For years now, Apple has been a star example of a business empire, a successful enterprise, a world-recognized brand, and some would even say a revolution. It has become a symbol of a lifestyle and people use it as a way to identify themselves in their communities and greater society. Because of this, Apple has become a case study for thousands of marketing books, business management workshops, and an inspiration for many smaller brands looking to attain the same level of world-domination without losing their sense of style, their values, and their unique voice.
However, sometimes it’s overwhelming to take on a big brand like Apple and break down the lessons to learn for little businesses to take to heart. Here are so entry points for where to start when looking for how to copy this formula for success while staying true to yourself.
- Don’t Sell Product
The one important difference between a generic technology company and Apple, (other than the price of their products) is how they present their business when they sell. Many marketing gurus have already noticed that Steve Jobs never sold an mp3 player when the iPod was the hottest thing on the market. Instead he was giving the user a chance to put “a hundred songs in their pocket”. The big difference here is that the customer could either buy a “500 MB high tech MP3 player” or “a hundred songs in your pocket”. The Apple mindset is to give the user beautiful, easy to use products that improve the quality of his life, while any other company simply gives a product with some sort of specifications. Answer the questions of “why” you do what you do, instead of simply what you do. It will mean a lot more to an individual and they will be able to associate themselves better with your mission than with a product or service that they don’t quite understand or care to.
- Excellent Customer Service
Apple has always had excellent customer service, starting from the helpful staff members in the Apple stores, the free assistance they provide, to the kind people behind their email correspondence. Even the little leaflets with information included with all of their products are well-versed and perfectly translated, making it an international brand that people worldwide can identify with. For your own business, remember to make customer services a priority, creating effective policies that make the customer feel appreciated. Even if you aren’t an international brand, ensure that all who you reach know that you made an effort to communicate with them in their language. Hire bilingual customer service representatives, and get French to English and English to French translation services by a dedicated team of professional experts. This will really help with Canadian customers, while Spanish experts would be great for the American and Mexican markets.
- Aesthetics are Important
One thing that no one can contest, even those who don’t like Apple products, is that no matter what they design, it’s beautiful. From the packaging, to the store, to the item itself, everything is sleek, professional and just feels and looks wonderful. It makes the owner of an Apple product proud to have it, more likely to show it off to friends, and buy more “matching” items. The aesthetic is unique, distinguishable, and universally attractive, something that modern makers and designers should be aware of. It’s not enough anymore for something to be super functional and high quality. It has to be that plus the most beautiful and desirable thing in the room, even if no one quite understands how it works and the full potential of what it does.
- Don’t Give Up
Apple wasn’t exactly an instant success. There were products that failed or didn’t perform as they should, strange releases that nobody understood, and at one point the company was on the verge of collapse. For some it’s a distant memory, but people laughed when iTunes was released, ridiculed the iPad, and are still confused about Apple Pay. However, perseverance of those running the company is what made it into the empire that it is today. The business landscape has changed, and you can spend a lot of resources on something that doesn’t deliver as it should, whether that is a new line of products, a service package, or a marketing campaign, however, it’s important to change as needed. Stick to the dream and change the mindset and lifestyle of people to fit your products, not the other way around.
Creating a “cult” of followers like Apple has takes time, however, today is the day to start laying down the groundwork for the success of your brand, starting with these 4 lessons!