Are we being out “smarted”?


There’s no denying that smartphones and other technology devices have changed our life forever. Take for example my 2-year-old that will grow up knowing that the iPhone or iPad is an essential when visiting a restaurant, going on a long car drive or even getting homework done. These so called “norms”, which are apart of everyday life, have become a necessity to get stuff done. But what really drives us to need and want more from technology? And why are we so willing to spend so much of our hard earned cash to obtain it?

Its all in our head

Could it be that marketers of such products know more about us than we realise?      We understand that to know what your customers really want and need is key to success. To analyse consumer behaviour as described by Iacobucci (2014), revolves around consumer psychology with the ultimate goal of tailoring the marketing approach to the target audience. Its kind of like helping people find what they’ve always needed and simplifying choices around them to make the selection process a little bit easier.

Are we that predicable?

  1. Sensation & Perception

Everything presented to consumers communicates a message. Through our 5 senses, we become open to considering a product, how it may benefit us or bring value to our lives. Factors such as appearance, sound, smell, taste, feel (or touch) all play a key role in connecting us to products. In the case of the iPhone or iPad, its ability to help us become physically engaged via touch has been a major point of difference in the industry. The convenience around connecting with others via exclusive apps such as FaceTime and iCloud are just a few benefits described by Scott Cornell from Studio D. Also, who can forget Siri, our on demand friend who seems to know just about everything and is available to answer our questions at any time of the day or night. Its all about making the right impression on consumers which will affect their perception.

  1. Learning & Memory

Do you associate your smart device to anything in particular? Cutting edge, reliable, loads of features or maybe a must have? Digital trends reported 71% of MacBook owners are completely satisfied with the reliability of their laptop. Research by Ivan Pavlov describes classical conditioning as a learning process. As described by Kendra Cherry from Verywell, Classical Conditioning basically involves forming an association between two stimuli resulting in a learned response. For example, your experience with a Mac computer has been trouble free and reliable which then makes you assume other Apple products will be also. You associate trouble free and reliable with the brand “Apple” because that was apart of your experience. Its easy to see how brand association can form as a result of being exposed to a positive or negative experience.

  1. Motivation

By appealing to customer “needs” as depicted in Maslow’s Hierarchy (1943) below, people are able to naturally connect with a brand or product. Consumers may feel the need to “belong” to a brand community which can serve as a great motivator to purchase. Social acceptance, especially in younger demographics, may also play a pivotal role in motivating individuals to jump onto the trend band wagon to ensure inclusion with peers. Products such as iPads, fit bits and kindles can serve more practical needs such as an avenue to entertain the kids, increase overall health or a need to do business more efficiently. Knowing what motivates consumers will assist in presenting products in a way that will be relatable.


  1. Attitudes & Decision Making

Are you a brand fan? Do you prefer Apple or Samsung? As described by Iacobucci (2014), attitudes greatly affect consumers’ decisions to purchase products and also impact repeat purchases. It all comes down to what is important to the individual and what they value. Preferences for functionality or specific features are highly regarded as well as personal experience with the product itself. In addition, individual perception regarding quality, price, size or other important factors will ultimately influence the decision making process.

The Verdict

It’s fair to say that companies like Apple have done an exceptional job with evolving products many of us have grown to love and sadly can’t live without. Recently, reported major a milestone for Apple; selling their 1 billionth iPhone. This is an incredible achievement considering the first iPhone was released in 2007. The report goes on to explain that Apple achieved 500 million sales within the first 7 years which means that the remainder of sales have occurred over the past 2 years.

I couldn’t help but wonder…. are we just obsessed or have they simply out smarted us?


Author – Melanie Power                                      Student ID – 216163107


Brad Jones. 2015. Users maintain that MacBooks are more reliable than Windows laptops . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 July 2016].

Iacobucci, D 2014, Marketing Management (MM4), Student Edition, South Western, Cengage Learning, Mason USA.

Kendra Cherry. 2016. What is Classical Conditioning. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 July 2016]. 2015. Apple announces it has sold 1 billion iPhones since 2007 launch. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 July 2016].

Scott Cornell. 2016. What are the Advantages of Using an iPhone?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 July 2016].



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