Brand Assessment for the magic Apple
Recently, Apple has released its latest mobile phone product: iPhone SE, which has received great attention from consumers. On the official website, it describes the iPhone SE as “A powerful new smartphone in a popular design” and “The Most Affordable iPhone Features A13 Bionic, the Fastest Chip in a Smartphone, and the Best Single-Camera System in an iPhone”. Compared with the previous products, the price of iPhone SE has been lowered, and the corresponding functions have been adjusted, but a group of potential consumers has still been harvested.
Apple Inc. is a multinational technology company in which headquarters is located in Cupertino, California, America. Its main business is the design and sells computer hardware and software, online as well as the other consumer electronics. It is one of the four major technological companies in the world along with Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Its core business is the manufacture and the sale of the electronic technology products and for topnotch innovation that has been tested over the years. The most popular product among Apple’s offerings include the iPhone, the iPad, apple watch, iMac, and other products. According to an official report, Apple’s revolution in the personal computers industry came up with the introduction of Macintosh in 1984. Apple has since grown to be one of the leading technological companies in the world with the invention of the iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPad and iMac. Apple has five operating systems for its products namely, iOS for iPhone, iPadOS for iPad, macOS for MacBook and IMac, WatchOS for Apple Watch, and TvOS for Apple TV, which give the clients a good experience as they use the Apple branded products. Apple provides ground breaking services that include App Store, iCloud, Apple Pay, Apple Music, and so on. The company has a team of over 100000 employees that help them to come up with the innovative products and services that are aimed at meeting the needs of the clients in the market. In fact, it has been wildly sought after by consumers from all over the world since Apple entered the market. Consumers are always keen when a new product is launched and they are always there to purchase because apple has managed to sets its brand apart from the others in the market which makes the new products that have been launched by the company to be very marketable. The iPhone is based on technological innovation as the company does its best to meet the market needs and make sure that the employees have a good experience as they use the products made by the company. The innovation makes the company to be popular among the clients in the market, which explains the company’s market share. The brand has also been able to proliferate the market and has managed to have a foothold in the global smartphone industry. According to other media reports, we can also learn that the brand value of apple is also very high. Apple’s had a record market value of public offering on December 12, 1980, set a record market value of$ 623.5 billion in 2012 during the initial product offering. On September 30, 2013, in the Hongmeng Group’s “Best Global Brand” report, Apple went ahead of Coca-Cola to be the most valuable brand in the world. Apple had become the biggest company in terms of market value on June 2014 for three consecutive years which was indicative of the fact that the strategies that they had put in place were successful in the market.
Apple ranked 15th in the 2014 World Top 500. At the same year, the Apple brand overtook Google and became the most valuable brand in the world. Brand Finance released the 2017 Global Top 500 Brand List in February 2017 which ranked Apple second. Regarding apples, some people once argued that the lives of the people in the world had changed with the appearance of three apples. The first is the apple eaten by Adam and Eve according to the Bible, which changed the perception of the world; the second type of apple that has was referred to, was the one that hit Newton’s head that changes the physical world and the Steve Jobs apple that changed the world’s technological world. Apple changed the technology world. Apple’s achievements are truly worthy of the name.
After knowing about the corporate background, we may feel surprised by Apple’s achievements. At the same time, we may wonder why Apple could have such success in brand management. Through investigation, I think the reasons for its success include the following aspects.
First of all, innovation is Apple’s soul. In addition to bring forth new technological ideas in products, this outstanding company also pay great attention to innovation of the brand value. It has the intention of satisfying the customer’s pursuit of valuable products and services at an affordable price that are based on the continuous innovation and the desire to solve more problems in the world. One of the best examples is the Apple’s silver logo. This silver apple was bitten off, something that makes it to be identical compared to the other logos in the market. It is also a commemoration of the pioneer of the great artificial intelligence-field-Turing. Turing’s story makes Apple’s logo to be fascinating and makes it more recognizable. As we all know, there are six criteria for band elements: memorable, meaningful, likable, transferable, adaptable and protectable. The creation of a creative logo that can easily be identified by the clients is important for the success of a brand. Apple builds a strong brand resonance model. When it comes to the brand resonance model, we should not ignore the brand awareness and brand image. We can usually use the consumer’s ability to identify a brand as a measure. There is an interesting marketing research about Apple. Consumers are asked which English word they have in mind when they think of Apple Inc. And the most frequent words are “well-designed,” “easy to use,” and “leading-edge technology.” Therefore, we can clearly recognize that Apple has an outstanding and distinctive brand image.
