What is a brand?
The term ‘brand’ defines a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. It helps consumers to identify the products of the sellers and distinguish their goods from those of other sellers. As the brands are designed, they are created by combining the brand name meaning and logos to impress consumers simply and meaningfully.
How does the brand affect consumers’ behavior?
Once consumers are satisfied with the products made by a certain company, the providers’ reputation and reliability increases. Consumers rely on satisfaction from their own experience or recommendations from others when they need to purchase a product. As a result, brand is made by consumers experience and satisfaction.
Brands allow customers to make decisions easier and help decrease their perceived risk as it provides its predictable quality and reliability. In addition, companies can also take advantage of their own brand by having a single platform to pursue multiple targets and demand a premium price.
Branding strategy of Apple.
In terms of branding strategy, apple has focused on the feeling that customers might have when they touch apple products, which is called emotional marketing. Even though the products apple make are small technological devices, they have made attempts to produce beyond just small machines. They have tried to combine the technology with emotions which move users’ emotion. Their marketing purpose is how their products effect people’s lifestyle, imagination, passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations with technology.
Apple develops and manufactures IT products. They have tried to make brand which express emotional in a simple but sophisticated image to consumers, despite the feeling of cold and complicated, which machines usually have. As a result, apple has achieved their goal and Forbes stated that Apple has ranked the most valuable brand all over the world for 6 years in a row.
According to survey conducted by the website, Future Brand, respondents said that passion, admiration, individuality, authenticity, innovation are the biggest strengths the Apple brand has.
Apple has numerous loyal customers who go crazy about their products. It is no longer surprising that you see people lining up in front of the Apple store on the day new products are released even before the shops are open. No matter what the new models suitable for them or not, the consumers trust their experience which they have had by using Apple products. It means the brand Apple is prominently reliable and trusted by existing customers. In addition, there are a lot of communities which consist of people who love Apple products.
Apple’s ecosystem is larger (and harder to leave) than ever.
Companies can have benefit from branding, for example, it induces customer loyalty. Apple is very well known as a company that makes iPhone, but they have a range of devices and software they produce such as iPad, iBook, iMac, iCloud and the Apple Watch. All of these devices are connected to each other and they are available to use altogether at once automatically sharing data and information through software such as IOS and Mac OS that Apple autonomously invented. For example, users can use text and video calls functions for free or few data with any Apple device and they can still send messages from iPhone to MacBook or iPad and also possible to send messages back to iPhone with them which was not introduced to the world before Apple invented this. So the connections among each platform of Apple are very strong and consumers expect something more that they can use with what they already have already got from Apple.
As a result further purchases of new Apple products are made to use with existing device together. It seems to be difficult to leave and stop using Apples ecosystem. Apple is making many services and functionality which consumers use and is accessible on whatever device they happen to be using at the time, be it on their desk, lap, fingertips or wrist.
Personal interactions between customers and the company’s employees can also influence the motivation of purchase.
There are many retail stores owned by Apple all over the world, which are called Apple Store. Visitors can directly experience its brand value in the store touching Apple goods without any pressure. Very well-trained and friendly staff are always ready to give practical help in a very welcoming environment. In addition, users can have the same quality of service regardless of their location. For instant, they can have their apple goods repaired at the Apple store in other countries.
Furthermore, Apple tries to keep their existing consumers up to date with constant software updates. Even iPhone4S released in 2010 is still available for up-to-date software, Apple dose not only invent and develop new models, but also continuously provides a good quality of service for old models which is very different to what competitors do for their old products.
Apple has also increased the accessibility of iPads and iPods through various resellers that do not normally sell computers, and has increased the reach of its online stores.
Smart phone life cycle.
When the smart phone was introduced to the world, Apple positioned itself in the market as an exclusive leader with innovative technology and marketing. The iPhone delighted the mobile phone market with a light, thin and simple but beautiful design. However, there are many competitors making smart phones nowadays and the demand in smart phones have decreased compared to the past. In addition, technical skills to produce smart phones have been equalized and even there have been several smart phones which are technologically better than the newest iPhone.
Furthermore, the original principle Apple had for smart phones, was focused on portability, not making more than 4 inch of screen. However, they have produced wide screened iPhone since 2014 following what competitors already did and now its sales are decreasing in the market. The next new model is also expected that it will be not much of difference or innovation as they have shown in the past. Currently, the smart phone has hit the maturity stage in the product life cycle. Apple should stay on this stage trying not to be on the decline stage with their innovational technology and marketing which has surprised the world in the past.
- Cunningham A, 2015, ‘Apple’s ecosystem got larger (and harder to leave) than ever’, Arstechnica, December 2015, < http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/12/in-2015-apples-ecosystem-got-larger-and-harder-to-leave-than-ever/ >
- Forbes, 2016, The World’s Most Valuable Brands, Forbes Media, May 2016, <http://www.forbes.com/companies/apple/>
- Future Brand, 2016, ‘How do the Global Top 100 companies compare?’, Future Brand, 2016 < http://fbi.futurebrand.com/comparison?cid1=apple-inc >
- Iacobucci D, 2013, MM4, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason
- Lama S & Shankar V 2014, ‘Asymmetries in the Effects of Drivers of Brand Loyalty Between Early and Late Adopters and Across Technology Generations’, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 26–42, February 2014, Deakin University library database.
- Leswing K, 2016, ‘Apple won’t do major iPhone redesigns every two years anymore’, Business Insider Australia, June 2016, <http://www.businessinsider.com.au/apple-changing-iphone-product-launch-cycle-2016-6 >
- Marketing Minds, 2016, ’Apple’s Branding Strategy’, n.d < http://www.marketingminds.com.au/apple_branding_strategy.html#apple-customer-experience >
Seungho Han 216006196