top of page
  • Writer's picturePBMIF


Find PBMIF on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube for useful tips and facts in consumer and fashion psychology.

On some days I like to eat Heinz baked beans and on other days I like to eat Branston baked beans. Yeah, they're both basically haricot beans drenched in tomato sauce at the end of the day, right? But they both taste different.

If you had a choice between a brand new pair of Bose headphones and the AirPods Max, which would you choose and why?

Apple introduced a pair of headphones to their accessories range in 2020. However, they've only just gained a lot of popularity in 2022 thanks to Instagram and TikTok.

The AirPods Max.

Surely you've seen them on social media lately - on the likes of influencers, celebrities, and maybe even your mates. It's a fashion statement. A fashion accessory contributes to a wearer's outfit to complement their whole look (Rani & Rani, 2018).

According to Currys, a tech retailer, a pair of these headphones will cost you around £469 (08 October 2022) because they're currently on 'sale' from an eye watering £549. The AirPods Max comes in a variety of colours including green, silver, red, black, and blue. They look cute... like two little flying saucers sucking your brains out.

When you decide to purchase a product, an Apple product that is - do you truly care about the product's functionality or... Do you feel that you need to fit in and surrender to a, dare I say, narcissistic society?


We've listed six reasons why people are drawn to Apple products. Yes, just six reasons.

1. You're loyal to Apple whether you like it or not.

Bow down to Apple.

All brands have a goal, and that is to make you loyal to them. They should be your one and only. Once they've established your trust and loyalty, there's less chance of you sneaking off to a rival and losing your support (aka ££££)! You belong to Apple. There's no escape.

"Alexa." Oh ****, I meant "Hey Google." **** did it again. "Hey Siri."

The Apple ecosystem plays a large role in brand loyalty - Everything is connected together in Apple land. According to Shi et al. (2016), 'cognitive lock-in' is an important determinant of brand loyalty. It's a habit developed by the repetitive use of products and services which we become skilful in and knowledgeable about. Think of all those accounts and services that you have with Apple - you're comfortable with using them - adding an outsider device will only be a pain the butt, right? Could you be bothered to sort out all those accounts, passwords, and media, or should you just stick to one ecosystem and keep things in one place as they are already? You feel this need to continue as you do - because it works and you don't need to put in any effort to learn a new or different ecosystem. You're essentially 'locked-in'.

Apple wants to make you, the customer, feel valued. Apple customers trust Apple. Not only do customers trust Apple's expertise and quality, but also their ability to deliver customers innovative products every couple of months. Apple offer (some) device updates, accessories, and customer support to keep you feeling satisfied and looked after. Their image is consistent.

2. You want to associate yourself with Apple's 'brand personality' and identity.

What comes to mind when you hear Apple?

Honest? Innovative? Good quality? Above average?

Overpriced? Pompous? Tired?

Brands have their own personality traits believe it or not. These traits include sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness.

Brands can communicate their personality through their products, advertisements, and copy.

Apple is known for being intuitive, stylish, young, 'free thinking', and simple.

According to an online survey, respondents were strongly favourable towards Apple's attractiveness, favourability, and distinctiveness (Pinson & Brosdahl, 2014).

You want to associate yourself with the traits and values that YOU think that Apple adopts.

3. You (want to) do what everyone else is doing.

If you see your favourite celebrity posing in Apple headphones - is this the right thing for you to do as well?

There's this concept called 'social proof' where humans like to be one with the crowd and not stand out. We usually don't like to stick out like sore thumbs - it makes us feel out of place and unlikeable. We like to conform and be like others in order to fit in. First, to understand how we should conform, we search for answers. We do this by reading reviews from others and listening to others' experiences with products on social media. This is how TikTok and Instagram trends and products go 'viral'. Also, we're drawn to celebrity and influencer endorsements, and we unfortunately like to succumb to authority figures.

Eastman et al. (2018) carried out a three‐study examination on young adults. It is suggested that young people's motivation for status in terms of luxury fashion purchase intentions is impacted by the 'bandwagon effect'. We do things simply because other people are doing it.

Surprisingly you could also be motivated to purchase Apple products due to envy (Loureiro et al., 2018). Hmm...

4. You're stuck in the Apple in-group.

You belong in the Apple in-group now.

Social identity is the concept of defining ourselves through the groups we belong to (in-group) as opposed to those we don't (outgroup). The presence of groups can lead to competition. Boo. Once you've established being in a group, you're gonna love your group members, you're gonna support them, you're gonna empathise with them, you're gonna understand what and who they are, they can do nothing wrong. You're an advocate for Apple.

Dare to mock Apple? You're TOAST!

