Would You Sell Out Your Brand To Make Money?

Selling Out To Make Money

Even if you are wanting to say no right now (to my question), I think the obvious answer for most would be YES – if it meant big bucks.  All the talk about iPhone and Walmart – if true – is going to bring big business to Apple.

What does this do to the value of the Apple brand though?  I first read this story here, and when I read they may be offering a $99 version (not a 4G one people) of the phone it aggrivated me.  Why? Like many others – I am the idiot that paid $399 for the iPhone that runs 1/2 as fast as the one now and cost 2X as much.  Lets not talk about the fact that I bought an XBox when it was $100 bucks more.  I guess I like paying more for stuff.

Back to the issue:

As a person who pushes and teaches others the value of branding (especially online) I have to wonder what kind of an effect this is really going to have on the Apple brand?  I really hope people let me know their thoughts here too. If you were planning on buying an iPhone soon, does this change your opinion, or does it make you happy because its going to be a lot cheaper?

What are people saying about this on Twitter?

I did a little searching on Twitter about the iPhone and Walmart to get some ideas of what others were thinking.  Here is 10 randomly selected ones from the first page of results (not to be hand picking negative ones only (like I have seen others do today) even though most are taking this as amusing news.

  1. JimmyJett: Wondering how the iPhone will be recieved at WalMart. Maybe they should come in John Deer green?
  2. Aimee_B_Loved: WalMart is going to start carrying the iPhone. *points and laughs* Who’s the not cool one now?! bwahahahahaha… Still me, isn’t it? Crap.
  3. douglaspaul: RT @ZDNetBlogs: CONFIRMED: 2 iPhone models to sell @ Walmart this month! – http://tinyurl.com/663tya (expand): doesn’t this dimish the iphone a bit?
  4. homeshopr: is excited about the possibility of a $99 iPhone. You can get it at Walmart at the end of the month. http://tinyurl.com/5zldwu
  5. jason2bemac: #mac Confirmed: iPhone Coming to Walmart By the End of December: Some analysts still say that the $99 iPhone.. http://tinyurl.com/6744cm
  6. monaaa: Why is the iPhone coming to Walmart such big news? ( I agree on this one, but I bring it up because of my question about Branding )
  7. azbizreporter: Would you buy an iPhone from WalMart? http://tinyurl.com/5t8qvk
  8. drecruits: Are you to “hip” to own an iPhone purchased at Walmart? http://tinyurl.com/683u7y
  9. bgrantpaul: @robertsnell Perhaps a 4GB Walmart branded iPhone will be added incentive for Rogers to get their act together? Wishful thinking.
  10. techwatching_cl: TechSpot: Walmart employees back iPhone launch rumors – http://techwatching.com/cluster/107435

Again I pose the question –

What kind of effects do you think this will have on the Apple brand?  They have been selling iPods in Walmart for as long as I can remember, and that has not seem to hurt.  I personally don’t think this is that big of a deal, but I must pose the question as a person who helps others build brands.  Walmart has a lot of negativity out there, and a lot of people hate them for their labor and business practives.  A lot of those people that hate are in the tech croud that buy Macs and iPhones – that is why I ask the question.  As a person who owns an iPhone, iPod and 4 Apple computers – it just makes me laugh more then anything and say to myself – Good for Apple, they are going to make a lot more money!

Update –

What people are telling me via Twitter:

shagunvatsa @matt_siltala The thought of a $99 iPhone infuriates me for I paid well over $300 for my 8GB. More bucks for Apple at the cost of its image!

3 thoughts on “Would You Sell Out Your Brand To Make Money?

  1. Dave says:

    The only reason it bothers me is the fact that initially it was such an exclusive purchase. i.e. you had to buy it at the AT&T store, the only carrier that has it is AT&T, etc. Now it sells at America’s favorite flea market.

  2. Trevor says:

    All of us have a price, right? And like you say, Apple isn’t any different. They are working to build a brand for what? It’s a way to become more recognizable and, subsequently, bring in more revenue.

    Makes sense to me… 🙂

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