iPhone 12 and the $241.2 billion brand: Branding in the Apple way.
Released this week, iPhone 12 has become the headlines of every discussion on social media and newspapers because of the removal of charging adapters in the product to achieve the “environment goal” of the company. The skeptical audiences mock this change on Twitter that: “Apple be like: ‘We want to help the environment so we won’t include no charger nor earpods with the iPhone 12, instead we’ll sell it apart and waste more materials by doing more boxes’. The diehard Apple fan, on the other hand, still queue in line from the evening to get the latest models. And normal people like most of us, whether we like this new product or not, we must admit that Apple 12 has created a new trend in the technology field.
Do you remember when Apple first introduced the iPhone 11Pro/ Promax with triple cameras? Many people at that time also had negative comments on this new feature, because of its unusual, or weird look. But afterward, many tech companies also followed this design for their product lines.
Apple has created its own regime and been recognized as the most valuable brand in the world (at least according to Forbes). What do they have in their Branding strategies to turn Apple into the $241.2 billion brand like today?
Consistent is key
Steve Jobs has always reinforced the “simplicity” for Apple. And This has remained consistent in its brand strategy.
“Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”.
Apple created its own unique visual and verbal expression, demonstrated in the product design and advertising. It logo “half- bitten apple” is protected strictly, and the slogan “Think Different” is the guideline for all product they created. Their designs are sleek and beautiful. It is a fact to say that, you can recognize an iPhone or Macbook from the first look. Even in the advertisement, their graphics can leave a strong impression on the audience’s senses by the simple but stunning elements. A typical Apple advertisement will be very straightforward with a product name and a clear picture. The content is stripped down to the minimum because the product will speak for itself.
Apple is a lifestyle brand with “imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology”. Its personality also associates with simplicity. Apple strives to achieve the goals of being helpful to people and businesses, and provide a hassle-free life for its users. Apple doesn’t use gigs, or any hard- explained words to describe its products. Instead, they use simple, direct words and the benefits for customers. This brilliance in content marketing: high tech without high tech terms has indeed made Apple stand out from the crowds.
A brand connects through emotion
Apple is a giant technology company, but it does not position as a tech brand with gigs and jargon. Instead, an emotional branding strategy has always been cultivated. It goes beyond commerce and technology. Apple positions itself as the “creative and innovative” brand and aims for a “heartfelt connection” with the audiences.
“Customers are more likely to remember—and purchase—products and services that make them feel good”.
This philosophy has been always right with every brand. Most of the customers don’t think they will purchase the smartphone with a “Super AMOLED display, 159.2 mm x 75.1 mm x 8.9 mm, a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and 403 PPI pixel density”. They pay for the good feeling and the premium symbol of status that using an Apple product brings to them.
Once your brand can connect with your customers on the emotional level, then you are likely to turn them into loyal fans.
Extraordinary customer experiences
Apple always ensures that both its website and physical stores reinforce the Apple brand. Their retail stores are designed in sync with their color and brand identity. Warm color, minimalism, modern and monochromatic, Apple retail stores are not a “quick trip” for visitors. Instead, people can enjoy a “full experience”, where they can try products, ask questions from “professional technicians”’, and walk out with newly purchased products and satisfaction. Especially, they can enjoy the trip without feeling pressure or being brash. All of these touchpoints are consistent with the branding elements and reinforce the personality of the Apple brand.
Apple has brought “customer experience” to a new level with the Apple community. Customer experiences started from when the customers first get to know the brand, search for the products, and will not finish at the stage of purchasing. Apple facilitates a post- purchasing experience with the “unboxing” videos, which are quite popular on Youtube.
Moreover, they also incorporate the customers into their brand, make them become part of something significant through the User- Generated Content strategy. In their marketing efforts for the iPhone with the “Shot on iPhone” campaign, users were encouraged to submit their shots by iPhone. Those videos and pictures would be featured in an international ad campaign. This campaign had generated more than 10,000 submissions globally and engaged customers in a positive and enthusiastic way.
Unique value proposition
Apple does not try to involve the price war on the market. They just sell premium products with very high price labels. Hardly can you find deep discounts from Apple during Black Friday or Boxing days. Apple will keep the prices relatively the same across its distribution channels to maintain its premium brand image, and also provide the same customer experiences wherever they purchase an Apple product.
On the market, it can usually be seen lots of discounts from other brands to drive the demands. Meanwhile, Apple will pay attention to its core competence- delivering exceptional customer experience to turn customers into loyal fans. After that, those diehard fans will follow the movement from the brand.
The bottom line
Apple may not be the first brand to introduce triple cameras phones in iPhone 11, but it definitely made this feature a trend. If the EarPods headphones and a dedicated charging block were not removed by Apple, then, this news would not have become the headlines for any newspapers and magazines over the last few weeks.
The products can be outdated, but the brand lasts forever. Building a brand strategy can direct your business to sustainable growth and stand out from the crowd. If you would like to ask for Branding advice from experts, don't hesitate to contact us.
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