Brands are all about trust. How we view a product often is based upon the brand. Manufacturers spend an enormous amount of time, effort, and money to create a brand that brings value and trust to the customer base.
Apple’s brand is about trust. iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch, and the entire ecosystem is about a trust brand. Customers appreciate how Apple’s products work well together and provide lasting value. In all product categories, Apple avoids competition at the mid-range and low end of the market so as not to dilute the brand. Apple’s products are easily differentiated from competition and that breeds trust and enhances the brand.
What about Apple’s competitors?
Some brands, like Google and Amazon and Samsung and Coca-Cola and others are as well known as the Apple brand, but are they as trustworthy?
I submit that we cannot trust technology companies because of two inherent issues. First, we live in a capitalist world, so every company is out to get your money. Two, regardless of how good any manufacturer is, sooner or later the customer base will be disappointed.
A few years ago Google, an advertising company posing as a technology maker, decided it needed to compete with Facebook. I don’t know what it is about companies that feel they must compete in areas beyond their expertise, but that seems common. Google launched Google Plus (I use Plus instead of + because + is stupid).
This week Google shut down Google Plus because of a security breach that affect about half a million users. That may be all of them or 10-percent. Who knows? Google Plus was so successful that Google decided not to tell anyone how successful it was. Oh, and they decided not to tell anyone about the security breach, either. Why not? It wasn’t required to under law.
Remember, Google is the same company that had the Do No Evil promise because it wanted to make the world a better place. Just how bad was Google Plus? Google’s Ben Smith:
While our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps. The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.
Uh oh. A digital ghost town posing as a social network. Google Plus failed. Ipso facto an alakazam. Google cannot be trusted. Why not?
Look at the business model. Google’s business is advertising, and to gain an advantage over other online advertisers, Google culls personal and private information from users. You get free software to use– Android OS, Maps, Gmail, Google Search, Chrome, and many others– and Google gets to pull private information from you and use it to sell more advertising.
How is Amazon any different? Amazon is a big online store. A retailer. To get big and stay big, Amazon grabs private information from customers and online travelers and uses it to sell more products. What about Facebook? It’s an advertising company that gives away access to a free and mostly ubiquitous social media networks in exchange for personal information that is then used to sell advertisements.
How can such entities be trusted? They cannot and should not.
That said, trust is a relative proposition. I trust that Toyota makes good quality automobiles. I trust Tesla’s electric cars will outperform anything Toyota sells. That’s relative trust. So it is with Apple. Fortunately, Apple makes money the old fashioned way. It sells products. If the products do not compete well, customers will vote with their feet. Or credit card. And go elsewhere.
In the end, few technology companies are worth our trust, and certainly not the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook, et al. If it were not for my fear of electronic gadgets bursting into flames, I would trust Samsung more than Google.