By Lucy Bradley
Tuesday brought the much-anticipated launch event of the Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X – bringing excitement for the Apple lovers of the world. According to Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, the iPhone X is “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone” – and we’d hope so at the cost of £999; naturally bringing some price issues to the table for Apple’s customers. But with over 1 billion iPhones now having been sold (2016), and product launches acting as a live event millions tune in to see – there are certainly lessons we can learn from Apple, and apply in our own marketing efforts. But what is it that really contributes to their success?
Apple’s success is not simply down to selling a large quantity products, and making large amounts of money – to do this they’ve really had to get to know their target market. They’re well aware of the different buyer personas across their product portfolio, and the ways to target them most effectively. For teenagers, it’s all about the Apple brand – as they’re the one who really buy into it, and use the brand as more of a status symbol for themselves. Having an iPhone is more commonly being seen as the norm in teens, and these teens who act as brand ambassadors for Apple act as one of the most powerful marketing tools Apple has.
Furthermore, it’s well known that Apple products appeal to the professionals of the world, in terms of usability and their sleek and minimalist design. Apple is keen to stress how their products make the user’s life easier and how they are ahead of the technological curve.That’s not to forget their wider range of products and services with the iWatch, Apple Pay, and Apple TV – who again have different target markets and customer needs – yet Apple taps into these needs to appeal to them, yet still stressing the well-known characteristics of the Apple brand.
Many entrepreneurs believe that the main factor they have to compete on is price, and whilst in some markets this is the case – Apple has purposefully chosen never to do this. In fact, they openly say they are higher priced than competitors, and instead choose to stress their ‘unique value proposition’ and doing this is what gives them an edge. With their beautiful designs, minimal packaging and top of the line when it comes to specifications – luxury and exclusivity are what comes to mind.
Throughout their marketing, Apple stresses the overall benefits their products and services bring to the user. Doing so enables them to stand out from competitors, who may simply focus on price and a new feature they’ve brought out in the latest model of their product. Marketing the product as a whole in line with their unique value proposition is what allows Apple to routinely charge higher prices, and uphold their market share.
Apple is very clever in the language they use across their marketing communications, and unlike many of their competitors, they avoid using jargon and advanced technological language. Doing so makes the information Apple puts out their more accessible by the masses – therefore their target market can relate to them more easily. Have you noticed Apple’s clever use of copy? A Mac isn’t just a computer, it helps make your computing experience exciting and pleasurable, where “the vision is brighter than ever”- really relating it to the benefits the product can bring to the user.
This is a lesson we can all learn from as marketers; the importance of being creative in our copy and adapting this to suit our target market’s needs. Keep any technical language on a need to know basis, as this helps the target market to stay within their comfort zone and not be overwhelmed with information they can’t fully understand.
Perhaps one of the most notable and admirable lessons we can learn from Apple is the sense of community they have built through their brand. You’ll see a host of avid Apple fans queuing for the release of the latest Apple iPhone, and we’ll sure this will continue for the latest models. In the office, rumor has it our full-stack developer Josh has his eyes on the iPhone X (he’s a bit of an Apple fanboy)…
These fanboys and fangirls act as brand ambassadors and are the ones that create a real hype around Apple’s products, which is what attracts the crazy media attention Apple is looking for. These ambassadors really help to stress the ‘fun’ and ‘cool’ elements to Apple’s brand, and their personality is what ultimately enables them to stand out from their competitors.
Now, whilst your next product launch may not get the attention Apple’s does – there are still principles of their marketing you can apply in yourself. Focus on being true to your brand values, showing off your personality and what your organisation is all about, no matter how small or large you may be, and the right target audience will be more likely to relate and engage with you.