5 Lessons to Learn from Apple’s Marketing Strategy

Thursday 17th, March 2016

apple brand photo

Photo by jamesks

Many a time we see successful brands coming up with ad campaigns that becomes instantly popular.

One might wonder how?

Without a doubt, it is the result of years of hard work climbing up the ladder and some ingenious marketing.

Apple, right from its inception has positioned itself as a revolutionary company working to change the world. To give credit where it’s due, it has succeeded in transforming existing markets and creating new ones to a great extent.

Steve Jobs once famously said, ‘People don’t know what they want until you show it to them’.

Until then it was believed that people should survey their target audience, find out their likes and concerns and accordingly build your products. Steve turned this strategy upside down and proved that it’s not always true.

The company has had an unparalleled growth from $8 billion in 2004 to $180 billion in 2014. Right from the launch of Mackintosh to the latest iPhone, Apple has pretty much revolutionized the markets it entered.

In fact, Apple does it so well that there are websites and YouTube channels dedicated exclusively to Apple’s products and marketing.

So how does Apple create raving fans who wait for hours standing in long queues just to get hold of the first batch of any gadget they launch?

To give a short answer: design and utility are the two important reasons. However, to build this big a brand and a loyal audience, you need something more than a gadget with fancy features.

So let’s look at how Apple has excelled in marketing itself as the premium player of consumer products.

Rework On Your Advertising

When the first iPhone was launched in Jan 2007, Apple had allocated a huge budget for marketing it. But seeing the positive reviews from critics and incredibly positive word of mouth publicity, they decided to stop their advertising for a while.

It was observed that word of mouth publicity was doing a far better job than traditional advertising. And it proved right!

You may ask ‘How can I possibly implement this Apple marketing secret in my own business?’

What you can do is approach an insider or an influencer and persuade them that your product or service is useful and make them share their experience with the followers. Expert opinions influence buying decisions and are really effective.

Another strategy that you can do is offer a free trial in exchange for a positive testimonial. Posting user comments on your site increases your authenticity and makes you legit.

Focus On Your Unique Value Proposition

People believe that if you need to increase your sales, you’ll have to compete on the price. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it will end up hurting your business.

If you’d have noticed Apple’s products are always expensive. Apple knows that if you get involved in prices, you’ll end up plummeting to the ground. Instead what it does is that it focuses on its Unique Value Proposition (UVP) – beautiful design with an aesthetic sense of beauty coupled with some ground breaking innovation.

On the cost front? We can definitely say that Apple is absolutely on competing on that one! It commands a premium for the product it offers and the services provides. And boy, does it works like magic!

You can also implement this strategy by offering better services, a full money back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction etc. The key is to provide maximum satisfaction to your customer and thereby gaining their trust and business.

Keep Your Product Category Short and Marketing Simple

Leonardo da Vinci once said, ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.

If you take a look at Apple’s portfolio, there are not many products. Yet, the kind of money they make is humongous.

Apple understands that people get overwhelmed with options. They help reduce the confusion by simplifying the web and sales copies. If you see the keynote presentations, you can observe that they never use jargon or industry terms. Instead they use simple words while emphasizing on the benefits and the overall experience of using the device. It thrills the consumers and they rush to buy immediately.

Lessons learnt:

  1. Never overwhelm your customers with too many options and features. Keep it simple and focus on the UVP of each product.
  2. Have a clean and minimalist design for your website. Copy should be crisp and captivating.
  3. Present your content in the form of bullet points. Make it instantly readable.
  4. Most important, create your product/service with utmost sophistication and classiness. Marketing won’t do any good if the product isn’t worth it!

Speak in Your Audience’s Language

It’s not like Apple doesn’t mention the product specifications in the presentations, they just mention them below the fold.

Once a visitor lands on Apple’s website, the first thing one sees is beautiful product images and a large-font simple and compelling copy. Apple often reminds the viewers about the relevance of the product and how it makes a difference in everyone’s lives.

For instance, Apple markets the iPod as the ‘device that lets you store hours of music in your pocket’ instead of a ‘music player and a storage device’. Compelling, isn’t it?

Similarly, you can adapt the same by talking about the relevance of your product to your target audience’s lives. Talk about how it will be valuable to them. More importantly, keep your website’s copy simple and elegant- it’s the gateway to your business.

Build a Community of Your Customers

Apple has one of the most hardcore fan bases when compared to any brand you might imagine. You can witness the hysteria every time there is a new product launch and the subsequent sales in the stores. People camp outside and wait for hours to get hold of the incredible piece of technology.

Over the years Apple has created a brand personality that is cool, exclusive and friendly. It compels the audience to become a part of the club. Remember the ‘Think Different’ campaign? It started with voice-over narration that said “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.” This emotional call resonated well with the viewers and it was a huge success. Marketing coupled with great products has helped Apple to build a vast community of fan following.

The most critical step towards building a community is to get absolutely clear on your values that you believe in. next step is to make sure that your website, social media channels, your marketing efforts reflect the values that you believe in. Last but not the least, you need to show your users that you care about them and respect their opinions.

Bottom-line

Apple is a great role model for any smart brand looking to create a super loyal fan base. The idea behind this article is not to mimic Apple, but to learn from it and implement in your business. Start working and you’ll see how innovative marketing boosts your sales figures.

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