I don't have to tell you that Apple has developed one of the strongest brands in existence.
From the Apple iMac, Macbook, Powerbook, Mini, iPod, iPhone, shuffle, to the 2010 iPad they have knocked it out of the ball park.
Have they had issues? Yes, of course they have. Have they managed them differently than their competitors, you bet!
Have they continued to invest in market research to better understand their customer? How about research and development to ensure they stay more than a step ahead of competition? Yes, yes and yes!
What is it we like about their products, their brand? Why is it you don't want to buy a pair of ear phones for your gym workout unless they are white?
Why does it make you feel cool to use your iPad on the plane? Why is it your family already needs 5 ipads so you can simply enjoy yours in peace?
What makes their products more than a white piece of hardware?
Why is it I used my original iPod for more than 5 years and didn't throw it away until I dropped it so many times it literally fell apart? Why did it still work for a month even after I had to stick all it's innards back in it? I actually had a bet with myself to use it until I had literally worn it out before I purchased a new one. Well… I won. I got more than my $300 worth out of the hardware purchase that is for sure. Even my kids want me to keep it around forever as they have many good memories driving to school with their favorite songs blasting to inspire their day. What would we have done with out that 5 yr old iPod for beach vacations, road trips, house parties and the million other events it kept us zoomin'!?
Why don't your kids ask you for “just cell phone” anymore?
What happened to the Blackberry sitting in your junk drawer? At one time we also thought “it was cool”. Why? Because it was competitive? It did cool things that our flip phone couldn't do.
So why today is the Verizon guy sitting lonely in the Verizon store next to Apple who has a line out the Mall door 9 hours after they opened the door for the release of the iPhone4? Why isn't anyone in line to buy the Android or the Kin?
I'll tell ya' why!
Apple LISTENS to those who matter most…. their customers.
Apple has kept their customer as #1 priority, always!
Apple has continued to deliver value above and beyond what their markets expect, desire or need.
What makes Apple “cool” is what you can do with their products. What you can become. Who you become. How they make you feel!
Although they have struggled in the past as all companies do, they have never lost site of their community and the importance of inspiring them to do more, be more and enjoy life!
They don't have to say the words “enjoy life”. The truth is people find their brand enjoyable simply because it is.
Apple is REAL! The people are real. It is not hype, gimmick, over selling. You walk in the store and normal geeks greet you in blue jeans and blue t-shirts. They smile, they listen and they make you feel like you matter.
Apple doesn't care if you are a geek or a wanna be geek. They will teach you with kindness to be the best geek on your block. Why? Because you will tell all your new geek friends about your great geek service you received and the cool geeky things you can do with your new white products!
They are masters of brand experience, communities, tribes.
Need I say more?
p.s. I have a handfull of useless black blackberries sitting around our house. If ya' want one or know where I can donate one for good use please come forward. However, will I have to pay for shipping to do such? LOL!