Saturday, December 3, 2011

Black Friday Rush

I've always wondered what it was like, being a member of the crowds during black friday. Up until this season, I had worked retail for the past 6 years of my life, and was used to seeing the madness from the inside. Watching the customers come in and out, by what seemed to be the thousands, loading up their carts, their bags, and anything they could fit in their arms. I would greet them politely and invite them to take a look at the "big sale." But never had I been one of the lunatics running around like a chicken with my head cut off. This was the year! I finally didn't have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and haul myself into work jacked up on mountain dew, coffee, and a fake sense of sensibility. This year I was going to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and haul myself into every store I could jacked up on mountain dew, coffee, and a real sense of excitement.
As I watched the news, I watched them interviewing people standing in line as early as 12 hours before the opening of the doors, for the biggest sales day of the year! I wasn't quite committed to being that outrageous, but I was sitting at home, picking out sales, planning my attacks on any major retail store in a 10 mile radius. As midnight approached, I became anxious, wondering... are they still gonna have that movie I want, or the T.V. for my grandma... I was getting sucked into the glitz and glamour marketing advisors put into this day.
As I walked through the doors of Target, I felt a sudden rush of adrenalin. I could feel the energy, I could feel the pandaemonium, it was crazy and I LOVED every second of it! It was then, that I understood. All the marketing, all the advertising, luring the customers to walk through the doors... wasn't about the sales, or getting the best deals. It was about the feeling the customer gets when experiencing the rush.
Shopping for some people is like a drug, always looking for the next fix. It's addicting, and easy to fall into the trap. For me, I don't think I'm going down that path quite yet... but the feeling was undeniably thrilling, yet frightening.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Season

My wife and I have been married for just about a year and a half in December, and one of the main things I have noticed since being is that we are poorer than we have ever been. It has been really tough for us because we both like to give gifts. It is especially difficult around the holidays. Her birthday is always right around Thanksgiving and then Christmas comes along and it's tough to get her the things she wants, and it's hard for her to get me the things I want too. We have always had enough money for groceries and bills and gas, sometimes it was a much tighter month than we would have hoped for but we have never gone without. I think it's just crazy when I hear about all the chaos that goes along with Black Friday and the shopping season during Christmas. So many people get upset when they don't get the deals that they want, but what they don't realize is that they're lucky to even have to money to spend on those deals. So many Americans today forget how lucky they really are. Appreciate the small things, it makes life much more enjoyable.

Oh, Wal-Mart

This past summer my roommate purchased a fairly expensive Nikon camera from Wal-Mart in Anderson. Because of the name brand she had high expectations for the performance of the camera. Early in the school year the camera broke due to a manufacture defect. Experiencing disconfirmation and negative post-decision feelings, she proceeded to make numerous stops into Wal-Mart in order to get the issue resolved. After speaking with numerous Wal-Mart employees and managers a replacement camera, which was no longer carried in the store, was ordered. She was contacted when the camera came in. She went to the electronics picked up her camera and proceeded to the customer service counter. Here she was informed she couldn’t make an even exchange because it was passed the three month period, even though the camera was specially ordered for her, and that she would have to go through the manufacturer. Needless to say she became an irate complainer. She has since boycotted Wal-Mart and participated in some heavy negative word-of-mouth. Although I tried to encourage her to go back and ask for a manger she is tired of dealing with the issue. I explained that one does not shop at Wal-Mart for the customer service. Low prices generally equal poor service.

Titanium Necklaces

In today’s baseball culture, players have begun to wear what is called titanium necklaces. Now although necklaces have been worn by both athletes and non athletes, these titanium necklaces are suppose to be “healthy and good for the body.” These necklaces are said to “Promote health and fitness, help with anxiety and anger, increase flexibility, ease discomfort, and reduce fatigue.” There is website after website that states these facts. In face though I believe that these things are not caused by the necklace and that instead it is becoming big among the baseball culture because of the normative influence of conformity and partial brand-choice congruence.

These titanium necklaces were first marketed as being helpful for athletics from all of the side benefits it causes as I stated before, but if people are catching on and waking up to the fact that they are not “magical” necklaces but instead what is becoming the popular and the norm for the culture of baseball. Players have brand-choice congruence to what other players are buying (titanium necklaces). Also players have conformed to the idea of wearing the titanium necklaces not only on the field but as part of their outfits off the field throughout their daily lives.

