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A Taste of Apple


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A Taste of Apple

  1. 1. A Taste of Apple
  2. 2. A Taste of Apple Katie Mason November 2010
  3. 3. Introduction Apple is a brand with a distinctive, strong and addictive flavour. It has got consumers displaying “religious” loyalty and thousands of brands aspiring to be the “Apple” of their industry, not to mention their recent fourthquarter profits which rocketed 70% year on year to £2.72bn, selling: 14.1 million iPhones 4.2 million iPads 3.9 million Macs Index This case study takes a look at the company, the brand, the products and the consumers to gain some insights and learnings from this legendary brand. 4 The company 11 The brand 19 The product 28 The consumers 34 Summary ©XPotential 2010
  4. 4. The Company “It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it” Steve Jobs Co-Founder and CEO
  5. 5. The Company One leader, one vision: Apple has one strong and visible leader, CEO and co-founder, Steve Jobs. He is the ultimate authority at Apple. His vision and drive directs the company Clarity of the vision would be compromised if they needed to reach a consensus across a board. This reflects Apple’s value of simplicity, and reducing the number of steps to a goal (like in their products) He keeps a clear vision and strategy, killing off even good things that don’t fit in order to be clear and cohesive Between Jobs’ departure from Apple (1985) and his return (1996), each CEO had their own idea of what Apple should be, costing it some of its original identity As a visible and driven leader, Jobs also helps build consumer trust in the company, consumers can relate to him and see Apple as more than a face-less company ©XPotential 2010
  6. 6. The Company and Culture Adapt to your own rules: In the 1970s, Apple was one of the revolutionary companies to throw off the old concepts of corporate culture. For example, they allowed casual attire, Steve Jobs even famously walked around the office barefoot. Jobs doesn’t publicise the full names of top employees such as Head of iTunes so competitors don’t poach his talent Name-change from Apple Computers Inc to Apple Inc in 2007, adapting to reflect their success outside of the computer market, in consumer electricals such as iPod and iphone ©XPotential 2010
  7. 7. The Company and Culture Hard work and debate: If you have a good idea, work hard for it. Jobs is renowned for being a “pain in the neck” about the things that matter to him 'Because I'm the CEO, and I think it can be done.' Debate is encouraged, rather than passive aggressiveness to find the best ideas Apple is not for the faint of heart, the level of drive and high aspirations can sometimes causes a team to eject a weak link or revolt against an underperforming boss Employees worked all hours and weekends to solve “Antennagate” (the fault with i phone 4’s reception), cots were even installed so that workers didn’t have to go home to sleep Hard work is recognised though, the best of Apple’s employees are rewarded through the Apple Fellows program ©XPotential 2010
  8. 8. The Company and Culture Work as one unit, not silos: The Apple team is not de-centralized, everyone knows what the plan is There is a cross-disciplinary view of success Apple is an exception in the tech industry, making its own hardware, software and related devices Many believe if you try to do too much, you will be good at nothing, but Jobs argues that if you have to involve multiple companies then the innovation can’t happen fast enough, or seamlessly enough and that nobody takes responsibility for the user interface Jobs describes the problem with the Concept Car example; designers create a fantastic show car, engineers say “we can’t do that” and change it, then the same happens with manufacturers and by the end the product is no longer as good or special At Apple, products get worked on by all teams in parallel ©XPotential 2010
  9. 9. Company: Implications and Learnings • Having one person who is ultimately responsible and involved in all processes is a good way to maintain clarity of vision. Not many companies have this luxury, but with aligned strong, concise values and vision, the “one leader” effect could be emulated • Putting a human face to your company helps to build consumer trust • Break the rules and be innovative in the working environment, to encourage a creative mindset • Brand-Company relationship works both ways: each can take from the other’s success. The brand that customers see should reflect the company behind it (and vice versa) ©XPotential 2010
  10. 10. Company: Implications and Learnings • Operational Alignment and common shared goals and an obsessive vision prevent an excellent concept from being distilled to become an average good concept through development • When all departments work together and not in silos, everyone has ownership of the product and more motivation to make it great, less opportunity to pass the blame if something goes wrong • Create a working environment where people are encouraged to debate their ideas and work hard for what matters to them • Passive aggression is counterproductive • Recognise employee achievements ©XPotential 2010
