I am always impressed by the passionate users Apple Computers throw up. Whenever I work with a Mac user they are always 100% committed to the operating system and everything Mac – to the extent many of them will use personal machines in the office if they have been forced to sit at a Windows box all day long (amusingly, Tom has to get used to an office-based Windows machine – an entry I read immediately before I opened this Windows alert). It really is interesting because with large number of ambassadors why isn’t Apple the biggest supplier of office-based/home-based computing power?
I’m constantly tempted but never have the nerve to jump into the great lake Mac. I was once a Systems Administrator who suffered trying to network a Mac with a group of PCs and a whole stack of Solaris and Linux systems but I accept that was years ago and probably a result of my own failings rather than anything to do with the machine. What is it that is stopping me? I wish I could put my finger on it.
There aren’t many companies that have this level of loyalty and you rarely read about a Microsoft user that has such passion – although there must be some (Americans put Microsoft at number 5 in the best of brands league). I used to be passionate about my trusty Palm Vx machine but now see it purely as a tool (maybe I’ll get excited again if I ever get the cash together for a Tungsten). Perhaps the toning down of my Palm evangelism is more to do with the fact that the PDA concept is now more widely accepted and I don’t have to convert people the way I used to.
Still, there must be lessons to learn from Apple if you’re in the business of inspiring customer loyalty and building a brand. What they are, I’m not sure, but I wish I could bottle it.