You are on page 1of 31

It Just Works: Rethinking Apple Brand Fandom

Martin Feld (BCM470, 2013)

My research question: What does it mean to be an Apple brand fan?

My research aim: To rethink and redene what it means to be a brand fan using narrative enquiry.

...or more specically: To move beyond restrictive stereotypes like fanboy and fangirl, appreciating a diverse set of fan behaviours and attitudes, which interact with brand personality marketing.

Thesis Structure

Abstract Introduction: A World Devoted to Brands Case Study Background: The Apple Brand Fandom and Branding: An Integrative Literature Review Collecting Data: Implementing Narrative Enquiry Findings and Discussion Conclusions and Recommendations References

Introduction: A World Devoted to Brands



Brand proliferation and tech simplication Gen Y + brand personality Tech relationships = utilitarian + hedonistic Aca-fan (Jenkins, 1992) Previous studies + structure Cross-disciplinary

Case Study Background: The Apple Brand



Why Apple? Unique brand values Simplicity Integration Open vs. closed iSheep
Apple (2013)

Fandom and Branding: An Integrative Literature Review

Three subsections include:

branding subsection; fandom subsection; and nal cross-disciplinary synthesis.

Key theorists on fan and consumer behaviour

Branding Subsection

What Is Branding? Brand Personality Brand Loyalty, Communities and Consumer Relationships Corporate Social Responsibility

What Is Branding?

Multi-faceted Image-building devices Corporate covenant Competitive advantage Customer value proposition Brand equity Brand knowledge is built on awareness and image.

10

Brand Personality

Aaker, 1997, p. 352

11

Apple Brand Personality

Images: Apple (1999, 2005, 2008)

12

Apple Brand Personality

Apple (2013)

13

Brand Loyalty, Communities and Consumer Relationships



Shifting focus from customer acquisition to customer loyalty and retention (Ahluwahlia & Kaikati, 2010) Integrative approaches to brand loyalty True, latent, spurious and low loyalty Useful theory, but over-categorised

14

Target Groups

Target Subgroups

Experience With Brand

Single-brand Loyals Brand Loyals (BLs) Multi-brand Loyals OUR BRANDS CURRENT CUSTOMERS Favourable Brand Switchers (FBSs) Experimental Favourable Brand Switchers Routinised Favourable Brand Switchers

Favourable Other-brand Switchers Other-brand Switchers (OBSs)

Neutral Other-brand Switchers

Unfavourable Other-brand Switchers

OTHER BRANDS CUSTOMERS, WHO COULD TRY OR RE-TRY OUR BRAND.

Favourable Other-brand Loyals Other-brand Loyals (OBLs) Neutral Other-brand Loyals Unfavourable Other-brand Loyals

Positive New Category Users New Category Users (NCUs) NON-USERS OF THE CATEGORY, WHO COULD TRY OR RE-TRY THE CATEGORY VIA OUR BRAND.

Unaware New Category Users

Negative New Category Users

Rossiter & Bellman, 2005, p. 83


15

Corporate Social Responsibility



Mounting social pressure Societal and corporate benets Cause-related marketing Identity-based perspective Co-created meaning production
Apple (2013)

16

Fandom Subsection

Denitions of Fandom and Academic Representations Popular Culture and Commodities Fan Communities: Identity and Production in Mediated Spaces Fan Collection Behaviour and Aesthetic Value Convergence Cults and Religions/Neo-religions

17

Denitions of Fandom and Academic Representations



Jenkinss (1992) seminal text Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture Marginalised by mainstream media Reinforcing economic, social and cultural hierarchies Hillss (2002) Fan Cultures Decisionist narratives Moral dualisms Discursive mantras

18

Remaining Subsections

Popular Culture and Commodities Fan Communities: Identity and Production in Mediated Spaces Fan Collection Behaviour and Aesthetic Value Convergence Cults and Religions/Neoreligions
Apple (2013)

19

Feedback

20

Collecting Data: Implementing Narrative Enquiry



Qualitative Experiences and stories Three subsections include:

methodological background; sources; and narrative enquiry (explanation).

21

Methodological Background

Narrative enquiry as overall method Qualitative = rich experiences and stories Marketing research is typically quantitative and focuses on statistics and generalisation. Personal, human communication + thematic, textual analysis Singular case study

22

Sources

Semi-structured interviews with seven Gen Y Apple brand fans (UOW students aged 18-24) Accessible and representative of younger consumers Snowball sampling Theoretical/purposive sample Greater depth and personal experience Importance of aca-fan reexivity

23

24

Sources

Five online forums and comment threads as part of a netnographic analysis Supplementary ethnographic study of computermediated communications Popularisation of Web 2.0 Producerly activity (Fiske, 1989) Many benets, but ethical considerations Supported by third source, ve media publications (online and print)

25

Narrative Enquiry

All three source types synthesised Signicance of stories as shared experiences lived and told through research (Savin-Baden & Niekerk, 2007) Good method for the aca-fan Context-dependent, subjective view of experiences Relates to brands sustainable corporate stories (Balmer & Greyser, 2003) Three-dimensional narrative enquiry space (Clandinin & Connelly, 2005)

26

Feedback

27

Findings and Discussion



Findings delivered as narrative Participants experiences compared and contrasted thematically (e.g. shared experiences of collection, integration, simplicity, brand defence)... what denes the brand fan? Three sections, one for each source

P IN

E R G O R

S S

28

Conclusions and Recommendations



Fans are diverse. Marketing practitioners must observe human unpredictability. Large number of respondents does not mean better answers. Similar themes or motivations for fandom, but varied behaviour, level of devotion and objects of fandom Subjective and personal Time to escape decisionist narratives and moral dualisms

E R Other ages, brand fans, geographical areas G O R Limited Honours project P IN

S S

29

Feedback

30

iThank you

31