Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Apple Way: Step 3 of 5 to Insanely Great Marketing

Component number 3 of Apple marketing is fairly unique to Apple. 

Component 3) Empower early adopters to help you get the word out.

Apple maintains that the early adopters want to promote you, so you should make your product stand out. Make your product look distinctive. A notable example is the Apple notebook computer. Apple did not launch a notebook in a plain plastic case. They introduced a notebook with a glossy white, black or aluminum case with a glowing Apple logo on the lid. They must have that glowing logo trademarked because it is clear from a great distance that a person is using an Apple notebook. No other company does that. Dell has the Dell Button on their notebooks but that is not nearly as distinctive. Nothing looks like an Apple notebook or Apple desktop.
With the iPod, which is normally hidden in the users' pocket, Apple included white earbuds. Not the traditional black earbuds. They even played up the swinging white wires on the earbuds in the iPod TV commercials. Now, every time I see someone with white earbuds, I assume they have an iPod.
Of course, Apple has a competitive advantage that is nearly impossible to earn. Apple is seen as "cool." People want you to know they are using an Apple notebook, iPod, or iPhone. That makes them a little bit cooler. If you have the "cool factor" working for you, then people will want to promote your products.

Additionally, Apple includes several Apple logo stickers with each Apple product purchased. You see those on rear windows of automobiles. I have heard of several instances where people who use Macs at home have covered over the Dell logo on their work notebook with the Apple logo sticker.

Related to this concept is the “halo effect” where the huge success of the iPod (and the iPhone) made Apple more successful in other endeavors. For example, once the iPod became a household name, iMac sales increased. A friend of mine told me recently that 90% of premium home computer sales are now Macs. That is great news, but the real plum is the business user. We will discuss that in a few blogs.

James Snider is the Business Development Director for Accelerant Marketing Alliance, LLC == Marketing, Communication and Design
Corporate Marketing Department ... one step at a time 

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