I was reading a few tweets about Apple’s latest product launch. A particular tweet caught my eye, made me laugh and got me thinking – it said and I quote “I do love Apple, but they could market a puddle in the street as a luxury swimming pool.” It made me realise a few truths.
They have this uncanny ability to recreate an existing service or product into a ‘big’ thing that sounds almost like – a product or service you have always known and used is inferior to theirs.A good case in point – video telephony – for years Nokia mobile phones had the ability to make video calls depending on the mobile service provider you were with. Apple come along, give their own identity and rebrand it as FaceTime – first you could only FaceTime other iPhone users and only through a wifi connection and they ‘upgraded’ it on their next iOS update to include the ability to make FaceTime calls on 3G or 4G networks. These ‘updates’ or upgrades were staged or scaled over a time period. Interestingly this was one of the ‘key features’ of the product. Another was the fact that they made the feature exclusive to iPhone users presumably to create ‘cult’ value or ‘exclusivity’ and they succeeded.
- Having a huge following means a lot – it gives you authority and social proof (you would think that Apple do not need any of that). But every little element that adds to the value of their products is used, by embodying values that evoke a mystique that they infuse into their brand through their marketing
- Product diversification is such a key part of the long term survival of any business. Having multiple income streams can only be a good thing right? Absolutely! Apple started with computers, created a niche for beautiful computers that made you ‘think different’. Subsequently they moved into music through a clever and successful blend of hardware and software solutions that created a great platform which developed a new army of followers. Think iPods and iTunes. In all of this you can recognise a simple and a logical synergy in their product mix.
The big step up came with the iPhone that simply revolutionised smartphones with Apps that could do virtually anything imaginable. I won’t go into tablets and the watch they just launched, but you get the picture? Multiple income streams in the subject of a future post – watch this space!
This post is certainly not an ‘Apple campaign’ it just emphasizes the lessons we can learn from how one company wrote and keeps rewriting success stories. I have to confess I am a great fan of their products and have been for a very long time. But their success provides a good template for any business to build it’s growth on.
Takeaways for me
- Building a huge fan or customer base is good, but the only way you’re going to keep them is if you keep offering them products that deliver good value. In other words,
- It’s always important to have a unique selling point that your customers recognise, identify with and use to extol the benefits that your products provide.
- Multiple income streams ensure the long term survival of your business
What steps could you take in your business to give you that unique edge over your competitors and that would make your customers keep coming back? Have you considered ways of diversifying your income stream without changing direction, losing focus or diluting your message ? How can you keep the success stories of your business endless? Kindly leave me your thoughts and comments below please. I would dearly love to hear from you.