  11. 11. The Brand
  12. 12. The Brand “In the Old Testament there was the first apple, the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which with one taste sent Adam, Eve, and all mankind into the great current of History. The second Apple was Isaac Newton's, the symbol of our entry into the age of modern science. The Apple Computer symbol was not chosen purely at random, it represents the third Apple, the one that widens the paths of knowledge leading toward the future.” Jean-Louis Gassee, Former President of Apple Products ©XPotential 2010
  13. 13. The Brand: “Simple” Simple: Apple’s brand image and personality is simple and clear Think big, write small: The message/image is always boiled down to its essence, making it clear and memorable Mac “the computer for the rest of us” iPod “1000 songs in your pocket” iMac “3 steps to internet” By making it easy for people to market for them, Apple are so good at encouraging consideration of their products that they create purchases before the product is even seen (250,000 first day iphone sales) A picture is worth a thousand words: Apple’s visual communication uses big images more than writing, again this keeps things simple, but a picture can also convey more feeling than a block of text, and it looks better. Compared to the common vast amounts of information and content, this makes them refreshing ©XPotential 2010
  14. 14. The Brand: “Easy to relate to” Apples brand reflects a way of life that people can and want to associate with, you could describe Apple as a person Apple do not build their brand around “what” they do (the products), they work from “why”, starting with a vision to make life-improving user experiences, this is how they work and how they communicate, making them easy to understand and relate to and not reliant on products to define their brand. Therefore customers are comfortable buying anything from Apple Brand junky’s survey (brand channel) Apple reached top five for human questions like: “What brand would you sit with at a dinner party?” Also top 5 for “Which brand do you want to argue with?”, over exploiting their customers and releasing “new” products every 3 months (4.3%) v. Microsoft (6.1%) for being product, not customer driven, products are wide spread but not innovative, frustrating to use The human face of Steve Jobs also makes Apple easy to relate to, with a committed person, working to solve any problems and caring about consumers Steve Jobs himself has an accessible and simple trademark, outfit: black turtle neck and jeans, making him more recognisable and familiar ©XPotential 2010
  15. 15. The Brand: “Exclusive” When the company first launched in the '80s, part of their intrigue was graphic interface and design friendly features. From these early roots grew a powerful brand legend: authentically cool and distinctly designed by and for the creative class (e.g. product placement in Pixar films). Pre-launch strategies that build anticipation and generate awareness (e.g. recent hype speculating whether Stephen Fry’s exclusive white iphone4 will soon be publically available), with retail partners helping to make the launch events an actual occasion rather than just the start of availability. Interbrand top 100 brands 2010 ©XPotential 2010 Premium prices to maximise profits and communicate exclusivity, which are later lowered to drive sales from less involved market segments. Limited availability: like Chanel will only make 6 dresses despite far greater demand, Apple also ensure they run out of new products. This not only communicates exclusivity, but ensures publicity and drives customers to stores, who will then spread the word of the product if they are lucky enough to get their hands on one. Apple don’t do cut price sales, so they don’t de-value their products
  16. 16. The Brand: Innovative and Emotive Consumer beliefs about the brand are essential, especially in the tech industry where product lifecycles are short, brands are more long-standing Belief that people don’t need tools, they need solutions Apple is about lifestyle and power to the people through technology, fight for liberation/freedom Apple belongs to a select group of brands whose emotional pull attracts a consumer loyalty out of all proportion to its commercial success Innovation is an important value for Apple, being a technology company, but it could be that other brands in different sectors could see the same benefits by focusing on a different quality so long as it is emotive and relevant to their market Apple’s original Isaac Newton logo features the text: "Newton... 'A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought ... Alone.'" The coloured apple logo was reflected how apple was the first computer brand to offer colour graphics (not needed to be emphasized now) ©XPotential 2010
