Apple is, currently, the Most Valuable Company in the World.
- By Market Capitalization.
How could a small Californian Company achieve this, in less than 50 years of existence?.
Apple's Strategy for Success
1. Fashionize Technology: Apple took care of the Design when Nobody did.
- And turned Technological Devices into something Attractive.
2. Hook Customers with its Environment: An inter-connected Environment.
- Apple created a Self Sufficient Environment that “trapped” its Users.
3. Offer Business Opportunities (the Most Important): For App Creators.
- It allowed external Professionals to Create Content and make a living.
As you can see, we have ignored the “Classic” virtues:
- Prioritizing Customer Experience.
- Developing High Quality Products.
Because 2 Main Reasons:
- Many other Companies have Focused on Customer Experience.
- Many Professionals would tell you that Apple’s Products are of High Quality only on the Outside.
- And that their Prices are technically unjustified.
We have chosen the 3 Factors that Characterized Apple’s Business and Marketing Strategies the Most.
- Also, we don’t want to repeat what Everybody already knows.
Let’s explain them in more detail:
If you just Focus on the Technical Specifications, your Competitors will have a Clear Goal:
- To get over You.
- Adding more RAM, Using a Faster CPUs, etc.
In the 90s, the Technology Market was Only Focused on Technical Specifications.
- RAM, CPU Speed, etc.
Computers were obsolete in months.
But, in the midst of those years, Apple Focused on:
- Improving the Design of its Products.
- Associating its Brand with being “Unconventional“ and “Out of the Box“.
- Of course, offering high quality Hardware and Software.
Apple wanted its users to Regard its Products as more than a list of Cold Specifications.
Even the design of its Stores is similar to Luxury-Brand Stores:
On the Left, an Apple Store, on the Right a Louis Vuitton Store.
Apple Products were good, but other Companies offered better and cheaper Devices, technically speaking.
- With faster CPUs, more RAM, better compatibility, etc.
They managed to Market Tech Devices as if they were Fashion Products.
- And, when you buy a jacket, you look for the Design and the Brand above all.
- You don’t check the materials, nor the seams.
Hook Customers with its Environment
Nowadays, Apple’s Environment (iTunes, AppStore, OS, iWatch, etc) feels Natural.
- Everybody is used to it, or at least, understands it.
But, few years ago, it was something annoying to an average customer.
- I personally hated iTunes.
Adding Songs to a non-Apple mp3 was something Easy and Instantaneous.
An Old mp3 that didn’t need any program to add Songs.
On the other hand… Downloading iTunes, creating your Playlists and coupling your iPod with the Computer took several minutes.
- And, the first time you did it, you needed at least one hour.
- If you had no idea about downloading Programs… Good luck.
People got used to it little by little.
But, as Apple released New Products that used that Environment, People appreciated it much more.
- If you purchased a New iPhone, you could add your Favorite Playlist to it, immediately.
And, once you were completely immersed in Apple’s Environment, it was very difficult to get out of it.
- You had everything Configured.
- You had all your Playlists.
- It had all your data.
Not continuing with an Apple Product would be throwing away all this useful information.
Offer Business Opportunities
Before 2008, App Creators had to work for a Company, to create their Content.
- Most of the time.
That means that, if you wanted to create a Video Game for Nokia (for example) you had to work for them.
- Or, for a big Company that worked for/with Nokia.
It was a rigid Market.
- And Even more: You could like the game of a Nokia and not having it in other Mobile phone of the same Company.
Apps and Games, could not be freely downloaded and installed.
There was not an App Market.
- Apps belonged, by default to Mobile Devices.
But, in 2008, Apple released its App Store.
Apple’s App Store.
The App Store allowed Programmers to be free to Create whatever they wanted.
- Users would be able to download, install and uninstall the Apps they liked best.
It Created a wonderful Business Opportunity for millions of Programmers.
- And, in a short time, thousands of nice Games, Apps, Tools… Appeared.
In addition to this, we could also highlight that iTunes did something similar in the Music Industry.
iTunes offered a Legal alternative to the illegal Programs that existed in the 90s (eMule, KaZa, Ares, etc).
- It satisfied Artists, and lots of Users.
Nowadays, it offers everybody a platform to Share their:
And you don’t need to be a Top Artist to publish there.
These are the Main 3 Pillars that allowed Apple to become the most Valuable Company in the World.
But, What Marketing Strategy did they follow to achieve this?
- What Campaigns did they use?
- What messages did they convey?
- What Values did they Highlight?
Let’s analyze Apple’s Marketing Strategy:
Marketing Strategy of Apple
We could highlight dozens of tactics Apple has used over the years.
However, we think there are 3 Main pillars that characterize Apple’s Marketing Strategy:
- The third one is pretty recent.
Lots of Apple’s Commercials try to Associate its Brand with:
- Being Special.
- Being Unconventional.
At the beginning this made some sense, as Apple Users were “rare”.
- Today, it is a bit “paradoxical” since it is the Most Valuable Company on Earth.
- And its products are consumed by everybody.
Apple has always tried to convey Exclusivity in its Products:
- With Few Commercials.
- Nice Packaging.
- A Rigid High-Price Policy.
- Luxury-Style Apple Stores.
That is Why they Highlight, that they are “Designed in California, Assembled in China”.
- In all its Products.
What is very common.
- There are thousands of products designed in Europe or the US, that are Assembled in China.
They don’t want to sell a $1,000 Exclusive Mobile Phone with a just “Made in China” on it.
Recently, Apple has highlighted that its Devices Respect Privacy above all.
- In response to a Rise in Privacy concerns.
Apple even opposed to unblock a Mobile phone for the FBI in an open Investigation.
- We think that this was an overreaction, to promote Apple’s Privacy Strategy.
All this, along with:
- A perfect Implementation.
- The best Tactics.
- The Right Decisions, at the Right time.
- New and amazing Products.
… Allowed Apple to become the Large, Innovative and Successful Company that is Today.