Why Your Business Should Understand Apple’s Marketing Philosophy

The success of Apple is undeniable.  If you read any type of business book on marketing or branding, it’s likely you will find an example about Apple.

I just finished the book, “Steve Jobs,” and although there are fabulous teaching lessons for any business, good and bad, I found the marketing philosophy of Apple and Steve Jobs fascinating.

Apple’s marketing philosophy contains only 3 clear concise points.

The marketing philosophy is uncomplicated and straightforward.

It also make perfect sense.  This philosophy on marketing can and should be understood and applied by every single business, large or small.

Here are the three components of Apple’s successful marketing strategy.

1. Empathy

Apple desired to form an intimate connection to the feelings of their customers. They desired to understand their customer’s needs better than anyone else.

The two words that strike me are “feelings” and “needs.” Those are powerful words when describing a connection with a customers.

Not only is it important to understand the “how” and “why” a customer buys (feelings), but also “what” they want (needs).

People buy on emotion. Apple understands this emotional connection and combines it with the customer’s need.

This idea is simple, yet at the same time complex.

Think about your own business. Why do your customers buy? How do they buy? Do you really understand them and their needs?

Stop thinking about what you want. Focus on them. Understand them. Listen to them. Then give them what they want.

Apple marketing lesson #1.  Empathize with your customers and get to know them at an emotional level.

2. Focus

Opportunities exist everywhere. There are countless services and products any business can add to their portfolio.

The magic of Apple, especially when Jobs took over again in the 1990s was pure focus.

They focused on what they know best. One of the most brilliant things Jobs did when he returned to Apple was simplify the products they provided.

Apple went from developing hundreds of products all the way down to four, and eliminated all unimportant projects and product development other than those four.

The generic question is, “Would you rather be good at several items, or the world’s best at one item?”

Maybe you don’t slim down your product or service offerings to only one, but is it time to let go of some products or services that don’t suit you or your customers the best?

Consumers today are craving specialists. They want the best. Average is unacceptable.

Focus your time and energy into what does or could make you great. Put all of your heart and soul into those few projects. Don’t let unimportant tasks derail you. Don’t take your eye of the ball.

Apple marketing lesson #2.  Eliminate the unimportant. Focus.

3. Impute

This one struck me as strange at first, but as I looked deeper it made more sense.

Apple felt that people form an opinion on a company or product based upon the signals it displays. In fact, people do judge a book by its cover.

You could have the best product or service in the world, but it appears shabby from the outside, it doesn’t matter. You are imputing to the customer that your product or service is inferior.

I have seen this idea brought to light in my own personal experience. There are times that I have disregarded a product or service due to my initial impression. I have sometimes found out that this product or service was great.

Small business owners are often guilty of imputing that they are in fact, small. Small in how they market themselves, how they present their products and services, and small in how they are perceived by the general public.

No, small business do not have big budgets or ample time, but overlooking they way that they are perceived is critical.

If you have a great product or service, make sure that you are delivering this message of greatness to your audience. It doesn’t matter how fabulous your product or service is if no one is persuaded to try it.

Apple marketing lesson #3.  Impute greatness.

The Bottom Line

Marketing can be complicated for any business. It can be easy to get so caught up in marketing trends, techniques, and ideas, that you miss the “big picture.”

You may want to at least consider Apple’s marketing philosophy of empathy, focus, and impute. Three simple concepts that last year earned the company $170 billion in revenues.

Question: Which Apple marketing component do feel is the most important? Why? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.