Analyzing Consumer Associations using the Laddering Technique
For the past three decades Apple has been one step ahead in terms of creativity regarding innovation, customer appeasement and marketing. The strategies executed by Steve Jobs, and now Tim Cook, have placed Apple products in many market leader positions. This study will focus on the interviews of three unique individuals conducted using the ‘Laddering Technique’ (see attached appendix) concerning Apple’s iPhone. Upon completion of the interview process an overall brand schema was created combining the three charts to give an overarching understanding of the means-ends chain for the Apple iPhone and its consumers.
Further analysis of the three brand schemas, and a compilation of the common attributes, consequences and personal values, allowed recognition of many commonalities amongst the consumer behavior related to the Apple iPhone. Recognized in all three schemas was the convenience and ease of usability the interviewees associated with the product. The ability to multi-task, familiarity with the operating iOS operating system, and basic functions/features, including navigation, talk and text, were all identified in the various means-ends chain for the product and interviewed consumers. This can be associated with the technology’s market dominance, being a prevailing leader in the smartphone category since its emergence in 2007. To that point, the brand loyalty to the apple iPhone was another significant congruency seen across all three schemas. Lastly, all users utilized the device to stay informed, whether it be for personal, social or professional utility. This desire can be explained by necessity for convenience and networking in our digital age wherein people have a vast (and even global) network, requiring attention at varying times.
In addition to the congruencies seen across the board, the study also examined the differences in terms of consumer sentiment and behavior in regard...