Apple’s marketing success is the envy of business owners everywhere. No matter what they release, it sells. Consumers dutifully purchase whatever new products are released even when the competitors have released cheaper equivalents. Sure, their products are innovative but so are their competitors’. What gives Apple the edge is its marketing strategy, a strategy which makes Apple products a status symbol for young professionals. You can attempt to replicate Apple’s amazing marketing strategy but you have to be willing to sell high-end or luxury versions of existing products which will increase the perceived value of the product and brand.
Apple continued to break sales records even during the recession, with consumers paying far more for Apple products, even when the competitor equivalents had equally unique features. None of them could compete with the power of the Apple brand. Apple’s products are integrated with the marketing strategy. They develop a new and exciting USP for each new product release, so there’s always a logical reason to buy yet another new phone, tablet or computer. Very often the update will improve on frustrating shortcomings in prior products; the consumer need for the following product is thus manufactured in its predecessor. We can see an example of this in the MacBook battery life. It was very short in older versions but the latest MacBook Air was advertised as having a 12 hour battery life – music to the ears of any Mac lover who had lost work as a result of a dead battery. The irritation of having to constantly recharge the battery was, in a way, preconditioning for the next product.
The products have a high price tag which translates into high value in consumer psychology. Many consumers won’t even investigate alternative products from other brands because they are so loyal to the Apple brand and have an emotional investment in the value of its products. The kinds of people who buy modern Apple products today are far more diverse than the computer purchasing geeks of old. Owning an Apple product is a cultural identity statement. Despite being the standard computer of choice for young designers, fashionable women, artists and musicians, a YouGov survey from 2012 showed that Apple’s biggest supporters in the UK were aged 35 and older. Apple has succeeded in developing an adaptable brand with a dynamic marketing strategy, spanning across divergent demographics.
This is not something that can easily be translated into a marketing strategy for any business. You can adopt some of their techniques though, like making sure that you update each product with a desirable USP based on consumer feedback from previous product releases. Don’t be afraid to raise the price tag either – luxury products are more desirable. Another great way to think like Apple is to ask yourself, can I devise a way to encourage customers to become emotionally invested in my product? Is there a way that my product can speak to consumer identities and their values that competitors can’t? This is marketing gold if you get it right.
Releasing a premium version of an existing product combined with a carefully developed marketing campaign can make a huge difference to sales and to the perceived value of your brand. Major players like Apple also succeed by paying a lot more attention to special features for new products such as translation apps for the iWatch. Translation services help them compete with new rivals like SpeechTrans. This article can’t give you any short cuts; you still need to figure out how to speak to your targeted demographics, but just thinking like Apple might make all the difference to the success of your marketing strategy.