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Marketing, memes cause AirPod popularity spike

Ryan McCarthy, Sports Editor

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Everywhere you look and everywhere you go, you will notice at least a handful of people with Apple’s latest popular consumer product: AirPods.

Apple has continuously delivered hit products to their consumers, giving them products that are easily understandable and visually appealing. AirPods were no different, easily selling in high volumes—to more than just their most loyal customers.

AirPods—Apple’s first wireless Bluetooth earbuds—first released in December 2016, coinciding with the release of the iPhone 7.

Ironically, Apple’s hottest product was originally met with ridicule and criticism, as the shape— often compared to that of a toothbrush head—and limited supply upon release both made the product a laughingstock in the market. Removing the audio jack from the iPhone 7 added to the criticism and incited questionable responses to Apple’s drastic change.

Nonetheless, the rise of AirPods came quickly, as the absence of the easily tangled headphone cord proved to be a success with its users. Social media also played a significant part in their sudden popularity, with infinite Internet memes centered around AirPods landing atop trending charts.

Sophomore Jaquan Barnes is a fan of the AirPods because of the cordless feature.

“I like how it’s hands-free. It doesn’t have a wire, so it doesn’t bother me very much,” says Barnes. “I just have a lot more mobility.”

The popularity of wireless earphones rose almost simultaneously with AirPods, with competing brands, such as Bragi Dash, Doppler and Nuheara all receiving positive reviews from their users even before AirPods were released.

With consumer loyalty on their side, Apple was able to take advantage of the rising popularity of wireless earphones. As they improved their marketing and advertising strategies for AirPods, their consumers gradually flocked to buy them, eventually peaking over the Christmas season. In a September 2017 study conducted by research firm Creative Strategies and Experian, AirPods scored a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate, contributing to what Apple CEO Tim Cook says is a “runaway success.”

According to a social media poll (217 responses) conducted by the Bear Witness, 82 percent of respondents favored Apple products.

Some of those who preferred Android brought up the more intricate operating system, citing Samsung’s “better operating system” and “endless customization” options with their phones.

Some of the respondents who preferred Apple were swayed mainly by the AirPod accessory, indicating that AirPods have become one of the most successful products distributed by the company. Others were easily swayed by the memes that gave AirPods their popularity, simply stating “I’m not broke” or “for the flex.”

Apple’s marketing power flaunted AirPods to a consumer audience that was loyal to them, and would try anything that they produced. With the proper promotion, as well as the popularity they gained in social media, AirPods became a viral success.

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Marketing, memes cause AirPod popularity spike