The death of Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs left many in the business world wondering if Apple would also face a decline in health. However, the subsequent release and over-whelming demand of the new iPhone and iPad showed the world how much this product brand is loved by consumers. Yet what exactly makes Apple consumers loyal to Apple products with an array of similar, yet less expensive, products on the market? Understanding what makes Apple users loyal is important to all companies striving to replicate the kind of brand loyalty that Apple generates. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the antecedents of Apple’s brand loyalty including brand identification, brand personality congruence, and reputation using the theory base of social identity (Halliday and Kuenzel, 2010).
Data were collected using an online survey composed of questions regarding brand identification, brand personality, reputation, brand loyalty, and demographics. Respondents were strongly favorable to Apple’s attractiveness, favorability, and distinctiveness. Results support the hypothesis that brand identity has a positive significant effect on reputation. It was also supported that brand identity is positively related to brand personality congruence, but there does not appear to be congruence between brand personality and an individual’s persona. Results show Apple brand identity and brand personality congruence is positively related to Apple brand loyalty and although respondents expressed price sensitivity to technology a strong majority indicated they would buy additional products from Apple.