Apple has become the golden standard when it comes to establishing a solid brand identity. Regardless of the criticism that the brand has endured over its prices, Apple has continuously managed to create global anticipation for its newest product releases through its effective marketing strategy and campaigns.
In this article, we will look at:
1) What we can learn from Apple’s marketing strategy
2) Examples of Apple’s marketing campaign
What we can learn from Apple’s marketing strategy
1) Simplicity is key
It is essential to understand that simplicity is key when communicating with a target audience. While other technology companies are guilty of using a variety of marketing messages to display the price and benefits of their product, Apple understood that complicated strategies and campaigns and information overload have the potential to overwhelm customers and prospects. If this happens, then the brand will not achieve visibility and drive sales.
Rather than using special effects, voice-overs, or extensive product feature lists that will distract from the actual product, Apple uses ads and marketing strategies that are simple and straight to the point. By doing so, Apple lets their products and positive brand image do the talking so that consumers can identify the important details of the launch right away.
2) Focus on the unique value proposition
From the beginning, Apple’s unique value proposition was developing high-quality, innovative products that created a positive customer experience. Over the years, Apple has not wavered from this commitment, despite critics constantly questioning why their products are always so much more expensive than their competitors’ products. By sticking with its original unique value proposition, the Apple brand has not only established itself as an expert in its industry but has also managed to spend its time focusing on creating memorable customer experiences which their competitors cannot replicate. Apple’s ecosystem has been designed to work harmoniously across all of its products and applications, making customers feel like what they are paying for is worth it.
3) Create an experience ecosystem
As mentioned previously, Apple prides itself on having a focus on customer experience. Everything from their products, website, ads, app store, and retail store was created with the consumer in mind. In the past ten years, Apple has expanded itself to become part of everyone’s everyday life and has formed a cohesive and user-friendly environment that has attracted a cult following. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their products. Their experience ecosystem also follows high standards so that all products and services tie into their overall brand identity.
Apple has given consumers a product that allows them to control everything in their lives from a touch of a button, from controlling home electronics to ordering food delivery. The Apple team has created connected, integrated, and packaged experiences to fit their brand’s aesthetic. In addition to that, Apple has also focused on innovation by creating a secure and seamless way to run their ecosystem with features like Apple Pay secure payments and biometric facial recognition on their newest products. All in all, everything that Apple does further reinforces their reputation as an authority in their industry and presents them as a recognizable brand.
4) Speak to the audience in their language
Understanding a target audience is essential when launching a marketing campaign; this helps brands to achieve visibility and draw sales. However, it’s not enough to simply know what audience to target. Brands also need to know how this audience communicates and what platforms they use to get information. Using a language they understand, companies can create meaningful relationships with their audience and boost sales.
Apple has been so successful because they always take the time to fully understand their audience, talk about the brand, and the features or products that work for their customers. Consumers determine if and when a company will achieve success, so listening to what their audience is most interested in and establishing better communication with them is incredibly important. The critical thing to remember is not to use terms, phrases, or jargon that will confuse or overwhelm the consumer.
5) Create visual content with emotions
Rather than just highlighting the products’ battery life or screen size, Apple uses its ads and visual marketing material to showcase the emotions people have when using their products. The company has created such a loyal following because of its ability to connect with its audience through emotions.
Creating visual content that appeals to emotions encourages customers to share this content with family and friends, thus increasing brand awareness. Combining emotionally charged content with a language that their target audience can understand is the reason why Apple’s marketing strategy is one of the best out there.
However, sometimes companies need that extra help to create great newsworthy content. This is where PR and marketing professionals come in. PR agencies like Pressfarm help companies create informative and visually appealing content to connect with media professionals or their target audience. With their PR packages, Pressfarm also provides companies with access to their media database of over 1 million journalists and media outlets so that they can find their perfect media match. Additionally, they will also help companies increase their online visibility in relevant search results on multiple search engines.
6) Hire the right people
When it comes to technological innovation and design, it is evident that Apple has hired the right people for the job. In an industry where technology changes rapidly, Apple is always on the lookout for new talent while also ensuring that their brand continues to resonate with their target audience. Upholding brand standards during the hiring process ensures that all their employees represent the Apple brand. An excellent example of this the Genius bar operators in their physical stores. By hiring people that fit their environment and aesthetic, Apple shows that they are not just trying to present their brand message through their products but also their staff.
7) Develop hype
Developing an aura of mystery around their products is a marketing strategy which always creates hype around Apple’s products. By releasing only snippets of information about upcoming products, Apple draws consumers’ attention and creates suspense. While companies and marketers usually tend to try and disclose all the information about a product, Apple creates more excitement and anticipation by withholding a lot of information. This results in people heading to the internet to speculate about the upcoming product.