Beerless superbowl

Today in class we discussed the "dark side" of consumer behavior. a point was brought up regarding beer and alcohol commercials being aired during the super-bowl where younger kids are exposed to such commercials. We watched one organizations attempt at lobbying for banning these commercials to be aired during the super-bowl due to the fear of younger generations being witness to such adult content. I found the groups attempt very pathetic and poorly done, it made the group look foolish in fact. I actually find the whole attempt to ban these commercials from the super-bowl a very ignorant move. Everybody knows that the super-bowl is the absolute biggest day of the year for television ads and companies not only pay millions for the commercial spots but also reap the benefits of such exposure. To take out beer or alcohol commercials from the super-bowl is an absurd thought and a move that will most assuredly take place. I understand not wanting to expose younger kids to alcohol at an early age. However, there is just too much revenue at stake for that idea to every take shape and actually be passed by television networks or the NFL.

man purses..murses..satchels

The other day I was watching one of my all time favorite television shows, Friends. This particular episode was mostly about Joey sporting a new bag, what he called a satchel, but what everyone else called a purse. After much criticism and even being turned down for a part in a play he reluctantly stopped wearing the satchel. This made me think about not only the change in clothing styles between the decades, but also the change in what is acceptable between gender roles. In today's world, you see a lot more guys displaying a feminine orientation such as by wearing satchels. One of my roommates recently purchased a satchel, when he wore it the first day I couldn't stop ridiculing him for it. I guess the point is that with time, sexual orientation can change and so does the judgement of that orientation. This is something for marketers to take in account.

Black Friday Raises Ethical Concerns

Due to our reference groups we often receive offers to go shopping on Black Friday. I myself had to tell my fiance that I was not interested. What stirs this shopping craze in everyone? Is it the amazing deals, the thrill of getting one of the three toys that the stores had, or the excitement of the season? We have been conditioned since we can remember that the Friday after Thanksgiving has been the day where moms and grandmas unite and stay up late, or get up early. We as kids knew that was the day they were going to get the presents that we desired mostly. We are not the only ones who know this. Businesses are obviously aware of the frenzy that is stirred up due to this infamous holiday. This raises the questions about the dark side of marketing. Is it right for these businesses to stir up this fever pitch and only offer these deals for a few short hours? Safety ultimately comes into a concern for any shopper. Every year there are deaths and thefts over petty things. All you have to do is go to Youtube and type in crazy Black Friday shoppers and you will get hundreds of videos of people doing ridiculous things. We as future marketers have the ability to change this trend. We can restructure how people look at Black Friday, or we can ignore the negatives and continue to fuel the fire of get here twelve hours before our doors open to get one toy. Maybe it is time marketers look at Black Friday ethically and try to promote what Christmas and the holidays are really about; family and giving. Profits are important, but when its all we care about sometime the consumers get trampled.

Past Experience with Friend

Looking at my life, I would say that I am the farthest thing from being a compulsive buyer. Shopping does not make me happy, and if I do not have money, I do not even go into a store where I know I am going to want to buy something. If you asked my family they would tell you that I am very tight with my money, I try to save every penny I can so to speak. I have always been that way I can never remember myself always wanting to go buy certain things, I never really got into that. When I was in middle school, I had a friend who was my neighbor. We went to school together and played on the same basketball team. However my friend was a compulsive buyer. He was always going to stores and buying things, most of the time he was buying things he would never use, he bought them just to buy them. When we would hang out he would always be talking about the next thing he was going to buy. Unfortunately he never always had enough money to go out and buy the things he wanted. We were in Wal-Mart one day just looking around after practice and he was acting weird, so when we left I asked him if he was okay. He looked at me and smiled and pulled something out of his pocket that he had stolen from Wal-Mart. I naturally asked him what he was doing, why did you steal that? His response was I did not have enough money to buy it, and I wanted it so I just took it. He explained how easy it was, and he had been doing it for a long time. I said so "your just gonna steal things you want but cant afford?" He said why not, its so easy to just steal it and walk out with it. So after that day I never went back into a store with him, where it was a possibility where he could get me in trouble.

The deal right under my nose

I had been waiting for a long time to purchase a blu ray player but just did not want to fork over 100 dollars for one. Knowing that there would be deals around this time of year, I told myself that if I found one for under 50 bucks I had to buy it. End of story.

It all started with a computer. I went to and purchased a pair of Apple headphones because I cannot find mine whatsoever and I wanted to be able to listen to some music on my iphone at Starbucks. I paid and used the ship-to-store feature. Once class was over, I drove to the Walmart on Scatterfield. I found a parking spot, and made my way back to the ship-to-store pick-up area, which was all the way in the back where the toys met the electronics.

