Macintosh users were encouraged to “think different”, in television advertisements. But in 2008 they do not just think differently, but potentially believe they are better than PC users.
In an online survey of 7,500 computer users conducted by Mindset Media, those having Apple computers believed they are more open-minded, precise and socially and politically liberal than the general population. The study found that “these purchasers are less modest and more assured of their own superiority than the population at large”.
Mindset Media is an online advertising website that designs personalised websites and develops multimedia presentations.
The survey consisted of a series of questions to both Mac and PC users. The results were compared and revealed that Mac users see themselves with a small superiority complex.
Sara Welch, co-founder and chief operating officer of Mindset Media, said she was not too surprised with the results. “If you look at the Mac brand and the brand zealots who you know, those people are more likely to be open-minded, liberal and superior,” she said.
The study used a rating system in which each person was placed in one of five categories based on their responses to the survey questions.
Sixty per cent of people who fell within the “Openness 5s” – a category defined as those who seek new and exciting experiences, believing imagination and intellectual curiosity contribute to a life well-lived – were more likely to purchase a Mac instead of a PC.
Openness 5s are receptive to their own inner feelings and may feel both happiness and unhappiness more intensely than others.
“Mac owners are in the minority, so they are loyal to themselves and their brands,” said Paul Gandel, the chief information officer at Syracuse University in the United States.
Welch said Apple has done a good job of giving their products a personality. “Apple stands for something and has had a clear philosophy and approach to computing since inception,” she added.
Apple continues to build its brand, reinforcing its image with its supporters, she said. The logo is a big part of the success because the association between the apple and quality leads to increased sales.
“Success breeds success,” Welch said.
The study also found that part of the reason for Mac users’ attitudes could be because they want everything to match, leading them to buy the computer with the matching mouse and carrier case – all featuring the Apple logo.
Apple people, Welch said, “are not terribly modest” and do not hesitate to talk about their accomplishments openly. Their personalities show similar qualities to consumers of high-end goods: perfectionism correlates to a use of department store beauty products and open-mindedness with organics, she said.
“I would definitely say there’s a correlation between personality and consumption,” Welch said.
Mac users ‘feel superior’ to PC people