Everyday consumers and business publications agree – Apple is the current king for brand strength and visibility. When people see that tiny logo on a computer, tablet, or phone, they know they aren’t just getting something high-quality, but also the sense of style and ingenuity that goes behind it.
That sets the bar pretty high for other Fortune 500 companies and technology producers, of course, but there are also lessons small and medium-sized businesses can learn from the success of Apple’s branding campaigns. In fact, here are four ways you can copy their template and make an impression on buyers:
#1: Know What You Offer
You may have noticed that even though Apple products are incredibly popular, they aren’t for everyone. Even better, they aren’t marketed as if they were for everyone. Early on, Apple positioned themselves as being offbeat, funky, and even a little bit whimsical. You can see this in the way they design packaging, the music they choose for their ads, and the kinds of taglines you find associated with their products.
In other words, they don’t just realize that what they’re selling is different, they make it different and relish in the fact that they can carve out a niche. You can do the same.
#2: Know Who You’re Selling to
For the reasons just stated, Mac products caught on quickly with artists, designers, and other creative types (and in fact, you’ll inevitably find that the vast majority of designers and agencies around the world tend to prefer Apple). They knew what they had, but they also knew who was right for it. Of course, the market has expanded for them over the years, but they’ve grown carefully without changing their identity.
Products and services that are for “everyone” rarely attract much of a loyal following. Know who your buyers are and cater to them.
#3: Don’t Forget About Aesthetics
Much has been made of Apple’s commitment to design, including everything from fonts to phones. In fact, their complete refusal to prioritize function over form completely was one of the big differentiators between themselves and their early competitors. When others were simply making MP3 players, Apple was designing compact, stylish iPods.
No matter what you sell, people want it packaged and delivered in a way that is sleek and attractive when possible.
#4: Sell to Your Customers’ Future Wants
Most of us never knew how badly we wanted an iPhone, or a MacBook Air, until they were released. That could be said for a lot of Apple’s products. They haven’t just followed the old axiom to “give your customers what they want” — they’ve actually invented new wants by staying ahead of the curve.
By tuning into your most important buyers and anticipating the things they’ll desire in the future, you can do the same. What will your customers want tomorrow that they haven’t heard of you today?
Be Like Apple
Finding the kind of success and growth that Apple has isn’t easy, of course, but it’s not impossible, either. And things get easier when you break what they’ve done down into the simple parts we’ve listed here, and put them to work in your own marketing campaigns.