June 15, 2010

Five Reasons To Follow Apple’s Marketing Strategy

Disclaimer: I love Apple and their products. I own a MacBook Pro, a 24″ Cinema Display, an iPod Touch and several iPod Shuffles that reside in various drawers in my apartment. I surf the Web wirelessly with my Apple Airport Express. My desk looks like a mini Apple Store. This morning I was one of the first to pre-order the iPhone 4, which will be a huge upgrade from my old iPhone 3G. At least, that’s how I’m rationalizing it.

See, that’s the thing about Apple. They have perfected the art of introducing beautiful, groundbreaking new products that seem old and outdated after just one year. And they count on consumers like me to get in line for the latest and greatest new product. And I fall for it every time! Well, almost. I have successfully avoided the iPad for now, only because I see it as a luxury item and not something that I “need” (like the new iPhone, which pretty much does what my old iPhone does, but faster). I know, they’ve got me right where they want me.

Don’t you wish you had clients racing to your website every time you had a new product or service to offer? There’s a reason why Fortune has named Apple “The World’s Most Admired Company” for the third consecutive year.

Here are five reasons why you should follow Apple’s marketing strategy:

  1. They Focus on One Thing and Make it Great. When the iPod made its debut in 2001, the company’s focus was on music and putting a thousand songs in your pocket. Then they kicked off the iTunes store, which made it easy and legal to download songs to your computer or iPod. In 2007, the iPhone changed the way smartphones were made and used. This year, millions of the “magical” iPad sold in a matter of  weeks.
  2. They Train Their Customers. Apple’s best clients know that most of  Apple’s product line is “refreshed” every year to the month, with upgrades in memory, speed, design, added features and overall ease-of-use. There are many forums and blogs tracking down rumors of new products and release dates as fans wait in anticipation of the next great Apple product. Check out these photos of the lines forming in Tokyo just to pre-order the new iPhone.
  3. They’re Green. Companies that promote eco-friendly products gain respect and garner positive press from “green” organizations that in turn encourage their followers to buy from these companies. The latest round of Apple MacBook Pro computers are billed as “The World’s Greenest Lineup of Notebooks.” For a company that expects its best clients to upgrade their hardware annually, they’d better produce something that’s easily recycled. Visit Apple’s Environment page here.
  4. They Don’t Have Sales. OK, that’s not entirely true. They have a one-day Black Friday sale that saves 5-10% off certain products. But that’s it. One day. They set their prices high and back them up with a stellar reputation for providing excellence in their products and in customer satisfaction. You can find a decent PC notebook at Best Buy for about $600, but Apple has no problem charging $999 for its least expensive notebook.
  5. They Know and Market to Their Customers. Even before the days of the ‘Think Different” ad campaign, Apple was reaching out to college students and graduates, creatives, rebels, and the anti-establishment. Microsoft dominated the market and Apple ran a distant second. Watch the “Get a Mac” commercials and you’ll see Apple’s attempt to paint PC users as well-meaning, but kind of dumb for sticking with bad computers, while Mac people are  young and carefree because their computers “just work.”

Think about your own company’s brand. Is it properly represented on your website? Do you focus on one great thing before working on your next project? Are you a “green” company or do you have any charitable ties to your community? Are your prices competitive or are you losing money by undercutting your competition? Do you know who your clients are and do you market to them accordingly?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, please contact me for a free, no-strings consultation to help strengthen your brand’s message on your website and in your marketing materials.