Mastering loyalty: What we can learn from Apple

We’re going to call it the iPhone 7, but thanks to Gs, GSs, and SEs, this is in fact the 10th generation of the iPhone, and 9 years since Steve Jobs stood on that fateful stage that changed the face of mobile forever. In history, it’s hard to name any product — let alone a device — that’s spawned so much excitement and loyalty for so long.

As a professional in the buy/sell/trade/upgrade consumer electronics industry, I’ve seen serial upgraders do the dance for for the latest generation of the iPod and now, iPhone. Chronic screen crackers trade in (and trade up) for a functioning device, and countless others for all their own reasons. We have personally purchased millions of consumers’ used gadgets and phones and I’m amazed at how rapidly iPhone owners ditch their one-year-old phone just to be able to carry Apple’s latest and greatest.

This phenomenon sparked us to dig into what drives so much Apple loyalty and we found some great lessons every business owner can learn from.

Focus excitement on your product

The secrecy machine that is Apple keeps media, consumers, and everyone else playing a guessing game nearly year-round. But one thing you will notice is that it is very product-focused. There’s comparatively little attention on the event details, presenters, or even important elements like manufacturing and technology partners. It’s all about product innovation. It’s all about the device and it’s usability. That’s why 70% of current iPhone owners say they are excited about future generation and more than ¾ agree that the iPhone has a lot of potential for growth.

Learn what sticks

An iPhone is great. But Apple has always been working to get more than one device into our hands and innovate towards a center of connectivity. In our research, more than 1 in 3 iPhone owners also own another iOS device, and nearly that entire group says the ability to access content across devices increases their loyalty to Apple.

Give them what they want

Although Steve Jobs famously said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” Apple also masterfully adds features people do knowingly want. And today, they have the luxury of data from competitors and consumers alike. Case in point, 55% of current iPhone owners said they will purchase the 7 before the end of the year, and 77% cited waterproof design (already offered on Andriod phones) as a big reason.

Don’t be afraid of big changes

The switch from full keyboard on the blackberry to fingers fumbling on a iPhone’s touch screen was a pretty major leap and still today, Apple puts its customers in some awkward positions- no headphone jack anyone? In fact, less than 15% of respondents said they were excited about the removal of the headphone jack, yet nearly all said they still intend to purchase the latest phone, showing that customers will take leaps of faith with you.

Invest in your brand

The ability to spend $100 on a Facebook ad and see the customers come in mere minutes later makes it hard to spend on brand, but winning brand lets you stand the test of time. Still today, 10 generations in, more than half of iPhone owners cite the product design as contributing to their loyalty and similarly report product quality as doing the same, a higher percentage than any specific feature or software component.

In an era of excellent Andriod phones, several of which are very competitive or arguably even better than the current iPhone, a whopping 88% of iPhone owners said their next phone will be an iPhone. In one of the most competitive markets in business – that is customer loyalty worth coveting.

As for me? I’m right there with you. I was there this morning checking out the lines and I have my iPhone 7 in hand — no headphone jack and all.


David Chen is the Founder and CEO of NextWorth Solutions, Inc. NextWorth has been providing industry leading omni-channel trade-in solutions and works with retailers, carriers and OEMs around the globe for more than 10 years. NextWorth’s programs provide incentives for reducing eWaste while fundamentally improving how people buy>own>dispose their consumer electronics.

Trade up, Cash in, Get down

The cat’s out of the bag: the Apple event enthusiasts have been waiting for is finally here. The next generation of the iPhone was unveiled Wednesday, September 7th in San Francisco.

This highly anticipated announcement comes with its usual barrage of excitables; new hardware, more capabilities, and more opportunities for the cracked screeners and serial upgraders to trade up and cash in on the good news.

But this news also presents people with a whole new decision to make: should I trade in my iPhone for the latest and greatest? And if so, when is the best time to trade it in?

Allow us:

Trade now or forever hold your piece.

If you’re planning to upgrade to the new iPhone, and don’t want that to become a bank breaking decision, the short answer is that you should trade in your current model. iPhone 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s all maintain solid value and at Nextworth, we’ll even pay you for your broken phone.

Okay, but when should I trade?

The good news here is that history repeats itself. Every year, right before the iPhone is announced, trade-in prices for old models hit their all-time high. If you plan to run out and get the iPhone straight away, this is the absolute best time to trade.

Typically, the new iPhone is available in stores 2 weeks after it is announced. So, let’s assume you could head online or out to your local Apple store to pick one up on September 16th.

Here’s what you need to do and when you need to do it:

  • NOW!: These are the best days to trade. You will get maximum value for your phone and have 30 days to actually send your phone in. This will give you a solid 2-3 weeks to head out and get the new iPhone before having to send your old one in.
  • September 15 to 30th: If you need a bit more time to decide if you’re going to upgrade to the new one, these are still good days to trade in. Values typically drop around 10-15% during this time, but it could give you up til Halloween to get the new phone.
  • October 1st to 31st: Once we get into October, you’re looking at a likely 20% drop in the value of your phone. While still not so bad, you’re phone value is certainly going downhill at this point.
  • November 1st to December 31st: Thinking the new iPhone might make a great holiday gift to yourself or a family member? You’ll be taking a big hit if you hold out this long. If history repeats itself, by the end of the year, values on 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s could drop by as much as 40%! In dollars, that can be a difference of $100 for the iPhone 6 or 6S. $100 bones. $100 smackaroos. $100 Benjamins.

So if you’re reading this and frantically checking your iCal through your comically cracked phone screen – don’t panic! You’ve still got time to maximize your trade-in, but the sooner, the better. And, NextWorth always gives you 30 full days to send in your phone after you’ve locked in your price. You heard us right: NextWorth allows you to lock in your price quote for 30 whole days.

Easy as 1, 2, 3

Now that we’ve got you all atwitter about your the future of your phone, you might be wondering where to start. Let us break it down for you (or you can go to our How It Works page if that’s more your speed):

  • First, get a quote. You can do this by searching your device in the NextWorth data base and following the super simple steps that succeeds. Once you received your quote, you’ve secured the price lock for the next 30 days!
  • Second, mail it in (or drop it off!). Like what you saw from the quote you got? Sweet! Let’s get you traded in. Simply prep and ship your device – completely free of charge. Or, if you’d rather, we partner with participating retailers that will take your device(s) in real life. Check out our FAQ for more details. Once we’ve received it, you can track our progress and get personalized updates until you get paid.
  • Get that money. Either via check or PayPal. Done.

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