If you're an Apple owner, most likely your attitudes towards other Apple owners are positive. On the contrary, you may hold less positive attitudes towards, lets say for instance, Android owners.


5. You want to build and maintain your personal identity to show who you are to others.

As individuals we like to manage our self identity. Similar to social identity, we can define ourselves by the services we use, the products we use, the clothes we wear, and how we carry ourselves. We want to express ourselves in different ways.

Akdemir (2018) nicely asserts that what we wear is "the basic and simple way of representing our identity and social class. . . Fashion is one of the most important ways of expressing the identity because it's full of signs, codes, and meanings inside them".

In the context of wearing Apple products, what we wear can influence us a lot - this is called 'enclothed cognition' (Adam & Galinsky, 2012). What we wear can impact our physical, cognitive, and emotional processes. It makes sense. Powerful stuff. Two factors are involved in enclothed cognition: the physical experience of wearing an item, and the symbolic meaning of said item. Think of the last time you went on a date (or any other occasion), what did you wear? Did it make you feel confident?

When an individual wears or uses an Apple product, their sense of self is going to be elevated, they will feel like they are adhering to Apple's brand personality.

Once you place a pair of Apple headphones on your head, you're going to feel confident, productive, relaxed, Instagram ready, hip... ready for action... and maybe even a little 'premium'.

Be careful if you're inclined to show off your material wealth, you can seem less co-operative to others (Srna et al., 2022).

6. You perceive Apple's products to be valuable.

Apple's products look and feel premium, they're easy to use within the Apple ecosystem, they're what some may call 'customisable', and they can last a long time depending on how you look after them. They're meant to be an investment - and if you want to let your Apple products go, they should have an alright resale value. Unfortunately, like every piece of technology, it will eventually tumble out of trend and may be found in lost property bins in 30 years time. Who knows?

If you chuck your devices on your bed for it to bounce off and face plant the floor - it's entirely your fault if any breakage happens.

A lot goes on behind the design of Apple products themselves, their packaging, and even how they are displayed in-store.

If you've ever been to an Apple store, the layout is pretty simple and spacious. You feel as though you're in an exclusive members club. You feel special to be there. Their high quality products are displayed ready and waiting for you to interact with them. There's nothing stopping you or getting in the way of this planned meeting (unbeknownst to you). You're encouraged to interact with products in Apple's stores to build a sense of familiarity with them - which then hopefully leads to a sense of ownership. You can envision yourself living with these products easier because they're right in front of you. You can feel their quality, see their quality, hear their quality, taste their quality... smell their quality. You'll be thinking, damn, I need one of these.

And now I need this Apple Pencil... and this EXACT sleeve that folds in 3 places... and this Air Tag... and this Apple Watch.

Moreover, wearable tech is becoming increasingly popular; it can benefit our wellbeing and make our lives easier. It can be valuable for our health. However, there's not much research that digs deep into wearable tech (Ferreira et al., 2021).

You're welcome.

Are you Apple obsessed?

  • Yes.

  • No...


Adam, H. & Galinsky, A.D. (2012). Enclothed cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(4), 918-925.

Akdemir, N. (2018). Visible Expression of Social Identity: the Clothing and Fashion, Gaziantep University Journal of Social Sciences, 17(4), 1389-1397.

Eastman, J.K., Iyer, R., Shepherd C.D., Heugel, A., & Faulk, D. (2018). Do they shop to stand out or fit in? The luxury fashion purchase intentions of young adults. Psychology & Marketing, 35(3), 220-236.

Ferreira, J.J., Fernandes, C.I., Rammal, H.G., & Veiga, P.M. (2021). Wearable technology and consumer interaction: A systematic review and research agenda. Computers in Human Behaviour, 118, 106710.

Loureiro, S.M.C., de Plaza, M.A.P., & Taghian, M. (2018). The effect of benign and malicious envies on desire to buy luxury fashion items. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 52(2).

Pinson, C. & Brosdahl, D. J. C. (2014). The Church of Mac:

exploratory examination on the loyalty of Apple customers. Journal of Management and Marketing Research.

Rani, S. & Rani, B. (2018). Preference of Fashion Accessories among College Going Girls. Annals of Agri-Bio Research, 23(1), 122-125.

Shi, X., Liu, J.T.L., Sirkeci, I. (2016, July). Psychological Determinants of Brand Loyalty: The case of Apple and Samsung. [Conference paper]. Academy of Marketing Annual Conference, Northumbria University Business School, Newcastle, England, UK.

Srna, S., Barasch, A. & Small, D.A. (2022). On the value of modesty: How signals of status undermine cooperation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 123(4), 676-692.


bottom of page