Best Brand Example: Apple

Some companies just rise above others when it comes to branding. They’ve worked hard to create a recognized brand and loyal supporters. And no company, in our opinion, has done a better job crafting their brand than Apple.

How many of you have an iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac, iTV? Are you considering putting all your information in iCloud or downloading a new song on iTunes later?

So what has Apple done that’s made their brand what it is today? Here are our thoughts:

They produce great products. Not only are Apple’s products great, they live up to the PROMISES that Apple made about them from their inception. The iPod+iTunes combo changed music forever. The iPhone changed what we expected out of our phones. The iPad created a tablet revolution. And the Mac made PC users world-wide change their thinking. Apple’s products don’t let their customers down.

They understand their market. Granted, it’s a HUGE market, but Apple knows that its customers and potential customers want more than just a gadget – they want a COOL gadget. They want it to be sleek, they want it to be intuitive and they want it to impress their friends. Remember how all headphones were black before the now-famous white iPod earbuds? That was in response to learning about their market and wanting to make something different.

They have unparalleled customer service. Walk into an Apple store or call Apple’s customer service line, and you can almost be guaranteed that your issue will be resolved within minutes. Try doing that with your Dell computer or Zune mp3 player. Customer service is a huge part of a brand – it literally connects your customers to your employees, and can send a strong message about who you are as a company. Apple excels at customer service.

They build excitement. Remember when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone? “It’s an iPod. It’s a Phone. It’s an iPod. It’s a Phone…” Excitement had been building for weeks leading up to that product announcement. Apple is king when it comes to building excitement about an upcoming product – it’s part of their brand. It’s why customers camp out in front of Apple stores to get their hands on a new product days before its release date.

They make a premium product. You’re not going to buy a Mac computer for $500. Jobs once said he didn’t know HOW to make a computer for $500. Apple products are premium products – no one will accuse them of being affordable to the entire population. But that’s part of their brand. It makes them who they are. And their customers are willing to pay that premium for their products.

All of these factors (plus many, many more) equal a strong brand and fiercely loyal customers. Try convincing a Mac user to switch to a Toshiba. It will NEVER happen. That brand loyalty is the reward for hard work crafting a brand that has become an icon.

Forte Marketing Group is a Birmingham, Alabama-based branding, marketing and advertising firm that helps companies nationwide differentiate their brands. Learn more about us at www.fortemg.com.

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