Author Archives: tahir9999
Coming off the heels of yet another successful Apple launch debut, it’s increasingly clear that Apple is on top of their game in a way like no other. Which other company could turn an ordinary press conference into a live global event?
The secret lies beyond their product line and design standards; it lies beyond even Steve Jobs’ emphatic adherence to Apple’s core philosophy, which is that the user doesn’t always know what they want.
Looking at the company’s latest product lines and revenue models, I’d be a fool to call them anything less than what they are, which is:
- A design firm
- A media platform
- A publishing company
- A software powerhouse
- A computer builder
- A movement
Break down each of these bullets individually and you’ll find a company at the top of their respective industry, but combine them into a single entity and you’ve got the recipe for building one of the most influential businesses of all tim
So how did they do it?
Rather than tell you how I think they did it, I thought instead I’d turn to their fans on Twitter, who helped me uncover 7 of the greatest marketing lessons that Apple brings to the table.
1. Ignore Your Critics
As an entrepreneur, you’ll hear a lot of people tell you that you need to reach out and figure out what people want, which means listening to your critics, often times more patiently than you’d like.
Apple decides to flip the script and instead focus on building what they want to build, no matter the perceived cost. When Steve Jobs debuted the iPad, the critics stood in line, throwing every insult they could muster. The critics said that the iPad would fail. The numbers say otherwise.
Each and every time Apple decided to innovate, they were laughed at. They prevailed anyway.
“Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
– Albert Einstein
2. Turn the Ordinary into Something Beautiful
For quite some time, PC fans enjoyed the work of buying their own parts and building their own tower systems. At the same time, PC makers were building standard hardware for standard applications.
Apple would have none of that.
They’ve been pioneering not only the features of standard operating systems and computer systems, but simultaneously reinventing the design standards as well. As a result, we have the gorgeous iMac, the beautiful new Macbook Air, and who could forget, the amazing iPhone 4
Where others focus on one aspect of the equation, Apple focuses on the entire product, and it shows
3. Justify Your Price
We’re in a time when pricing strategies are all over the place. People don’t know what to charge, and in many cases, prefer to race to the bottom instead of pricing strategically to a market that can bear the cost.
Once more, Apple ignores the standard by not only pricing their technology more than 2x what their competitors charge, but doing so without blinking. How can they get away with it?
Well, the answer is twofold:
1. They build beautiful products for an audience that loves them passionately.
2. They justify their price with features and benefits that can’t be matched.
Since we’ve already hit point 1, let’s work on #2.
No other computer can match the display of a 27” iMac…it simply can’t be done.
No other software can match what iTunes brings to the table.
No laptop is as thin as the Macbook Air.
No software is more intuitive, no product more valuable than the Apple product. Any other smartphone looks like it was developed by rookies when compared to an iPhone 4. You simply cannot compare the two.
Critics will play on the fact that the core features are the same, and they might be, but that’s not the point. The point is that Apple is the Rolls Royce of the technology and design world, and their customers will gladly pay a premium because of it.
4. Communicate in the Language of Your Audience
It makes no sense to talk about things like megabytes, gigahertz, and processing power to customers that simply don’t care about technical jargon.
Take a look at any Apple product page and you’ll find that though they do discuss product specifications and technical information, it’s hidden behind the benefits that their audience is truly after.
Instead of display resolution, you’ll see phrases like “edge to edge glass,” “retina display,” and “LED backlighting.”
Sure, the jargon is there for those that need it, but it’s presented in a way that makes you want to learn about megapixels, rather than shy away from them. The art is in the copy, not in the features.
5. Extend the Experience
Have you ever heard of an unboxing? I hadn’t either until recently, when I learned that not only was I not the only one keeping Apple packaging post-sale, but that there are legions of people that record the actual process of unwrapping their newly purchased Apple products.
Do a search on YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of Apple unboxings, each from different users from across the globe. It’s pretty crazy right?
No one tells these people to video their experience, but they do it because the process is so Zen that you can’t help not to.
Apple does this by making sure that the experience doesn’t end at the cash register. They take great care in designing a user experience from browsing to unwrapping, which relies on incredible packaging and installation procedures.
By reducing installation to the lowest common denominator, they make buying new products a snap, and by spending as much time on designing packaging as they do on the products themselves, they’ve ensured that the box matches what’s inside.
As a result, they’ve built an experience that is nearly impossible to match.
6. Build a Tribe
It’s no secret that Apple has built one of the most hardcore fan bases of any product and of any time. There’s a reason they’re called “fanboys.”
But who cares, right? Most of the chatter is out of jealousy more than anything, but Apple doesn’t really care. They know that they serve an elite audience, and rather than back away from that fact, they embrace it.
7. Become “The Name”
You don’t buy tissues, you buy Kleenex.
You don’t buy MP3 players, you buy an iPod.
You don’t buy a smartphone, you buy an iPhone.
Have you noticed what they’re doing here? Apple isn’t content with being a leader in sales alone, they want to own the market itself, which explains why they’ve engineered iTunes as the major music provider that it is, and why the iPad, having the luxury of being the first, has now set the trend for future tablet devices.
