I recently read an AdAge article entitled, What Apple Can Teach You About PR. It talks about Apple’s “different” take on company communications and how in spite of that they are able to come off of any negative press, such as the firestorm surrounding collecting users’ location data, virtually unscathed. In fact, regardless of the headlines their brand seems virtually impervious. For a funny take on just how powerful the Apple brand is, check out this YouTube video (warning: the language is a bit racy).
So how do they do it? Unbelievable cutting-edge technology and products, right? Well, this article brought something else to light that perhaps plays an even a bigger role in how we perceive Apple – their customer service. I don’t think that many of us associate Apple as being a Zappos-like model for service, but if you’ve ever spent any significant time in an Apple Store then you’ve surely noticed that the employees are welcoming, knowledgeable, proud, considerate and extremely helpful.
How in the world does this relate to market research you ask? Well it seems as if these days everyone in our industry is focused on creating new technologies that will surely define the next generation of market research (guilty as charged). While this is all well and good, what tends to get lost in this giant tech race are the people, the service and the customer experience.
I’m all for innovation, and I think some of the technology to come into the market research world lately is both sexy and valuable. However, at the end of the day I believe our clients still want the personal touch, the consultation and the experience that only great people can bring. Apple, the mother of everything cool and techy, gets this, and it’s something that we market research firms shouldn’t forget as we charge forward to create the latest app or widget or platform.
What do you think? Is this tremendous focus on technology eclipsing our people?