What’s interesting about Apple’s secret ingredients is that they’re not much of a secret. Even Amazon knows one of them. So do you and I. These are the ingredients to Apple’s success and they stare us in the face every time we use a Mac, iPhone, or iPad.
It’s Just Marketing
Apple’s many detractors and critics, some of whom make a good living bashing Apple at every turn, fall into two easily identifiable groups.
The first group is made up of those who don’t know what they’re doing when they criticize Apple’s success as “it’s just marketing.” Every company markets their products. Why is Apple more successful than most?
The second group is made up of those who know what they’re doing when they criticize Apple’s success, but doing so is good for their paycheck.
What almost every critic of Apple misses is the one that’s most obvious. Let me call it the Apple experience, one which encompasses the look and feel of an Apple product, combined with how simply and straightforwardly it works, combined with excellent customer support.
There. Was that so hard? It must be, because few companies match Apple in all three components.
The Apple experience combines customer usage, customer support, and a customer’s emotional feel which comes when using each product. Amazon has great customer support, but hasn’t had much success selling their own products (notice how Amazon never reveals how many Kindle-whatevers they’ve sold?), and not much profit selling everyone else’s products.
As to Google, well, have you ever talked to a Google employee? Where’s the Google 800-number to get support for Gmail or Google Docs? Google is so unlike Apple they’ve made it difficult to buy their newest products, and their reputation for treating users as part of the product has become common knowledge.
Samsung cares little about customers and more about slinging a large number of products against the customer wall to see what sticks. How’s that working out for Samsung these days?
Apple’s obvious secret ingredients are well known and understood by Apple’s customers, so you’d think they wouldn’t be much of a secret. Yet, for all the copying of Apple’s designs that tech competitors do these days, you’d think one of them would have picked up on what Apple really does.
Even poor Microsoft, merely an also-ran in the mobile space, copied Apple’s mall store designs and layouts, but forgot that customers need a reason to visit the store in the first place; hence, Apple Stores are packed with customers, while Microsoft Stores are packed with Microsoft employees.
Why is it that you and I understand the ingredients, but they remain secret to Apple’s competitors?