I gave them my signature and proceeded to walk out with my purchase. And as I was walking by the blu ray players, I saw it! It was your basic LG blu ray player for $49.99. I could not believe my eyes! What was I gonna do? It did not have the features that the next priced ones had (wifi, etc.). However, it was the last one in stock at that point in time. Seeing as I do not have a TV with HDMI or anything fancy like that, I figured that this one would be good enough for me for at least a few years.

As I got to my car, I realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime deal. I quickly ran back into Walmart, and proceeded to return the item (still in the bag with the receipt stapled on it). I got my $30 dollars back from the headphones and walked briskly back to blu ray players. When I got there, it was still there! So, I pick it up and then browse for a blu ray movie or two (depending what's on clearance). I probably browsed for at least an hour just make sure there was something that I could find a good deal on. Did not find a thing.

I purchased the blu ray player, and then proceeded to Target. When I got there, I found some excellent deals on movies but I could either buy one for about $20 dollars or buy two for about $10 bucks a piece. I ended up selecting Public Enemies, and the Princess Bride.

All in all, I feel like I made out with the best deal that I could get right now and probably for awhile. Now I just have to upgrade my TV.

4th and Ruddle

Living off campus is a wonderful blessing. I am currently living with three roommates. Each of us have different personalities and add something different to the house. We regularly joke about who plays what role in our little family. For examples, I am the father always taking care of everyone else, being the provider, and still trying to have as much fun as possible. To not embarrass my roommates I will change their names but many of you will be able to guess who is who. Peter is the mother. He is always worried and concerned that we are going to hurt ourselves, always picking up after us, and constantly saying, "I don't think that's a good idea" which most of the time he is right but we do it anyways. Larry is the rebellious son, always looking for trouble, picking fights, full of energy, and just being wild. Finally, there is Donald, the toddler. The rest of the family is trying to guide him through life while giving him a hard time since he is the youngest and is very curious, always asking questions.

When it comes to purchasing items for our household, I can see who plays each role in our house. I am the gatekeeper, influencer, decider, buyer, and user. I tend to initiate the process and gather the information. I have influence over rest of the household. Usually, I make the final decisions. Unfortunately, I tend to be the buyer but in a college house everyone provides in one way or another and of course I use the product. Peter is an influencer and a user. Larry is a gatekeeper, influencer, and user. Donald has a tendency to just be a user but occasionally is a influencer. Each of us plays a role during the purchase process in our household and has some form of ability to impact the decision making process.

Black Friday Phone Call

On Black Friday this year, I refused to take part in the madness. My pregnant best friend, however, decided to venture out. She called me while she was freezing in the Kohl's parking lot. I have never been Black Friday shopping ever and was amazed to hear the reactions of people over the phone when they were finally let in. It is surprising that materialism literally takes over on Black Friday. To some people the deals seem more important than the people around them! My friend had to fight for a cart! It is amazing that people would make a pregnant girl try to carry heavy items around the store. People seem to let their values fly right out the window on Black Friday and it is truly shocking. Everyone seems to take on agentic traits. They become more aggressive and have no emotion; they just want the products they came for. Gender does not even seem to matter as we saw in the video when people were trampling over women. It is just common courtesy to help people up when they fall down, or to let a pregnant woman have a cart. Black Friday makes people crazy. Although there were not any incidents in Anderson that I know of, it was obvious by the way my friend was treated that there is a lack of respect for others on Black Friday.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...Maybe...

Christmas time is here again and it is more chaotic than ever. The most wonderful time of the year has turned into a shopping frenzy that has turned into a new holiday all in itself. A holiday where people spend the most money on consumer goods as they will in any other single day the entire year. A holiday where the worst can be brought out in people to get the best deal on what they want. A holiday that encourages the greed and selfishness that makes America great (sarcasm). It is the holiday we now know as Black Friday.

What has caused this extreme new holiday the day after thanksgiving? The culture of America and social influences would be a good place to start. The more that Christmas became the most consumeristic holiday of the year, the more a separate, slightly darker holiday was needed to meet the wants of our culture. However, not everyone will pull your hair or pepper spray you to get to the item they want for the price they want. What is it that makes sane people go out on Black Friday? Is it the deals? Possibly, but not likely. What makes us want to stay up all night the night we stuff our faces on Thanksgiving?

