Laugh at the “iSheep” all you want for camping outside of Apple (AAPL) stores the night before new products release, but some researchers say that suffering through long waits with their fellow Apple fans is good for their self-esteem. MarketWatch this week got in touch with some market researchers who provided insight into Apple fans’ curious desire to wait for hours on end in the rain and cold when they could just as easily preorder their devices online and wait for them to come in the mail. The main takeaway, these researchers say, is that Apple fans benefit from building social solidarity.
“Shopping has become a collective event,” Adam Hanft of consulting firm Hanft Projects told MarketWatch.
Hanft also that when Apple fans see so many of their brethren standing in line with them, it reinforces their decision to buy Apple products and gives them a sense of identity as a valued member of an ingroup. And besides, as Seton Hall associate marketing professor Daniel Ladik tells MarketWatch, there’s nothing wrong with people getting outside and socializing with one another when the alternative is to sit inside and interact with a computer screen.
“It’s a community thing,” Ladik says. “There’s no other logic to it.”