That doesn’t mean Citizen, Seiko, Movado, Bulova, Fossil, and others are not good brands. They, like Timex, are just not in the same league, so don’t command the same price. It’s something like that with Microsoft Windows, Google’s Android OS, and Apple.
What’s In A Brand
Walk into Best Buy or almost any electronics store, and you can walk out with a Windows notebook for $300 or less. Or, an Android-based smartphone for next to nothing.
Cheap is what is next to nothing, and in the minds of the masses, both Windows and Android devices are associated with cheap.
Why buy a $1,000 Windows notebook when all you get is Windows, Office, and whatever else runs on Windows when you can get much the same thing for $300?
Why buy an $850 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 when all you get is Android, Google Play, and whatever else runs on Android when you can get much the same thing on a cheap knockoff smartphone for next to nothing.
Both Microsoft and Google have ruined their brands– Windows and Android, respectively, by allowing them to run everywhere, on any device. Both are viewed by the masses as being associated with what is cheap.
Compare that strategy to Apple, which maintains tight control of iOS and OS X, app development and distribution, and the hardware. Apple is a premium brand and stays that way because the products are never cheapened to compete with Windows or Android devices. Apple, as a brand, is associated with premium products. That means higher prices, which means higher margins, which is translated to higher revenue and profits, and even a higher perceived value for used products.
That explains why Amazon has had no success with the Kindle Fire tablets or the Fire Phone smartphone. Like Windows and Android, the Amazon brand means low prices; akin to cheap. That also explains why Samsung’s profits are on the rocks. The company sells cheap plastic smartphones with the Samsung brand, and premium level smartphones and tablets– also with the Samsung brand. You can’t have it both ways. That’s why you won’t find a $350 Rolex, or a $15,000 Cadillac.
The ‘brand of cheap’ isn’t a good thing. As they say in retail, those who live by the price, die by the price. Look around to see which companies are struggling and then examine their brands.
Is it any wonder that Apple, as do so many premium brands, prosper while cheaper brands struggle?