Black Friday has become so popular in our society that it has virtually reached every consumer's reference group, whether it is seen as something that is negative or that is positive. No matter what one may think of Black Friday, there is something about it that draws us in. A good friend of mine had never been out on Black Friday because he realized that you can get most of the deals through the entire Christmas season not just on that one day. He decided this year to conform and try it out because of the craziness of it. The way people had been talking about it made it seem like it was similar to a mosh pit at a concert. He had to see for himself. Because of word of mouth, he tried something that he would later call "a regrettable decision." He found out that it is just as crazy, if not crazier than people say it is, especially at Wal-Mart.

Black Friday has become more than just a fad in the United States, it is now the norm. My family may be one of the few that previously participated in Black Friday, but stopped because it became too crazy for their liking. People now participate in Black Friday because it is what everybody else does, and once you start doing something because everybody else does it, you are probably going nowhere fast. Black Friday is now officially a part of Christmas. That should make us question what we have we let Christmas become all about? It used to be the most wonderful time of the year, now we have to cut through the thick fog that is Black Friday and consumerism to find it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Social Influences on Black Friday

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day out of the year. It is a day filled with chaotic shoppers all fighting for the best deals that are offered for the holiday season. Not only is it crazy being one of those shoppers that are in with all the crazy shoppers, but also to witness at the shoppers as a worker at a retail store. This year for Black Friday I worked at Victoria’s Secret. Opening the doors at 5 in the morning and having tons of shoppers barge into the store for our deals was craziness. During this whole day I was able to witness the social influences that affected all the customers that came into the store. You knew that they were influenced socially by the information that they all had about our deals going on for Black Friday. They were able to find this information out by Victoria’s Secret commercials, ads, and website. Also, we as the retailers were definitely huge influencers because of how much we interacted with each customer. We were able to influence them by having the products that they were looking for, so all the products were in reach for them. Also, they had a large opportunity for two way communication because we as retailers were there to communicate to the customers face to face and inform them about our products and influence them in their buying decisions. Another thing that was in our advantage as retailers was that the customers found us to be credible in what we were talking about and we were knowledgeable on all the products we were selling. This shows how to the consumers we were known as the opinion leaders that day. We are very knowledgeable on all of our products in the store and since there is a huge variety of different merchandise in our store that is very important to a customer who wants to make the right purchase. For this reason the consumer perceives us as a credible source to them and as a socialite since we can easy initiate a discussion with the consumer so that they can buy what they were looking for. Victoria’s Secret products really can affect normative influence as well. Product characteristics in our store are very important the consumer since a lot of the time they are purchasing personal items that cost more than usual necessity items. Even though a lot of our merchandise is person necessity items, I feel that consumers are still influenced because they see us as the experts so our approval is very important to some consumers but not all. Also, some of our products are for the public to see so of course the consumers’ reference group influences have a lot heavier affect on their buying decision. We as the retailers and experts on our products really try to create that tie-strength reference group, so that we are able to have a strong relationship with each customer that we come into contact with because we want to make each of their shopping experiences the best. Especially at a store such as Victoria’s Secret, since it is a more intimate and personal store for consumers we really take an emphasis on creating a tie-strength relationship to each customer. Even though Black Friday is one of the craziest and hectic days to work in a retail store, it also gives an opportunity for major rewards to please many customers by just influencing them in the correct ways.

Mom's Best Friend

I never realize how great my social influence truly is until I pay attention while shopping with my mother. Obviously, we have been in each others' primary groups for a long time, but I know that the distance between my siblings and myself has helped add to my influence. Since my brother and sister are six and eight years older than me (respectively), I was given the unusual opportunity to be a sibling while also spending six years at home with just my parents and dog. This brought many challenges, but also built a great friendship between my mother and me. My mom is my best friend. As time has gone on, we have become more and more homophilous, and our density become greater. I think we have one of the strongest ties imaginable.

All of these things said, in the past several years, it appears that I have come to the top of the list of members of my mother’s associative reference group. Although there is still a distinct mother/daughter relationship, I noticed very blatantly this Black Friday how quick she is to ask my opinion, even about things she is more than capable of making a decision upon. Surely she could have chosen a textile to hang in our bathroom during the Christmas season on her own, but she wanted my opinion. She trusts my judgment. It is kind of cool for my opinion to be held in high esteem by someone whom I respect and love so much.

