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Apple’s Brand Playbook Unlocked

Dipanjan Chatterjee
Vice President, Principal Analyst
April 9, 2018

Do you want to be like Apple?

In 2010, Apple ranked as the 17th most valuable brand in the world. Just three years later, it had garnered the top spot and has remained there. Since 2010, Apple’s brand value has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 36%, while the entire “brandscape” has grown at a comparatively modest 7%.  In September 2017, CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple had crept past Rolex to be the “No. 1 watch brand in the world.” The brand that caught fire with Gen Xers in 1997 continues to rage on with the smartphone-fueled Gen Zers of 2018.

Apple is the most valuable brand in the world, poised to hit the elusive $1 trillion market cap. If you’re looking for a North Star, this is as good as it gets.

Two Reasons Why You Can (Even Though Most People Think You Can’t)

  1. Chances are you don’t have a Steve Jobs sitting around. Fear not. The principles that Jobs so brilliantly executed are ones that are eminently teachable and replicable. You don’t need a Steve Jobs. Apple has continued to prosper just fine under Cook who governs by the Apple playbook.
  2. Yes, of course Apple is loaded with cash, bursting with profit, overflowing wit the rapturous attention of its starry-eyed fandom. But all of that is a result, not an enabler of Apple-ness. What makes Apple Apple has been around since the 1980s. You don’t need to be rolling in it to be like Apple.

One Reason Why You May Not

  1. The hardest part of Apple’s playbook is that it’s terrifyingly simple. It requires letting go of a mountain of obfuscation that I call Marketing Mediocrity. Reams of process maps, glossaries of tech mumbo jumbo, a gridlock of data to the seventh decimal point, nanosecond-level interaction data, and much more that define the trappings of mindless and mediocre marketing. Do you have what it takes to separate the noise from the truth?

If You’re Up For The Challenge, Do These Three Things:

  1. Lead with brand, not profit. Foster a brand that is built with the clear purpose of adding value to your consumers’ lives. Profit will follow.
  2. Build On Human Principles: Put the humanity of your consumer front and center. Steep your marketing in empathy to understand the consumer and to inspire your strategies.
  3. Never Settle: Your brand is shaped by the experience it delivers. Every bit of that experience reflects on your brand and reshapes its perception, so you must own and obsess about every detail.

Want to know more?

Read Apple “Brands Different”: Lessons From The World’s Most Valuable Brand.

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