  17. 17. The Brand: Implications and Learnings • A simple, clear message is the most appealing and easiest to understand and be passed on • Don’t be afraid to go against the norm, like using good images instead of masses of text • Pictures are a great tool to improve image, emotional connections and memory • Don’t rely on your products to convey brand personality, communicate why you do what you do • A credible brand history and personality can improve affinity with the brand • Consider your target group, some consumers are put off by constant updates and changes to the product range ©XPotential 2010
  18. 18. The Brand: Implications and Learnings • A strong brand is not a sellout, products will be in higher demand if a level of scarcity is upheld, making purchase a special event • Innovation can be an emotional concept, and then it has more pull • Focus on the change/solution that an innovation will provide more than the specifics of the technology in order to engage people • Use your logo to embody the brand values (e.g. Apple’s current logo has simplicity) ©XPotential 2010
  19. 19. The Products “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs
  20. 20. The Range: Deciding on the product range Apple lets go of old products and specs to keep moving forward, pruning the portfolio to just the right set “Tough love” criticism to prevent mediocrity, or good-enough-but-notgreat ideas and products from creeping into the product or brand portfolio Products aim to reduce the "chain of pain" (steps to a goal). "We try to solve very complicated problems without letting people know how complicated the problem was. That's the appropriate thing.“ (Jonathan Ives, Head of Design) Launch of iPod was what brought apple back to consumers (previously just creative professionals) Apple doesn't conduct focus groups. "You can't ask people what they want if it's around the next corner“ (Steve Jobs) Apple’s product development starts in the gut and gets hatched in rolling conversations that go something like this: What do we hate? (Our cell phones.) What do we have the technology to make? (A cell phone with a Mac inside.) What would we like to own? (You guessed it, an iPhone.) “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse” Henry Ford "One of the keys to Apple is that we build products that really turn us on," Steve Jobs. ©XPotential 2010
  21. 21. The Range: Never be first to market Apple are successful because they take existing products and improve the design and functionality, making complex things easy and elegant E.g. iPod: apple took existing mp3 technology and made the process easier by making the charging and updating functions simultaneous etc. With iPod, Apple’s big innovation was the accompanying iTunes – negotiating with record labels to make the majority of music available to consumers through the iTunes store, so that consumers and their music never leave Apple When Apple tried to carve the new personal assistants category with Newton, they did not enjoy the success typical of their recent launches ©XPotential 2010
  22. 22. The Design: Go one step further Great design makes the products feel like a new invention Keep the consumer in mind throughout the process, instead of asking “What functionality should we offer?” think “Which of [Jo Blog]’s goals should we serve” Steve Jobs is not much bothered about what the tech industry thinks. When designing the Mac, he considered the look (e.g. like Cuisinart/like a Porsche), connecting with high-end mainstream consumers Place better experience ahead of more features  Good usability and great experience (navigational, visual, language, movement, flow)  Effects emotions and attitude by giving the product personality ©XPotential 2010 In more recent years, Apple have built Brand Design consistency recognisable family of products, you’d recognize them as Apple even if the logos were removed Willingness to delay product ship dates (or increase costs) to ensure that new products adhere to design standards and Apple brand principles – no compromise “Fanatical care beyond the obvious stuff: obsessive attention to details that are often overlooked, like cables and power adaptors” (Jonathan Ives)
  23. 23. The Design: Go one step further Go one step further with packaging: Focus on the feel Start with the packaging Make the first experience the customer has with the product memorable Iphone packaging is like a jewellery box with “finger tips” leaflet and cleaning cloth (and apple stickers!) The opening experience becomes another thing for consumers to share with others Everyone is a fan of good design and responds to extra, thoughtful touches – surprise and delight customers ©XPotential 2010