Secondly, some brands are able to attract the clients in the market because of the way they have been positioned in the market. In the mobile phone market, unlike the Android system used by most mobile phones, the unique iOS system used by the iPhone makes it more distinctive. In the computer market, it is different from the Windows system, and the Mac uses the macOS system. And the iPadOS system is used in the tablet market. All of these together build a unique Apple. The company has put in place its unique positioning in the market which is a simple, bright, creative and creative design that attracts the young people who are always enthusiastic and creative. It is important to note that personality cannot be easily imitated by the other people hence it as an important thing that a company is supposed to have. A simple MP3 comes to Apple, and it becomes an iPod. The simple but prominent appearance gives the young people an opportunity to identify with their personality. Apple’s rise to success made the other companies to study it closely and copying some of its features in a bid to be successful. It is easier to understand Apple’s profit model and it is possible to understand the experience that it brings to the users, however it is not easy to understand how the products can be designed in the best way possible to meet the specifications of the clients in the market. Currently, there is no company that is doing better than Apple. This also proves the fact that the company cannot be copied by the competitors since it is very unique in the market.
The next highlight of Apple’s brand management is its advertising which Apple has really invested in to ensure that the products that they provide are known by the clients. The image of apple will always come into one’s eyes when visiting different parts of the world. Apple utilizes the huge electronic display putting in place a series of advertisements in “The Lion King.” Apple has a streamlined and advanced advertisement design and is memorable, designed to remain in the minds of the people for a long period of time. It is visible on TV as one minute background, beautiful picture switching, dynamic pictures of European and American faces, accompanied by beautiful music and a clear voice over with the main product with the constant Apple design. Apple’s advertisements are attractive to the clients and owing to the track record of the company, the clients will want to follow the content of the advert keenly to understand any new offers that are provided by the company. Looking at Apple’s adverts is pleasurable because of the attention that the company has put in place to develop them. In a nutshell, the adverts are beautiful and pleasing both to the eyes and to the ear. Apple came up with a successful ad campaign that was dubbed “Get a Mac” and was also referred to as “Mac vs. PC.” The ad featured two actors that were bantering about the advantages of their brands. One of the actors in the ad is hip looking representing Apple whereas the other one is nerdy-looking representing (PC). The campaign was able to quickly gain global recognition. The most notable thing is the fact that the adverts were able to illustrate the contrast between the two brands which made Apple to be a more relevant and appealing to the clients all over the world. In 2010, Apple removed the “Get a Mac” series of advertising campaigns on the official website and replaced it with a new theme promotion plan, “Why You’ll Love a Mac.” The page lists five categories of reasons: Better hardware, better software, better operating system, better support and compatibility. There is no doubt that advertisement is another successful factor of Apple.
Moreover, it is interesting that Apple ads are almost impossible to appear in low-cost media considering its position on the market. Besides, Apple’s annual investment in advertising costs, on the one hand, is staggeringly high. In 2009, advertising costs were as high as 501 million US dollars. Apple has increased the budget of advertising since 2007.
Last but not least, Apple’s success also benefits from its experiential marketing. As mentioned in the book, experiential marketing not only communicates the functions and advantages of products, but also connects them with unique and interesting consumer experiences to promote products. Apple opens stores in many countries and cities around the world, where users can experience the latest Apple products, understand Apple’s product services and preferential policies. Many stores have been opened in the shopping malls with the aim of making the products accessible to the clients. In addition, Apple has also put up several independent “flagship” stores in noticeable areas in the world. The designs of many of the stores has made Apple to earn various architectural awards. The fact that Apple stores have been successful in the market and that they have been able to attract more clients has had an effect on the other stores that belong to the other brands. The retail stores have lost their traffic and control as many people prefer visiting the apple stores because of high qualiry. The professional and high-quality Apple Store staff provide thoughtful and considerate service to potential customers who come to experience or purchase products, bringing consumers a perfect purchasing experience and promoting consumer recognition and loyalty to the brand. By contacting and using Apple products, more and more customers get the charm of Apple, choose Apple products and spread Apple culture. Through customers’ word-of-mouth communication, Apple’s advantages are quickly replicated and spread to tens of thousands of consumers. At the same time, Apple has also used the enthusiasm of the public and interpersonal networks for subtle network marketing. Apple brand products have a huge consumer group in the world. More importantly, Apple has a group of “believers” consumers with basic doctrine and high brand loyalty. These users agree with Apple’s culture and even form an Apple fan culture. They are self-organized, and they are always fighting to defend Apple’s reputation, and proclaiming its benefits to friends. Its piety and persistence are comparable to those of missionaries.
Although Apple has an excellent reputation and high brand value, it is not perfect. There is also some disadvantage to Apple’s brand management. In the first place, in the Apple series, only the Apple watch has a joint product, and the rest of the products have rarely been co-branded with other brands. Co-branding (also known as brand bundling or brand alliance) occurs when two or more existing brands are merged to form a joint product or marketed together in some way. Compared with other mobile phone manufacturers, such as Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, and Xiaomi, Apple is relatively conservative in terms of brand bundling. Although Apple’s market positioning is a high-end product, the joint name with some fashion brands will not make it out of position. If the design is reasonable, the joint product is very easy to get the attention of consumers and the market.
