Current report aims to explore and summarize key success factors of Apple Inc. in becoming one of the most identifiable and recognizable brand worldwide.
The history of Apple began with creation of the first computer that had picture display and continued with introduction of the first computer in 1984, which had graphical user interface. Traditionally, businesses develop and design their products in a manner that will satisfy the needs of customers. However, now customers require not only satisfaction of their needs, but also high quality of products they buy. Companies, thus, need to develop high standard quality products to avoid any possible failure. Having knowledge of customer needs and desires, companies in computer industry design their products based on standard methods of human-computer interaction (HCI). Though astonishing, but Apple Inc. use HCI method in development and design of its products, thus disregarding what actually customers do, when they exploit specific computer devices (Hong 2011).
Apple Inc. associates its name with actual fruit, precisely with the saying ‘Give your teacher an apple,’ that has a history related to education. The history behind the saying and Apple’s name dates back to the period between 16th and 18th century, when families of poor students used to pay teachers and tutors of their children with apples rather than money (U.S. Apple Association 2010). Although Apple is not directly involved in education process, except for its education store on the website, the company is highly involved in various educating activities. The company provides assistance to kids aged between 6 and 13 to in acquiring technological and computer skills, runs summer Apple Camp for children to improve their skills of creating moves and motions with computer programs (Apple Inc. 2009). In addition, Apple Inc. gives students substantial discounts on its products and runs Youth Programs for families, students and teachers in the neighborhoods of Apple stores. These Apple’s initiatives clearly define company’s orientation towards educated society through well-blended communication and branding.
Apple Inc. – the leader in innovations and designing new products
It was the first company in the world to produce touch-screen phones. Furthermore, Apple’s ‘i’ products, such as iPods, iPhones and iPads have influenced and changed desires and lifestyles of consumers. Apple’s branding of ‘i’ products, which are believed to change customers’ benefits, has provided the company recognition and awareness of the brand (Morel et al. 2002).
Although Apple is recognizable nowadays, it rebranded itself and changed company’s logo three times since 1976. Ronald Wayne, often referred to as the third Apple’s co-founder, designed the first logo of the company. The second logo was designed by Rob Janoff and depicted rainbow stripes, and was used until the return of Steve Jobs to take over Apple Inc. as CEO during financial difficulties at the company. Jobs implemented a rebranding strategy that encompassed logo change and introduction of new range of simple but newly designed products. Nevertheless, the logo changes have not affected the awareness of consumers (Edible Apple 2009). Furthermore, focus on new designs attracts consumers and buyers to try new designs and new experiences that Apple offers in compliance to it mission to ‘produce high quality product with new experiences’ (Morel et al. 2002).
The company has made effective use of its “Think different” marketing campaign, which makes the customers think they are different when they use different products, with different designs and operating system. Due to different design of its products, Apple was able to influence customers to buy its products with a feeling of joining some distinct club of Apple users. The company has been so effective in marketing newness of its products that sometimes consumers are literally ready sleep nights in front of shops awaiting the release and start of sales of new Apple products despite whether they have tried these products or not. Consumer loyal to Apple products truly believe that the new Apple products are of the top quality ever imaginable (2011). Such large-scale involvement and loyalty of Apple customers creates marketing of the brand at no cost for the company, since Apple lovers and fans create websites dedicated to discussing the company and its products and sharing experiences with them (Schau & Muniz 2002).
Apple established code of conduct not only for the company itself, but for it suppliers as well. The supplier code of conduct incorporate company’s provisions on human and labor rights, health and safety, environmental impact, and ethics that supplier need to abide with in order to be eligible for cooperation with Apple (Apple Inc. 2010).
When Apple was started, company’s budget for marketing and advertising was $15 million. By 2002, Apple increased its spending on advertising and marketing to $100 million (Kahney 2002). The company creates value for its customers and gain loyal Apple users by developing and introducing new products. Willing to become a leader in multimedia industry, Apple designed and announced release of PowerCD, a CD player, in 1993, which in fact turned out to be the single failure product (Quinlan 1993). Currently, employing extremely effective branding strategy, it is a leading market player in computer and touch pads sectors. Introduction of Apple’s iTunes products and offers changed the lifestyle of consumers who used to go to music stores to buy CDs and listen to music. Now, consumers can download their music to their iMacs, iPos, iPhones, and other Apple products without need to go to the store. Furthermore, they do not need to buy the whole CD for one or two favorite songs, but can download their favorites separately (Apple 2011).