Lifestyle Branding: An Apple Experience

Some of you may know I switched to Mac last year [edit: and haven’t looked back]. Since then I’ve had to deal with a couple of minor issues and every time it’s been a great experience. In fact, it’s been a great experience from the moment I walked into the store after almost getting ushered out of the Sony store across the hall.

When you walk into an Apple store… it’s exactly what you expect.

What Apple achieved in the world of business and marketing is truly astounding and inspiring. They’ve consistently (especially in the last decade) managed to tune into the minds of their target audience. Apple has created a marketing mecca we all strive to achieve at some point. They created a lifestyle brand.

Simple, friendly, innovative and stylish are some of the words I would use to describe it. Most Mac users tend to stick with the brand throughout their life and, sooner or later, become ambassadors of the brand [You will be assimilated!]. So, how did Apple achieve this level of loyalty and brand equity?

Through a consistent branding effort that more or less stayed the same since the infamous ‘1984’ ad [see below]. Once the core values were set, everything else followed suit. From the way products were designed to how the retail stored operate. Everything is ‘designed’ to fit the Apple brand. And the brand has been meticulously designed to fit the target market. No wonder they have such a cult following.

So, next time you’re thinking about your marketing and wondering if you should really pay attention to branding both online and off… consider this: Mac sales for Q4 2009 are up 17% over the same time last year, and their gross margin was up 36.6%.

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