Loyalty Part 2

Last time I wrote about my customers, employees and investors who have stayed loyal, have stuck it out with me, and how much I appreciate that. (If you missed it and you are one of the unnamed many, thanks!)

As I have watched these names move from device to device, it makes me wonder which device makers are really creating brand loyalty. Clearly Apple is the king, as the tongue-wagging fanboys get overly excited about every device they bring out. (Frankly, usually for very good reason as they make some amazing devices.) RIM is another one, although their loyalty is more of the cool, upper management variety than the technology geeks of the world. It’s the “look, I can send emails rapid fire while the rest of you slobs are wasting time waiting for the train” variety.

This is where Palm and Microsoft are struggling. It seems that people can’t wait to get away from Windows Mobile, that it’s a compromise when they can’t get something else. The loyalty doesn’t seem to be there.

Palm is a different case. They once had it. The loyalty of their customers was of the Franklin-Covey, life organizer variety. The “you can pry this device from my cold, dead hands” variety. Somewhere along the line that disappeared. Now all those customer names are appearing on lists waiting for iPhone or BlackBerry Storm versions of our software. Maybe they got tired of waiting; maybe they got tired of the horrible support and square pegs in round hole products.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe these folks have been waiting for a new Palm — that promised device from those vaunted luminaries of mobile tech. And maybe they will be rewarded. When Apple almost died, they had also almost lost their loyalty base. That group has come back en masse over the past decade and, at the same time, Apple has added a whole new generation.

Can Palm pull it off, too? We’ll see.

2 thoughts on “Loyalty Part 2

  1. I think you are right on the mark about loyalty and ease of use. Microsoft does not GET IT; therefore, neither do the computer manufacturers who use their software. The disconnect not our fault customer service approach is not what people want to hear anymore.
    Loyalty to Blackberry among the traveling business people is quite high. The question will be when Apple and AT&T’s contract runs out will iPhone become available to Verizon? If so, then there will be a lot of phones, including Blackberry, that will be traded in on iPhones. I am one of them. The only reason I have a Blackberry now is because of the level of service I need and Blackberry can deliver it. If the iPhone were available to Verizon customers I would have moved to it in a heartbeat.
    APPLE understands that service and helping the customer understand and use the product is essential. Until, the equipment only manufacturers OR the software manufacturers find a way to give the level of service that Apple gives they will struggle to have loyal customers.
    I recently converted from PC to MacBook Pro (4 months) and will never go back. I will help others make the same realization. The economy may be having its problems but go to you local Apple store and look how crowded it is. It is absolutely amazing! Apple is king of the hill! They may have low market share but it is increasing and their customers are LOYAL. Find happy customers with Microsoft, Dell, hp, Sony, Toshiba, Norton, McAfee, etc.
    Elia, you will be rewarded for your customer service approach and desire to do the right thing for the right reasons. Keep up the good work.

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