The iPod User Experience Really Does Drive Mac Sales

10 Apr 2007|Leigh Marinner

Mac sales have picked up since the success of the iPod. But a closer look at the data is interesting. Mac market share fell about 0.2% per year from 1998 to 2003 in the US. The iPod was launched in 2001, but didn’t really take off until 2004. From 2003 to 2006 Mac has gained 0.4% market share each year.

Since the iPod launch, the incremental Mac sales over the 2001 baseline rate have consistently been about 10% of iPod sales. In other words, about 10% of iPod owners who were exposed to the iPod/iTunes user experience liked it enough to transfer that desire for a similar experience into a Mac purchase. Macs still have less than a 5% US market share, but the trend line is climbing a mountain. And with the new Macs that run Vista, a lot of people who bought Windows-based PCs because of work may make a different tradeoff in the future.

Here at Cheskin we know that designing a meaningful customer experience that connects with consumers in an authentic, transparent way generates passionate loyalty. A great experience creates value. And Apple is showing how that value can spread beyond the initial experience into other products associated with the brand.

Although consumers aren’t as brand-loyal as they used to be, since there are so many consumer-to-consumer sources of information on the web, a great experience will lead consumers to at least investigate other products from the same brand or company. In this era of declining efficiency of marketing expenditures, creating a meaningful customer experience has a big payoff.

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