Brand loyalty is the marketing term used to describe a customer's
attitude toward a brand (or company) which is exhibited through the
consumer's behavior. The most desired behavior being turning a
customer into a repeat consumer, but brand loyalty can also be
exhibited in other ways as well.
For my two cents, there are a few good reasons why I follow Apple and their products. To be sure Apple, as a tech company, has been wildly successful in recent years. They have succeeded with their recent product innovations, from the iPod to the iPad. But they have also taken great pains to reinvigorate and enhance their "traditional" line of computers along the way. To work in the industry, even if it's in a different segment, and not take note of Apple would be foolish.
But for me it's more than that. Apple isn't just great in the here and now with a tantalizing promise of the future. Nope, for me Apple is also about the past. Any computer first you can think of for me occurred on an Apple computer, specifically, the Apple ][ series of computers.
Sure the first home video game console I ever played would have been an Atari 26001. But the first "computer" would have been an Apple ][. The first computer my family owned, an Apple //e. The first computer I learned to program on? You get the drift.
I mention all of this because a few days ago, while rummaging through some old computer stuff I found a form letter from Apple thanking me for a submission to a programming contest. I don't remember much of the particulars of the contest, but judging by the letter as well as the printouts paper-clipped to the letter, it looks like it was a contest designed to build on Apple's then strong connection with education2.
Aside from the brand building, the community Apple built and sponsored
helped me decide that computers and programming was an interest of
mine that I could do "in the real world."
Who wouldn't be "loyal" to a "brand" that helped defined what they do for a living?