What is Brand Marketing?
A company’s brand is the identity it presents to the public. This corporate identity plays an important role in how consumers view a company and its products. Smart companies put a lot of thought into brand management, crafting a brand character that will draw in customers. Controlling positive and negative feelings about a brand through brand marketing can play a critical role in a company’s success. More than just a product name, a brand can make the difference in why consumers chose one product over another.
The Key to the Apple Brand Success
Apple has focused on brand marketing over the past decade. The introduction and marketing of the iPod in 2001 was its first strategic brand marketing move of the new millennium. The iPod was not the first portable digital music player on the market, but it soon cornered the market by creating a brand character that was irresistible to many people, especially young people. The iPod’s design, packaging and publicity combined to convince consumers that their lives would be enhanced by an MP3 player that carried the Apple brand. Other MP3 players, notably the Sanyo brand, offered the same features at a lower price. But consumers flocked to the iPod, inextricably linking the Apple brand name with portable digital music.
In addition to pushing the iPod brand, this decade has seen Apple focus on the brand character of the Macintosh personal computer. A well-known series of television commercials have emphasized the usability of the Mac OS vs. Microsoft Windows. Apple’s brand marketing strategy for the Mac has convinced many people to pay more for a computer that is perceived to be cooler and more fun to use. Apple has succeeding in creating a cult around the Mac, despite the fact that the majority of personal computers are still Windows-based. This is brand marketing at its finest.
The third prong of Apple’s brand marketing strategy has centered on the iPhone. As the “naughts” drew to a close, smartphones and mobile applications dominated the consumer electronics market. Apple got a head start with the iPhone and integrated iTunes App Store. A catchy tagline (“There’s an app for that”) and clever advertising campaign established the iPhone as the must-have smartphone brand.
Future Benefits of Apple Brand Marketing
Besides increasing product sales, brand marketing brings additional benefits to Apple. New products from Apple are eagerly anticipated, as evidenced by the buzz surrounding Apple’s new tablet computer. Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader experienced great sales over the holiday season, but many feel that Apple’s tablet stands a good chance of becoming the reader of choice. Consumers who feel great loyalty to the Apple corporate identity are expected to line up to purchase the Apple tablet and other new Apple products.
When it comes to creating standing out in a crowded field of technical product, Apple has shown that strategic brand marketing can be just as important as functionality and price.