it has access to the Internet, various mobile applications, and an integrated camera. The device has premium quality, in its build, ergonomics, modern internal components, and a software ecosystem that has been developed with a primary aim of consumer satisfaction (Victor).
The primary reason that I have purchased this product is that I required an upgrade from my previously outdated and partially damaged phone. The selected device had the necessary features that I require from a smartphone for daily use. Several aspects influenced this purchase, including the fact that I had previously used Apple products and had been satisfied with the quality. Furthermore, many of my family and friends who have upgraded to this smartphone in recent months have demonstrated significant comfort and delight with the product.
Finally, general reviews for this specific iPhone were favorable, praising its speed and quality. In combination, these factors led me to consider the purchase from the perspective cost-to-value ratio, quality, and ability to remain within the same technological ecosystem as my friends and family which allows for more connectivity options (i.e., Facetime video calls).
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory which seeks to describe the psychology behind human motivation, and in turn, behavior (McLeod). Purchasing an iPhone can be arguably fulfilling several needs in the hierarchy. Safety needs are met since the iPhone can be used directly as an efficient method of communication to call emergency services. Modern devices also protect the health, by monitoring heart rate and tracking other indicators. Finally, the device is useful in protecting a vital concept in modern life, privacy, and information, with iPhones maintaining top of the line cybersecurity.
The most important aspects that the iPhone fulfills are psychological needs. Belonging is greatly promoted by establishing a sense of connection through the provision of various methods of communication with friends and family, contributing greatly to forming relationships in the long term. Furthermore, being within the same Apple, one can interact socially through programs and games. Having an iPhone creates a significant feeling of love and belonging, at least, an illusion of it. The device also contributes to esteem needs, as a new iPhone purchase commonly draws attention and potentially fascination with others. The high price point of the phone establishes a luxury status as well, boosting social respect and confidence.
Brand personality is defined as the “set of human characteristics associated with a brand” (Aaker 347). It is inherently a symbol that personifies a product into trends and attributes which define its user. Apple had cultivated its brand over decades, causing it to lead the list of most valuable brands according to Forbes magazine for eight continuous years (Badenhausen). Its branding strategy is focused on emotions and lifestyle.
It attempts to remove complexity from seemingly highly technological devices and the market as a consumer-driven design. The brand appeals to practically every user of technology, ranging from creative to social psychological profiles. Apple seeks to establish a heartfelt emotional connection in its brand, emphasizing that it is more than a technology company, but an enterprise to change the world for the better (Vilner).
By purchasing Apple products, one becomes part of the large, interconnected ecosystem. It has created an ecosystem and microcosm of its own, regarding both hardware and software. Despite its widespread popularity, there are relatively few third-party additions, customizations, or iPhone compatible products in comparison to other smartphone manufacturers. Once a user begins using Apple devices, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop, since data transfer and compatibility with other systems is extremely limited. This provides Apple with significant power over control of its prices and features (Moorman).
Overall, the brand personality and marketing strategy of Apple is considered nearly perfect by most experts in the marketing industry. It has become a definition of inclusivity, coolness, and innovation, as well as luxury for its high-end smartphone devices.
The first step in problem recognition occurred when my previous mobile phone began to malfunction. It would interfere with my ability to communicate with others as well as having various negative characteristics such as the battery losing charge after a few hours of usage. I realized that the problem must be resolved through the purchase of a new smartphone device. The information search stage occurred through both, online research of modern smartphones at the price range I could afford and features that I needed.
Like most people in society, I was aware of the most recent iPhone releases and what they encompassed, due to the heavy marketing and social word-of-mouth advertising that Apple excels at. Furthermore, I asked for the honest opinion of those people that already owned the device for some time and could offer insight into its positive and negative aspects. Evaluation of alternatives was done by comparing smartphones from different manufacturers online. I used a popular feature on many websites that allows comparing phone characteristics side-by-side. Also, I went to a mobile phone store to visually compare my options.
The purchase decision was evaluated based on the available information and opinions that I formed during my research. I sought to select a smartphone with the best quality, but also high cost-to-value indicators. Once I had the necessary financial capability to make the purchase, I went to the store and made sure to examine the phone on display a final time before confirming the acquisition. My post purchasing behavior consisted of setting up and using the device to familiarize myself and evaluate technical issues. I sought to share my purchase with my social circle as well. Overall, I realize that I bought an iPhone due to the heavy influence of Apple’s marketing and ecosystem, but I remain fully satisfied with the devices.
Aaker, Jennifer L. “Dimensions of Brand Personality.” Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 34, no. 3, 1997, pp. 347-356.
Badenhausen, Kurt. “The World’s Most Valuable Brands 2018.” Forbes. 2018. Web.
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McLeod, Saul. “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” SimplyPsychology. 2018. Web.
Moorman, Christine. “Why Apple Is Still A Great Marketer and What You Can Learn.” Forbes. 2018. Web.
Victor, Daniel. “The iPhone 8 Reviews: What the Critics Say.” The New York Times. 2017. Web.
Vilner, Yoav. “Apple and Branding – What Can We Learn?” Virgin. 2017. Web.