iPhone 15 and the $880.5 billion brand: Branding in the Apple way.
Released this week, iPhone 15 has become the headlines of every discussion on social media and newspapers because of the new charging port and advanced camera. The new product represents the latest culmination of all the knowledge and technologies that Apple has amassed since the launch of its first iPhone back in 2007.
Why does a company like Apple generate such significant buzz around a simple product launch? To begin with, it’s primarily because the iPhone contributes roughly half of the company’s annual revenue, making it a substantial event for this massive corporation. Additionally, there’s a substantial user base of iPhone owners, many of whom are either eager to acquire the latest, shiny device or are long overdue for an upgrade.
Apple has created its own regime and has been recognized as the most valuable brand in the world (at least according to Forbes). What do they have in their Branding strategies to turn Apple into the $241.2 billion brand like today?
Consistent is key
Steve Jobs has always reinforced the “simplicity” for Apple. And This has remained consistent in its brand strategy.
“Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
Apple created its own unique visual and verbal expression, demonstrated in the product design and advertising. It logo “half- bitten apple” is protected strictly, and the slogan “Think Different” is the guideline for all product they created. Their designs are sleek and beautiful. It is a fact to say that, you can recognize an iPhone or Macbook from the first look. Even in the advertisement, their graphics can leave a strong impression on the audience’s senses by the simple but stunning elements. A typical Apple advertisement will be very straightforward with a product name and a clear picture. The content is stripped down to the minimum because the product will speak for itself.
Apple is a lifestyle brand with “imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology”. Its personality also associates with simplicity. Apple strives to achieve the goals of being helpful to people and businesses, and provide a hassle-free life for its users. Apple doesn’t use gigs, or any hard- explained words to describe its products. Instead, they use simple, direct words and the benefits for customers. This brilliance in content marketing: high tech without high tech terms has indeed made Apple stand out from the crowds.
A brand connects through emotion
Apple is a giant technology company, but it does not position as a tech brand with gigs and jargon. Instead, an emotional branding strategy has always been cultivated. It goes beyond commerce and technology. Apple positions itself as the “creative and innovative” brand and aims for a “heartfelt connection” with the audiences.
“Customers are more likely to remember—and purchase—products and services that make them feel good”.
This philosophy has been always right with every brand. Most of the customers don’t think they will purchase the smartphone with a “2,556-by-1,179-pixel resolution at 460ppi with a 60Hz refresh rate”. They pay for the good feeling and the premium symbol of status that using an Apple product brings to them.
Once your brand can connect with your customers on the emotional level, then you are likely to turn them into loyal fans.
Extraordinary customer experiences
Apple always ensures that both its website and physical stores reinforce the Apple brand. Their retail stores are designed in sync with their colour and brand identity. Warm colour, minimalism, modern and monochromatic, Apple retail stores are not a “quick trip” for visitors. Instead, people can enjoy a “full experience”, where they can try products, ask questions from “professional technicians”’, and walk out with newly purchased products and satisfaction. Especially, they can enjoy the trip without feeling pressure or being brash. All of these touchpoints are consistent with the branding elements and reinforce the personality of the Apple brand.
Apple has brought “customer experience” to a new level with the Apple community. Customer experiences start when the customers first get to know the brand, search for the products, and will not finish at the stage of purchasing. Apple facilitates a post-purchasing experience with “unboxing” videos, which are quite popular on YouTube.
Moreover, they also incorporate the customers into their brand, making them become part of something significant through the User- Generated Content strategy. In their marketing efforts for the iPhone with the “Shot on iPhone” campaign, users were encouraged to submit their shots by iPhone. Those videos and pictures would be featured in an international ad campaign. This campaign generated more than 10,000 submissions globally and engaged customers in a positive and enthusiastic way.
Unique value proposition
Apple does not try to involve the price war on the market. They just sell premium products with very high price labels. Hardly can you find deep discounts from Apple during Black Friday or Boxing Day. Apple will keep the prices relatively the same across its distribution channels to maintain its premium brand image and also provide the same customer experiences wherever they purchase an Apple product.
On the market, there can be lots of discounts from other brands to drive the demand. Meanwhile, Apple will pay attention to its core competence- delivering exceptional customer experience to turn customers into loyal fans. After that, those diehard fans will follow the movement of the brand.
The bottom line
Apple may not be the first brand to introduce triple camera phones in iPhone 11, but it definitely made this feature a trend. If the EarPods headphones and a dedicated charging block were not removed by Apple, then, this news would not have become the headlines for any newspapers and magazines over the last few weeks.
The products can be outdated, but the brand lasts forever. Building a brand strategy can direct your business to sustainable growth and stand out from the crowd. If you would like to ask for Branding advice from experts, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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