Now, were it up to me, this would not be a problem as we produce and provide beautifully designed hardware, filled with innovative, top notch, high quality software with exquisite usability. Unfortunately, the customer base is not cloned from me, so the customer retention is a problem we must always consider. And here's an interesting fact: it is not just us, our competitors seem to have the same problem with customer loyalty.
Well, maybe not all competitors, "That Fruit Company" as one of our former presidents labeled them back in the days a decade ago when we were still among the top three players in the world and didn't really know yet that there was a big technology shift in the making. When "That Fruit Company" was the new obnoxious kid on the block that brought a new game plan, but played with his own rules.
Honestly, "That Fruit Company" are also extremely innovative, but they really are not playing on the same field, using a proprietary platform, having an elaborate (also proprietary) infrastructure and a large fan base that were followers even before the release of their first handset.
So the competitors I am referring to above, that we share customer retention problems with, are the ones playing on our field, on the same open software platform.
And maybe that is the reason why we are all suffering. We are too similar. Our products have too much in common and not enough differentiators to retain customer, leaving us to cannibalize on a common customer group to whom all products in the retail window look the same regardless of the brand logo imprinted on the cover.
In one of the video clips on the module 2 description site, Expectations and the disconfirmation model, Dr. Tore Pedersen talks about the relation between customer expectations and satisfaction. That higher expectations tend to result in a higher degree of satisfaction and a tendency to forgive shortcomings, whereas lower expectations make a higher threshold for acceptance and satisfaction.
I have never thought of it that way, rather the other way around, that high expectations poses a risk of disappointment if the expectations are not met, whereas going into something with low expectations provides a greater chance of a positive experience.
Maybe this is just what "That Fruit Company" is doing so well. Compared to many other players in the field, they do not have a great number of models, and the few variants they have per model series each have differentiating factors. For each release they boost expectations by creating an enormous buzz, with spec "leaks" and live streamed keynotes. Once the product is due for public release, the expectations are so big that, applying the theory explained by Dr. Pedersen, satisfaction is guaranteed, hence boosting customer loyalty and securing retention and business.