Today’s lesson is fresh, famous, and massively efficient at marketing. Yup: Apple.
As a side note, if you’re a PC user, don’t hang up the phone just yet. You can be a PC or Linux user and still appreciate the value and innovation of Apple’s marketing. We’re not trying to convert you. Promise.
Apple is undoubtedly a powerhouse when it comes to marketing innovative products. Consumers associate the Apple brand with intelligence, prestige, creativity, and luxury. Honestly, it’s all about the brand – even more than the high quality of the actual products.
History of Apple’s Marketing Strategy
Founded in 1976, Apple Inc. has become the highest grossing tech company in the world. In 1984, Apple introduced the classic Macintosh computer. Instantly, everyone recognized the logo with the apple, which still remains an integral part of Apple’s branding even today.
Blast Through Brand Problems
Do you remember when the iPad came out? Let’s be real, the name sounds like an electronic sanitary napkin rather than something out of Star Trek (and yes, you knew we were gonna reference Star Trek again). But Apple got away with it thanks to their preceding brand and an impressive technological reputation. They could (and did) get away with a somewhat weird branding move.
Make the Brand the Name
Don’t stop at being a household name. Strive to become the household name. Think about small, disposable paper cups. Those are “Dixie cups.” Dixie is, in truth, a brand name. Facial tissues? “Kleenex.” Photocopiers? “Xerox.”
When it comes to tablets and similar devices, lots of people just say “iPad.” A MacBook isn’t in reality a laptop, it’s a MacBook, and when you go into the Apple store, that’s what they call it.
Choose Branding Over Advertising
Companies pour millions into advertising, but that’s not always the best solution. Until recently, Starbucks didn’t invest in TV or internet video commercials. That’s because word-of-mouth is one of the most influential ways to advertise and because inbound content is such a wise, evergreen investment.
Apple constantly goes for this strategy of branding over direct advertising. What does that mean? Think about media. Smart, creative people in movies use Apple devices. Rich, successful people in the media? They also use Apple products.
It’s all about that brand, and Apple’s never been shy about marketing their products as a cohesive, progressive feeling rather than technological objects.
Keep It Simple, But Not Stupid
When Apple does advertise, like with their Apple vs. PC ads, they keep it simple. That doesn’t mean they treat their customers like they’re clueless, though. Apple presents style, vision, and ingenuity. Sure, they’re selling a solid product, but it’s not a fancy set. Even the direct ads are selling the brand.
Apple focuses on empowering users. The power of an Apple product isn’t just about what it can do, but the prestige of owning an Apple product and the implied success you’ll feel in its presence. Your Apple device makes sure you stay:
- Ahead of your peers
See? In theory, Apple products help you get there. Again, they sell a feeling more than a thing, and people want to pay more for “items” like empowerment and self-discovery.
Focus on Your Unique Value
Apple focuses on its unique value, partially through that empowerment and creativity. They also support their brand with facts:
- Apple products last longer
- Brand loyalty is high among Apple users
- Although Apple products are more expensive, the Apple marketing strategy focuses on the longevity of the products
Additionally, Apple wants you to “think different.” Aside from disrupting the rules of grammar, they also encourage you to be an individual and capitalize on your inherent desire for uniqueness. Your very uniqueness as an individual is unlocked and showcased by using the Apple brand.
Do you know why Apple is called Apple? Get ready:
Sure, it’s good branding, but it’s also simplistic and transparent. It’s really that genuine. Don’t overthink. Don’t over-complicate.
It’s entirely in-line with what Apple products do for your life: they simplify. They don’t fool you. They don’t trick you. They make life easier.
Remember: Ads are Content
Ads are just like any other content: people want it to be scannable, skimmable, and digestible. Going along with how other brands often overthink things, Apple prefers simplicity, and part of that is making advertising memorable. People absorb tons of information each day, so to make it work, your content (whether ad-focused or not) needs to be memorable, even at a glance.
Focus on Benefits
In the video above, check out how Apple reveals products: they focus not just on the uncomplicated look, but how the product benefits your life through the course of your day. It’s done as a presentation; an opportunity for you to not only learn how this product will help you, but how you can start using it ASAP.
This is also in line with how Apple stores work.
Education doesn’t stop at school, and Apple hooks right in to the human desire to learn more and always learn.
Provide Clear Pricing
A lot of SaaS (software as a service) companies have taken Apple’s cue here. People want to see clear, straightforward pricing. Apple often offers products in different sizes, for example. The Apple marketing strategy presents merely different sizes along with different prices.
Consumers don’t want airline ticket pricing or phone bill pricing as it was before the displayed price included all the fees. They want to know what the product costs without weird add-ons. Apple accomplishes this with elegance.
Use Your Audience’s Lingo
Be in touch with your audience. The Apple marketing strategy does this well. Designers know what a retina display is; writers know they want clear words on the screen. Everyone knows they want to see bold, beautiful video. Apple appeals to all of these consumer types.
Their ‘retina display’ copy includes a link for more information, but some consumers might just scan to ensure the product consists of this feature.
Applying Apple Marketing Strategies
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