Thursday, April 06, 2006

Forrester Research: iPod <> Apple, Now I Get Why

Ted Schadler follows up his recent post on consumer brand trust with more insights on Apple's too low to be true numbers at the Devices, Media, And The Future Of Everything blog. He comments on the Apple USA vs Apple UK (Beatle's record label) case and writes that "the worst case for Apple USA is that they would have to take the one bite Apple logo off the iTunes application and site."

Schadler points out that currently "the logo is only barely there, anyway. Yeah, there's a shadowy one-bite Apple logo on iTunes and iPod bootup. But what people remember about the TV ads is iPod+iTunes (okay, and hip, wanna-be street smart youth), not Apple."

Schadler then brings up the recent Forrester brand scorecard report that revealed "the number of people that think they use the "Apple Computer" brand regularly (5.2 million households) can't possibly be right. I think it's because iPod owners don't necessarily know that they are Apple customers."

Schadler believes that:

iPod owners don't necessarily don't know that they are Apple Computer customers because Apple USA had to suppress "Apple" in the iPod+iTunes story so as not to violate a previous agreement with Apple UK not to sell music. In other words, Apple USA couldn't promote the Apple brand heavily in their iPod marketing materials without violating their previous agreement with Apple UK. Ouch. That had to hurt.
Schadler thinks this means the following:
  1. Apple USA did what they had to do to keep the Apple name out of their music business. That's just plain bad luck. After all, nobody thinks "Apple" when they think about the Beatles. They think John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Oh well, such is life.
  2. The good Justice Edward Mann should use his good judgement and let Apple USA use the one-bite Apple in all its offerings. And if he's a music lover, he should also suggest to Apple UK that it's time to get the Beatles repertoire onto iTunes. Apple UK should wake up and realize that keeping the Beatles off of iTunes is to promote file sharing, theft, and zero digital Beatles revenue. Apple UK: Don't let vinyl nostalgia keep you from making money off of digital Yellow Submarine downloads.
  3. Apple USA will have extra work to do to convince mainstream consumers that it's a computer company as well as a music company. But that's nothing $200 million in advertising won't fix.
This is an interesting take on the situation although it's hard for me to fathom that Apple registers so low. Maybe being in the SF Bay Area clouds my view of how mainstream America thinks about Apple and the iPod, but it just seems hard not to associate one without the other. Plus, there are more than 120+ Apple Stores in 30+ states in the U.S. and that's a lot of big logos...