From here on out, everything will be compared to the iPad, iPhone, iPod, and iTunes. Sadly, this sort of thing is tough to duplicate, but it’s not impossible. You need to have one of two things:
1. A clear head start in terms of being first to market.
2. A USP that differentiates your product in a way that makes people wish it were first.
The iPhone wasn’t the first phone, but they engineered it to be so unique that you couldn’t help but think it was. The iMac isn’t the first all in one, but it became the only one that mattered.
Sergio Leonel “Kun” Agüero del Castillo born 2 June 1988 is an Argentine footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Argentine national team. On 5 July 2003, he became the youngest player to debut in the Argentine Primera División at 15 years and 35 days, breaking the record previously established by Diego Maradona in 1976. He plays with the shirt name Kun Agüero.
In 1991, when Sergio was three years old, his family moved to a small, simple house just outside of Los Eucaliptus, a shantytown bordering the districts of Quilmes and Bernal. It was in these fields that Sergio started to display signs of his talent with the ball – as years went by, they would manifest more clearly. Under Leonels watchful eye and Adriana´s strict stance on rewards and punishments, Sergio joined his first youth teams in different sports clubs of southern Buenos Aires – going down the same path that his father had treaded when he was a younger, in Tucuman. He was part of that enormous seedbed of talent that urban Buenos Aires becomes every weekend, with thousands of children aiming to win the highly-contested annual tournaments. Kun knew to make a name of himself as a skilful and decisive striker in these competitions, garnering attention from scouts that saw a great future in the First Division ahead of him.
Sergio entered the youth system of Independiente of Avellaneda, then under the leadership of two long-standing members of that football club – “Mencho” Balbuena and Nestor Rambert. Each weekend, Kun enjoyed playing a new match with his team. During his years in Independiente´s junior divisions, Sergio took part of many tourneys in his category countrywide – some organized by the Association of Football of Argentina -, and Kun never failed to impress. In 2001, Independientes junior team managed to secure the competition with a victory over River Plate´s squad, in a match played at Atlanta´s stadium. Little did Kun know that the year after he would be the youngest player to debut in the national senior First Division, being 15 years and 35 days old ? at a younger age than other Argentinean exponents as Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez, Javier Saviola or Pablo Aimar, or world-renowned players such as Pele or Ronaldo. By then, the Agüero-Castillos had negotiated a contract for multinational agency IMG to represent their son.
In 2005, a year and a half later, Sergio had become a regular in Independiente´s main squad. His outstanding performance earned him a place in the Argentina national U-20 team, despite being 3 years below the cap, and then proceeded to win the U-20 World Cup hosted by the Netherlands. The final match against Nigeria was decided by a penalty awarded to Sergio and scored by Lionel Messi. Kun dedicated that victory to his friend Emiliano Molina, who had played with him throughout all his term in Independiente´s youth system and tragically passed away in a car accident during the World Cup. Shortly after returning to Argentina, he also chose to dedicate to his friends memory a superb victory in the local derby against Racing de Avellaneda, where Kun scored a goal that will remain in the annals of Argentinean football. Kun, just 17 years old but already the idol of the crowds, had to part from his beloved team in 2006 when he was transferred to Atlético Madrid for 23 million euros – a record-breaking figure for the country. He had played in Independiente for 54 local matches and 2 international events, having scored 23 goals (see Fact Sheet and Statistics). The club used the money they received from the transfer to remodel the Libertadores de America stadium, finally reopened in 2009.
After one season getting used to his new environment, Sergio Agüero managed to win the hearts of the colchoneros with his majestic performance, becoming a fan favourite. The stadium echoed with the war cry “Kun, Kun!” – showing the crowds recognised his flair and determination on the field. Sergio´s appearance on the FIFA U-20 World Cup of 2007 held in Canada was a key factor – he led the national team into winning another trophy, picking up the mantle left by Leonel Messi to be selected as best player and become the top goalscorer of the competition (see Honours). It was after this event that his performance in the Spanish team started to improve considerably. Then, in 2008, he was part of the Olympic team that took gold in the games hosted in Beijing. In May of 2010, Atlético Madrid took first place of the Europa League – the team´s first continental title in 48 years. A few months later, Kun joined the Argentina national team that played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, debuting on the match against South Korea during the qualifying round. Back in Europe, he assisted Atlético Madrid in winning the UEFA Super Cup against Internazionale by scoring the second of the two goals that secured the match. During the Spanish football season of 2010-2011, Sergio scored 27 goals – reaching a total of 101 in his five seasons along with team. In July of 2011, he signed the transfer to Manchester City, for a record fee for the English team.
In July 27th of 2011, Sergio signed for Manchester City, and was set for his debut match with the Citizens on August 15th of that year, issued with the number 16 shirt. It was the first round of the Premier League, in a match against Swansea the first and only Welsh team in the competition. Agüero came on as a substitute for De Jong in the 59th minute, and in just 10 minutes he had already proven his skill with a goal, an assist and plays. During injury time, he scored a goal with a right-foot 30 yard strike, the fourth goal for the team. After this debut, Sergio stated that “this could be the beginning of something great”. And it was. On May 13th of 2012, Kun eked out the goal during injury time that allowed Man City to defeat QPR 3-2 and claim the title of the Premier League once more after 44 years.