Brand-Choice Congruence & Sports

America is crazy about our sports, and here around Indianapolis, folks are crazy about the Colts. If you were to scan the crowd in Lucas Oil Stadium on any given Sunday, you would undoubtedly see an abundance of official replica jerseys of fan-favorite Colts: Peyton, Reggie, Dwight, and maybe even a few Austin Collies. Chances are, most, if not all of these jerseys, are manufactured by Reebok, the official supplier of the NFL.

Fans just want to wear what the players are wearing; that isn't a new concept. But more than ever before, fans are buying products from the officially-licensed brands of their favorite teams: NFL fans in Reebok, NBA fans in Adidas, Oregon athletics fans in Nike, and Maryland athletics fans in Under Armour, just to name a few. Fans/consumers will spend more money just to wear what their favorite team wears and brands, leagues, and collegiate athletic programs know it.

They love consumers like me; I know what they're doing, and I still give in to it. I have countless Kentucky basketball items; are any of them not manufactured by Nike? Absolutely not. While that may be partially due to my brand loyalty to Nike, it's mostly because I just want to wear the officially licensed supplier of my favorite team.

I represent the average fan gear consumer in America. I'm getting duped because of my fandom and I just don't care.

Adult Beverages

This past thanksgiving break I was out late to eat at a popular restaurant in my home town with my Mother, Father and two older brothers (nuclear family). During our meal I came across a few of my close friends from high school who were participating in consuming some alcoholic beverages in the bar area and invited me over for a drink. I kindly rejected the offer to have a cocktail but went over and talked to them for a few minutes. During our conversation my friend who lives in Chicago purchased a round of drinks for everyone which was very generous for those indulging in the beverages. It is amazing how much more generous people are and the different decisions people make when they are intoxicated. My friends tried to persuade me into a beverage but I told them that we live different lifestyles and reminded them that I attend a university where drinking alcohol was not permitted. As conversation continued, they told me about the activities and some of the things they do at their state schools mostly involving drinking. When I compared their lifestyles, activities and interests to my own, I saw a great difference in our Psychographics. Drinking alcohol is a social environment that no one is oblivious to, but when people are in a restaurant or bar drinking their values and opinions change based on the people that they are around at that point and time as well as their blood alcohol level.

The Dark Side of Black Friday

As another Black Friday has come and gone it has once again got me thinking about the whole idea of the day. I understand the value for the stores, huge volumes of people rushing into your store to snatch the latest and greatest products off of the shelves. One can almost see the dollar signs hanging in the air as the registers are practically smoking from all the swipes of the scanner. For the consumer, big savings on their favorite products and the joy of getting that certain gift for a special someone.

But what is it all worth? People getting pepper sprayed by other customers, trampled, and even worse, all to save a few bucks. Have people become that materialistic and have social influences become that strong that if one does not get that last product on the shelf that, that they must go on a rampage throughout the store only to attack the person who did get that last item? I know one thing is for sure, that sure captures the perfect image of the Christmas Spirit. Not!

By now you can probably guess my opinions of this special day and how I think it has gotten a bit out of hand. But who’s to blame for this? I personally would place a lot of blame on the retailers themselves. Many stores state in their ads that prices are good on the items, while supplies last. However they fail to mention that those supplies only total about 5-10 items. Once shoppers realize this, the mass hysteria ensues to be sure that they are one of those lucky 10 to get the product. However not all blame can be placed on the retailers themselves. The shoppers have a large part in this as well. We now live in a world where image is everything and many of those products sold on Black Friday are a strong part of that image. People are willing to do almost anything to get their hands on that certain product to “improve” their image.

Sadly I don’t think these things are ever going to change. Stores are not going to stop giving those door buster deals that bring in all that cash. And the world isn’t going to become any less materialistic. Image is, and will continue to be, an import part of the American culture.

On another note unrelated to my ranting above I would like to add one more statement. I think it is completely ridiculous that stores thought opening any earlier would help the crowds. Same crowd, earlier time, equals same mad rush, just earlier. I also find it sad that the Thanksgiving holiday is almost nonexistent anymore. It is simply the day before Black Friday. Or as in the case of some store deals this year, one day earlier to start Black Friday.

Nike is the Prototype, for Everything

With winter just around the corner, I decided it was time to go buy a new pair of running tights. Being on a budget, I opted to go to Marshalls instead of Dick Sporting Goods, just to save some money. As soon as I get to the athletic wear section, I find a pair of black Nike running tights. Without even looking at the price tag, I instinctively grab them and continue looking through the other options. Shortly after, I realize that every other option was being compared with the Nike pants I already had in my hands.