8) Do what is right
Crisis management is also vital for a company’s overall business strategy. Every company goes through some form of crisis, whether self-inflicted or caused by circumstances beyond their control. It is how they deal with it that sets them apart from their competition. While there have not been too many crises surrounding Apple, the few that have emerged have been significant.
Before the launch of Apple Music, singer Taylor Swift wrote a letter explaining her negative emotions about their decision not to pay artists during Apple Music’s 3-month free trial period. It’s true that Apple’s focus has always been to create a positive, user-friendly environment for consumers. Even so, Taylor Swift’s letter made them realize that they also needed to listen to the needs of their “celebrities and influencers” because these people have a lot of power over the brand’s reputation. It may seem unnecessary for Taylor Swift to complain about not being paid given her status. Even so, the main point of her letter was to highlight how Apple’s decision greatly affected smaller artists who didn’t have a steady income.
This letter pushed Apple to announce that they were reconsidering their decision. Through effective crisis management, the company was able to turn what could have been a gigantic blow into a public relations strategy to help promote Apple Music. Through their response, they established a dialogue and formed relationships with artists by showing that the company cared about all its creators.
Secondly, in 2015, the California court system asked Apple to unlock an iPhone belonging to someone who had shot 14 people in San Bernardino County. They declined to help the FBI because they knew that they would essentially be showing the FBI how to hack into other consumers’ devices. This was the around the time the NSA and the US government had been exposed for surveillance. For this reason, smartphone consumers as a whole were already getting increasingly concerned about their data privacy. Many may say Apple was obstructing justice. Despite these sentiments, Apple chose to publicly defend their customers to fight for more robust encryption and protect their data. Since their brand message is to always think of their consumer, their actions ended up building trust among their customers.
9) Front your brand
We all know the visionaries behind Apple – Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak. If it were not for them and their brilliant minds, we would not have the brand we know and love today. Another reason the company has been so successful the pure passion Jobs and Wozniak had for the brand. Jobs particularly emulated everything that the brand stood for and always spoke about the vision he and Wozniak had for the company. Both men were true thought-leaders of their industry in all aspects of the business. This includes everything from product creation to picking the right people to represent their brand’s values.
For companies to be successful, the founders need to live and breathe the same values that they have chosen for the brand. Doing so builds trust among audiences and increases emotional value.
10) Avoid channel overload
One of Apple’s core principles is to consistently create high-quality products. Another reason why they have been so successful is due to their “quality over quantity” philosophy. Throughout its existence, the Apple brand only commits to developing a few products to make them as high quality as possible.
By establishing value points from the beginning, Apple ensures that everything that they do is meaningful and has a positive impact on the world. Also, by keeping things simple, they avoid using multiple channels to attract their consumer. Thanks to their research, they know the appropriate channels to use for gaining high-level product placement and the right PR. This is more effective than traditional advertising.
11) Use product placement
Influencer and social media marketing have now become a significant part of any company’s marketing strategy. The reason for its success is due to the personal connections influencers can make with their target audiences. While Apple may not need to rely on this strategy as much as other companies, they have still used celebrities and influencers to endorse their products. This has boosted their visibility and increased sales.
By using influencer marketing, companies can reach a wider audience and develop mutually beneficial relationships with influencers and celebrities.
12) Create a customer-centric business culture
Keeping in touch with your customers helps you build positive long-term relationships with them, in addition to earning their trust. Customers who trust you are more likely to stay loyal to your brand for a longer time. Moreover, if you keep in touch with customers throughout the buyer journey, it’s easier to find out about issues they are facing with your product and fix them. More importantly, you can do this before the customer walks away, at which point it’s usually too late to win them back.
Customers who feel seen, heard and appreciated are likely to turn into valuable brand ambassadors, referring friends and family to your brand. This is good news, because 51% of new customers trust recommendations from friends more than they trust brand advertising.
When your customers start advertising your brand for free, don’t let this go unnoticed. Rather, show your appreciation for the business they’re bringing in by offering them rewards and incentives. After all, a good referral program is a good way to increase brand loyalty among your current customers and win over new ones.
13) Build systems that prioritize consumer privacy
Apple recently announced a change in their privacy ecosystem which has cut digital advertisers off the user data which they could access freely before. In order to survive, digital marketers have to develop new systems that not only protect consumer privacy, but also help them reach the audiences they want in creative, non-intrusive ways.
Apple’s decision aside, privacy is a huge concern at the moment. For this reason, marketers who continue to find loopholes that allow them to exploit user data are likely to lose public support.
Apple has become the gold standard for product and brand marketing because of their ability to understand their audience. Beyond understanding their audience, they also do a good job positioning their products as a solution to consumer pain points. Rather than bombarding people with technical information about the product itself, they have successfully created a unique experience through their content, products, and services. These marketing strategies have made Apple one of the major powerhouses in the world of technology and electronics.