Secondly, the price bands of Apple products can be further improved. As we all know, within any price tier, there is a range of acceptable prices, called price bands, that indicate the flexibility and breadth marketers can adopt in pricing their brands within a tier. Although Apple’s biggest rival in the mobile phone manufacture field in the Chinese market, Huawei, is also aimed at the high-end market, it has not given up all low-end and mid-end markets. Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor, aim at the low-end and middle-end markets, especially the student market with a slightly lower economic capacity, and it also gained huge profits. Similarly, there is a sub-brand of Xiaomi mobile phone-Redmi, a sub-brand of ZTE-Nubia. The dual-brand of mobile phones is becoming a market trend. It makes the mobile phone manufactures no longer limited to a certain local market, but forms a comprehensive brand layout with high and low prices and strong and weak quality. This strategy also completes the brand’s price band, which Apple could take into consideration.
In addition, the prevalence of emulation mobile phone is also a setback Apple encountered on the road of brand building. A high-copy pirated phone is a cheap product produced by a small informal manufacturer that imitates the formal manufacturer on the market. Its shape and function are similar to those on the official market, but the price is lower than the imitated machine. The piracy in the market has not only caused Apple to lose potential customers but more importantly, it will have a negative impact on the Apple brand. Deceived consumers may mistake the copycat version of the Apple phone with poor quality and performance as a real Apple phone, and then have a bad impression on the Apple brand. If Apple does not pay attention to the crackdown on copycats and the protection of genuine products in time, it will leave huge problems for its own brand building.
Finally, since Apple has five major products: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, the market competition it faces is more intense, including not only the mobile phone market but also the computer market, watch market, and so on. Furthermore, although Apple is still in the leading position in the field of technology products, several products launched by Apple in recent years have also received some voices of doubt. Some products have been accused of merely improving some designs based on the old version without substantial innovation. How Apple could maintain its dominant position in such fierce market competition is a very urgent issue waiting to be solved.
Since the above content has analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of the Apple brand value, we should not ignore how to improve the construction of this brand. For the promotion of its brand and the enhancement of its value, I also have the following suggestions.
Apple can try a few more co-branded products so that consumers can get two favorite elements on one product and gain two satisfactions. On the basis of the classic iPhone or Mac, adding popular elements is likely to attract a wider user group and explore the potential of young users. Choosing the right brand for cooperation will definitely increase Apple’s brand value. As for the second problem of Apple’s brand management, my advice is to explore more possibilities of the dual-brand. Maintain the iPhone’s position in the high-end market, and don’t completely abandon the low-end market. To be honest, according to Apple’s recent launch of the iPhone SE, we can actually see that Apple is already making initial attempts. At the same time, I think this is also an inevitable exploration. The next thing that deserves attention is to crack down on pirated phones. Protecting the brand image of Apple products on consumers and the market is a worthwhile effort. The last point I have to emphasize is that Apple needs to pay more attention to product innovation. In the face of an extremely competitive market, only by constantly innovating and firmly grasping the core technology can it be invincible.
What we have to admit is that through breakthrough products and skillful marketing, Apple has been able to achieve high-level brand recognition. It has its advantages, which are difficult to imitate because it has got such outstanding achievement and obtained such a high brand value. And I think Apple is particularly remarkable in product innovation, technology leadership, and unique brand promotion. However, we must not forget that an excellent brand should be continuously adjusted according to the actual situation while maintaining the core concept. It is not appropriate to be pretentious or arrogant. Therefore, Apple’s shortcomings cannot be ignored. We ought to realize that Apple has flaws, such as lack of cooperation with other brands, unreasonable price band setting, ignore the circulation of copycats in the market, and lack of innovation motivation.
In conclusion, faced with fierce attacks from competitors, Apple products are no longer unique in the high-end market. It needs to have some changes urgently in order to maintain its position in the market. Based on maintaining its advantages, Apple could try to co-brand with other valuable brands according to market demand, improve the price band, protect the authenticity and reliability of brands, a crackdown on cottage products and continue to innovate. I believe that Apple’s brand value is difficult to measure with numbers because it firmly holds the heart of consumers. I also firmly believe that Apple will continue to surprise us with innovation and I sincerely hope Apple to continue the legend, bring surprises to the world, and bring users a better experience. That is why I call it “the magic Apple.”
Apple, ” iPhone SE: A powerful new smartphone in a popular design,” https://www.apple.com/newsroom/,24 Apr. 2020.
“Apple, Inc.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc,24 Apr. 2020.
Kevin Lane Keller, Strategic Brand Management Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity, Edinburgh Gate Harlow Essex CM20 2JE England, Pearson Education Limited, 2013, Print.