  24. 24. The Promotion Jobs’ favourite word: “revolutionary” – the importance of hype (e.g. 1984 ad – where Apple is represented as breaking free from the constrictions of the status quo) Halo effect of the iPod, apple used music industry success to promote their other computing products (used “from the creators of iPod” in iMac promo) Focus on music, because it’s a part of everyone’s life Marketing and ads don’t focus on every product feature, it’s more a concept of how it makes you’re life better. IPod adverts show the trademark white headphones but don’t focus on the product/how its features work – its not an MP3 player being sold, it’s a lifestyle. They are selling feeling good. Focus on what people do with your product, not what it does Apple’s products are not cheap, but price is part of their communications, showing that they believe they provide a better product Silhouttes help people imagine themselves using the product ©XPotential 2010
  25. 25. The Possibilities: Look beyond the sales of the product: Apple innovates not just on technology, but on the business model (e.g. iPod and iTunes, or iphone and app store). This makes it difficult for competitors to play catch up, let alone overtake Apple once it establishes itself in a dominant position. Apps: an opportunity to build partnerships by outsourcing creativity in any area imaginable Open for use (and therefore affiliation) with most brands imaginable, e.g. Carling beer app… Apple has revived its image by expanding and Mac sales have increased too as a result, especially as Apple relies on a digital hub strategy, where all products link back to the computer ©XPotential 2010
  26. 26. The Products: Implications and Learnings • Consider how your products can encourage creativity/be used by other brands and consumers • Promoting creativity and sharing help to spread word of mouth marketing and make a brand/product a part of consumer’s lives and daily conversations • Don’t rush to put a new product on the market, more success can be gained from finding a new product that people are still unsure of and making it better/more appealing • Don’t be afraid to fully commit to your values in order to keep your message simple; Apple values innovation, so it lets go of old products • Don’t over-complicate products, ease of use makes brand experience much better for consumers • If the company is excited about a product, they will work harder for its success ©XPotential 2010
  27. 27. The Products: Implications and Learnings • Use your brand’s successes to encourage consumers to try new products • Focusing communication on how the product makes a person feel will have a much wider and deeper resonance with consumers than focusing on product specifics, which a smaller audience might understand • Look outside your category for inspiration, and to bring in more varied consumers • Product experience is essential, if you consider the consumer at every step of the relationship with/use of the product, then consumers will be delighted and loyal in future • Everybody appreciates good design ©XPotential 2010
  28. 28. The Consumers “I think we're having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we're always trying to do better.” Steve Jobs
  29. 29. Consumers: creating the brand in store The Store: Create a retail experience based on the finding that consumers best service experiences were of four seasons hotel concierge desks, this type of service is offered at the apple genius bars - the geniuses help (for free) and aren’t pushy Allowing shoppers to touch and experience the products in-store reinforces ease of use. The products themselves look welcoming (e.g. round edges) and being able to pick them up and use them creates an inclusive environment The store is just for Apple, separating it from competitors and giving Apple complete control over how it is represented (well trained staff, interactability with products, community feel) In 2007 Apple introduces Tesco Apple zones, with same service retail concepts as apple stores, optimizing their relationship with this retailer and its shoppers The stores have won many awards: from customer service to architectural design Education Sales: By selling its products to schools and universities, Apple turns classrooms into showrooms. ©XPotential 2010
  30. 30. Consumers : building the cult Apple maintains a mysteriousness and a devoted fan following that has been described as “religious”, with parallels being drawn with the story of Christianity (humble beginnings, the lost messiah, Jobs, who rose again to save the company) Mystery is reinforced by careful campaign planning, such as the iPad being announced – the first posters were put up AS the product was being unveiled, featuring a photo of an iPad with the exact time of the announcement (9:41) ©XPotential 2010
  31. 31. Consumers : the lifestyle Apple helps people feel that their purchase buys them access to a special group, standing out in the crowd (white headphones, grey PowerBook in a sea of beige) Communications that ask “Are you a Mac?” encourage consumers to use the brand to identify themselves, by saying you’re a Mac user, people assume you have Mac values The heated dispute and loyalties are a reflection of how people take apple to demonstrate their lifestyle Products don’t sell, people do, and Apple equip their “people” with the tools to sell without even realising it:  Distinctive white headphones are a status symbol/advertisement/recommendation  Glowing apple symbol on back of Mac book is designed to be upright to others looking at it, not the user  Apple gives away stickers and sells t-shirts online Today brand fans make their voices heard in blogs etc real users will always be more convincing that adverts etc ©XPotential 2010
