Apple’s clever branding strategy has moved the tech giant light-years ahead of its competitors.
By Kenyo Smalling, staff writer
History has birthed many empires, empires like Persia, Rome, Spain, and Britain. They shaped the thoughts of the masses in their time, each one different from the last. Fast-forward to today, the age of media, where technology tops the list of in-demand products. Behold the Silicon Valley champions, the nerd dictators of the tech world: Apple Inc. Today, our empires are corporations, and they’re built on marketing.
Apple has redefined branding by blurring the lines between product and producer. They now lead the world in technology marketing and have managed to infuse their products into the collective consciousness. The ad line “I’m a Mac” is ubiquitous in popular culture, and means “I’m a Mac user“. Mac users are dedicated to Apple products and the culture they represent. They represent Apple and, by extension, they “think different”.
Corporate culture requires consumers to always be ready for change; disposable is the new invaluable and upgradeable is the new irreplaceable. Apple has reframed what it means to be a good product: now a good product must be constantly evolving. Hip-hop megastar Kanye West recently said “If Steve Jobs respected the first computer so much, we wouldn’t have iPods and iPhones today.” It’s plugs like this that prove the height of Apple’s integration into society. Mp3 devices are synonymous with iPods and no music repository is anywhere near as successful as iTunes.
Apple sells more than technology, more than a lifestyle. They sell awe.
While most people easily recognize Steve Job’s name, many consumers are less familiar with Apple co-founder The Woz (Steve Wozniak, also known for pioneering Segue polo and his participation on “Dancing With The Stars”). After developing the brand, Steve #2 left Steve #1 to steer the Apple ship in his own direction. That direction, and message, is simple innovation over invention. The idea struck gold (or silver, if you follow market trends).
In this case, innovation means defining products, ideas and images, then re-building them into something new. Now, Apple has not created brand new products. Before iTunes controlled the music service market, there were other online music stores, before the iPad revolutionized tablet computers, there were swanky pen tablets, and before the iPhone revolutionized the mobile phone… well you get the point. Apple is successful because they market the most expensive and aesthetically pleasing software and hardware towards ‘everyday’ people. The average person feels important, elite, and above all, unique.
Apple branding is years ahead of companies their senior such as Sony, Microsoft, Motorola, RIM and even Google. Apple sells more than technology, more than a lifestyle. They sell awe, as in “how can you not be in awe of this product?” Every new mobile device is asked the same question: could this be the iPhone killer or the iPad killer?
There is no other company like Apple when it comes to introducing a new product; they simply cannot be beat. The formula goes something like: White background, snappy indie music, impact words (“revolutionary, “intuitive” “phenomenal”), product close-up (possibly a 360 view), Apple exec in everyday apparel, cool looking regular people in bright colours doing interesting things, Apple logo. And that’s it folks. No clutter, no noise. It’s you without Mac things vs. your life with Mac things. Apple plays on the average consumer’s desire to be better. Genius indeed.
Business News with BITE.
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