At one point I was a creative for Apple’s One to One program that taught the Apple computer owners how to use their computer. I had fun doing that job and what I learned is that Apple was very smart to educate their customers on how to use their computer because it led to more sales. A person who just owned an MacBook computer would progress to perhaps buying Photoshop, Mobile Me and later on a better computer like a MacBook Pro if they were interested in photography.
Here’s how the customer may progress from novice to pro. So the customer comes in and she has just a bought a new iBook computer and loves to take photographs and want to know what to do with it. Then I would teach her how to use iPhoto to organize her photographs using Albums, edit her photos using iPhotos built in editing tools, and then perhaps during Christmas time she might make a book as a present using iPhoto and order that book through Apple. The book would then be the first new Apple sale due to the fact that the customer came in for computer training.
Then the customer might decide she liked editing her photos and wanted something more professional. Then I would suggest Photoshop. She would edit in Photoshop and progress to more and more professional type photography work. Then after she progressed in photography she might decide then to upload her work on line using iWeb to make her own website. Once she’s made her site at the time she would have bought MobileMe to upload her site online. Buying Photoshop and Mobile Me would then be new sales because of computer training for the customer.
After a two years of the customer morphing from hobbyist photographer to professional photographer she might then decide her computer needed to be bigger and faster to better handle Photoshop and that she would then make the ultimate new sale for the customer which was a 15 inch MacBook Pro a newer, faster, larger screened computer. As you can see this whole program was not just a way for the customer to enjoy their computer and get good at a hobby and then perhaps be a professional, but this was a way for Apple to make more sales and more importantly possibly convert a customer to be an Apple fan for life. Training their customers on how to use their computer was one of Apple’s smartest decisions and as you can see how much they profited. Now imagine more than one person becoming an Apple fan for life and making them a group, then I would now call that group an Apple community so Apple didn’t just make a fan, but a new community with new hobbies and interests they had in common because of the Apple products.