  32. 32. Consumers : keeping the connection The Message: Apple tries to send out a message that it cares about its customers When iphone4 had issues with reception  Steve Jobs reassured by putting the problem in perspective (only one more dropped call in 100 v. phone 3g)  Reinforced Apple’s relatability “We’re not perfect”  Reinforced the message that they care about customers “We care about every user, the company will not rest until it gets to the bottom of every consumers issue” (free cases and refunds were given) Jobs makes his e-mail address available for communication, he emphasizes that when a problem arises, they work to fix it for the customer (not the company) However, this lead to some bad PR when he got into an e-mail argument with one journalism student who was looking for information which escalated to Jobs saying “Leave us alone” ©XPotential 2010 Media Fodder Media outlets, especially bloggers, love to write about Apple, and Apple makes it easy for them Leaked rumours about new developments Mysterious shutdowns of its online store Apple gift wraps news stories that are just begging for speculation and hype. By perpetuating this cycle of media frenzy, Apple keeps its customers excited about buying new Apple products now and in the future.
  33. 33. The Consumers: Implications and Learnings • Consumers like the opportunity to test and learn about products without pressure before they buy them – this will not only improve likelihood of purchase, but also perceptions of the brand as approachable • Having less expensive products in the range can serve as a lower risk entry point for consumers to build loyalty from • Give your advocates the tools to spread the brand (simple messages and distinctive, visible brand cues on products) • Convey openness to consumers to build their trust, especially if your brand relies on a community/fanship cliental • By making branding of products distinctive and visible, you can create the appearance of a group that others will want to be part of • Focus on PR, marketing that comes from people outside of the brand, e.g. speculative bloggers can carry more weight than official marketing ©XPotential 2010
  34. 34. “Apple is about taking state-of-the-art technology and making it easy for people” Steve Jobs A clear, simple vision is easiest to communicate, pass on and understand When you have a clear vision, commit to it. Don’t let products or processes that don’t fit with the vision hang around holding you back With clear brand values and good user experience, people will understand your brand’s personality and relate to it To earn enthusiasts like Apple’s help them to differentiate from others (e.g. white headphones) and represent/promote your brand at the same time The look and feel are essential brand assets, if you focus on making them attractive and clear, people will find it easier to remember and relate to the brand Don’t allow your brand or company to get tied down by the status quo Debate ideas openly until you find the best one, then work hard and commit to it to make it work Align departments to lose as little of the original idea as possible along the development process If you are working to create something that you are excited about, you will work harder and better If you want to earn success by being different like Apple, you need to think different, not “think Apple” ©XPotential 2010
  35. 35. Who are XPotential? XPotential is a brand focused strategy consultancy that helps to align individuals, functions and organisations throughout the world to create and deliver Brand Value. We work with some of the world’s biggest brands to deliver outstanding results. We orientate individuals and teams in the organisations to focus their responsibilities to deliver value to their most important asset - their brand. We are proud to have worked with over 30 companies in over 50 countries and touched tens of thousands of individuals, delivering some of their most impressive business results. We do this through working closely with the leadership of organisations to develop Brand Centric Vision and Strategy through a deep understand of the challenges and opportunities for the Brands and the Company, the Brand Vision and the key audience for change. We then design and implement a programme of brand centric change including communication, engagement, training and follow up. We have worked both cross functionally and also through specific areas including sales, supply chain, innovation, marketing, R&D, finance and HR. ©XPotential 2010
  36. 36. “We align individuals, functions and organisations, throughout the world, to create and deliver brand equity” Take a look at our website to find out more about us: ©XPotential 2014 36