In my mind Nike is what all other brands are compared to. I’ve never bought running tights before, but since I prefer Nike for everything else, my mind was already made up. So much so that I had forgotten why I even went to Marshalls; to save money. The point being that Nike is my prototypical brand for pretty much everything they offer. I can’t force myself to buy competing brands products even though they are often cheaper, or possibly of better quality. Nike is such a successful company because its customers, like myself, that are extremely brand loyal. And no matter the price, customers will pay the prices for their products.

Buying a Lens for a Camera

Continuing with the theme of cameras from my last blog, I currently have a problem with my camera. I have two lenses, one for close-up, and one for distance. I have to change the lens every time I want a certain picture; my problem is that I don’t want to be changing my lenses when I could be taking pictures. I am going to London and Australia, so I don’t want to miss a good photo opportunity because I’m switching lenses. I have decided to look for a new lens that is the combination of these two.

I continually receive emails from Roberts about deals that I can receive. They have realized that photography is my lifestyle and it falls within my activities and interests. I received an email about Black Friday, but wanted to see if they had any other deals. They have a deal for the lens that I want and it lasts till December 31st so I didn’t have to make my decision right then.

I have been thinking about this for awhile. My father has been helping me with it. He has bought cameras in the past and knows a little more than the average person. I asked him to assist me in this process; he helped me find the lens that I would want. He used his informational influence to help me make my decision. I don’t want to spend too much money on this and have a limit for how much I do want to spend. I have looked at new and used lens prices as well. This is where gender difference comes in. As women, we do deliberate and through research before making a decision, and I did all of this before making mine. I definitely fall under the category of Millennial since I am technologically savvy when it comes to my camera and I am shopping for myself. This is my money and my decision.

I have decided to buy the lens even though it is a little more than I want to pay. I have learned that what I perceive to be the benefit is outweighing my decision of how much I want to pay. I have realized that sometimes the more money you put in, the better the benefit will be. This is what I am hoping will happen with this lens!

Brand Loyalty

I am a brand loyalist. It takes me a long time to settle on a purchase decision, but once I jump in, I ride the waves, good times and bad. Brand Loyalty is the extent of the faithfulness of consumers to a particular brand, expressed through their repeat purchases, irrespective of the marketing pressure generated by the competing brands. I often find a brand that I like and stick to it. Whether it be cars, guitar strings, tooth paste, or computers, I often find myself buying the same brands over and over. Here is an example of how I became a brand loyalist.

My name is Charlie Polcher and I am a mac.

It all started six years ago when I was in the market to purchase my first laptop. I grew up using Dells and Microsoft products. So, initially when I began my search I looked at Dell and HP laptops. They sounded nice and were fairly cheap however; looking into the quality of these laptops I was not impressed. This is when social influence kicked in. My sister was the first person to suggest looking at Apple laptops. Although her influence on my choice was very minimal, she did plant the idea. Thinking about what my friends would think also played a role in my decision. Contrary to what most would expect, my friends had a more negative opinion on my choice to look at Macbooks. They are very conservative and do not like change. They viewed Apple products as people engaging in conspicuous consumption. Buying items because they signal a message of status or eliteness to others. This was not the case for me. I have only heard good things about Macbooks and I was curious to check them out.

I have always loved technology and am always interested in the new or next big thing. Like many consumers in America, Japan, and many other countries, we expect rapid technological advances. We want something better and better, sooner and sooner. Apple has been one of the leading innovators of our time. It feels as if you finally save enough to buy the ipod you have always wanted to find that they are releasing a new one the following week and yours will be $100 cheaper! Regardless, Apple has been rapidly changing what it means to own a personal computer.

As I was doing research on macs I stumbled upon, which, is a community, dedicated to macs and other apple products. A brand community can be very beneficial to a company’s brand loyalty. Having a group of fellow brand loyalist to discuss the values and benefits a certain product has can encourage others to want to fit into the community. This site gave me a great look into the world of Apple. I was able to see the benefits and capabilities that Mac’s offered. However, it is quit biased.

Needless to say I ended up buying a Macbook Pro and have not looked back. I am in no way a “fanboy” but will always recommend a Mac to anyone who is considering one. I am definitely a loyalist to the Apple name now. Although I do not have an iphone, but who wants to pay for Internet on their phone! Well most people do, but not me, not yet at least.