Steve Jobs was an exceptional CEO, but Regis McKenna was the real “Silicon Valley Svengali”. His PR tactics have taken a garage computer company into the world's most valued brand. Their continued year over year growth is in part due to some legendary marketing techniques that are now de rigueur for any business success formula.
Here are some of the most valuable lessons - from the world's most valuable brand.
We can learn a lot from other industries
Regardless of your sector, we can all learn from competitive, tertiary and completely out of scope industries. The tendency to pit ourselves against our competitors leaves us with blinders on. Your industry’s innovations could include product lines & services, business models, partnership, leadership, processes, strategy, culture. Apple is a brilliant example across all segments of its business. Your business may not be a phone manufacturer, there is always something to be learned and benefit from in employing some the leading brand practices and principles.
Create a need
Apple understands how to create something that is designed to improve our lives. The inescapable convenience our hand devices have shifted our behaviour, communication, information, and replaced every digital device we had. They have replaced your music and media devices, corded controllers, books, camera, calculator, and phone.
Exceptional customer service. Instead of designing something to improve these devices incrementally, Apple has circumvented and completely reinvented our phone experience. They have innovated a paradigm shift in mobile device technology and experience.
Apple has built their brand on product consistency year over year by making incremental changes. Their products and message are amplified every time you touch an apple product.
From shape and packaging to customer experience, media announcements, and messaging across every channel.
Focus on your UVP - language
Apples UVP is still amongst the best in the world. They are more than just a phone manufacturer.
Their UVPs are:
- Think different. This originally was a response to IBM's “Think” slogan of the ’90s. Apple wanted to attract a different audience. A creative audience that was the opposite of what the white-collar IBM stands for. Its how they brought their business back from the brink of bankruptcy.
- Tech that works. You always know that with Apple “it just works”.
- Your privacy is safe with us. Apple aspires to be the safer option in privacy protection in their ecosystem.
Charge a premium
Apple has built a reputation for quality and design of its products. Their pricing strategy had positioned as a premium luxury brand with their design, experience and price tag to match.
Premium product, premium hardware, premium experience and it just works. They’re expensive but are guaranteed with an exceptional customer service experience should something go wrong. They’ve removed most obstacles to purchase, partnering with payment plans and distribution through carriers.
The magic is that they have managed to keep the feel luxury and exclusivity in design and increased average price even at the risk of selling fewer expensive units.
Customers have proven year over year they will shell out big bucks for an Apple product. For those that can’t afford the highest product prices, iPhone offers a variety of models available in a more competitive price range. But this pricing strategy hasn’t worked across all segments. In India for example, their market share is less than 3%. Their premium value models are far too expensive for the average consumer regardless of the brand.
Design a customer-centric experience
Apple has developed an exemplary customer experience ecosystem that sets the bar for any industry. There is no place that the customer experience hasn't been meticulously developed from marketing and brand experience, technology, customer service, store experience, and even after products.
Their customer-centric design principles include:
- Consistently exceeding customer experience expectations.
- Convenience in technology, location and distribution, and ecosystem.
- Create value vs price wars.
- A ubiquitous Apple ecosystem and ease of user experience.
In 2016 Apple appointed Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan it's brand ambassador. India has been a difficult market for Apple to penetrate simply based on its pricing strategy. But with the world's second-largest population in play, Apple recognised the need to develop its premium market share with Samsung. Building on the ever-present hallowed cricket partnership Khan owns, this has been an opportunity to expand its brand presence.
The power of branding
Apple was the unicorn marketing company of the 2000s.
"Without the brand, Apple would be dead. Absolutely. Completely. The brand is all they've got. The power of their branding is all that keeps them alive. It's got nothing to do with products." ~ Marc Gobe
- They have developed deep and lasting bonds with their customers.
- Apple is loved across the world with every market segment and demographic imaginable.
- Apple’s brand is about imagination, design and innovation.
- Apple fans are DIE HARDS.
- Apple has been successful by combining technology with simplicity, creativity, and design, into a wildly successful brand.
Apple continues to drive market trends for global brands and any organisation could take a few tips from the Apple playbook. Consider applying a few of the same tactics to your products, or promotion including your already existing products and services. Think of how your organisation can improve by integrating a few of Apple’s philosophies and practices.
If your company is ready to discover some great new marketing ideas like Apple, we would love to hear from you.
Book your marketing consultation today!