As a long time Apple admirer, certified card-carrying watcher, bona-fide customer, and all around human being, it occurred to me that the company does something that others do not (which may account for continued financial successes).
It isn’t just Apple’s product line, or retail stores, or premium brand, or owner community that sets Apple apart from the riffraff of competitors. Let me keep this as simple as possible. Apple shows customers a better way.
Better, Not Cheaper
What do customers want from gadget makers and gadget applications? We want them to work as advertised. We want them to do a job for us. We want them to make us feel good about using the product.
We can argue the point a bit, but Apple’s successes through the years show an obvious understanding of what a customer truly wants. We can choose from many different and competing products in technology, but what we truly want is simple.
We want a better way to use our phones, to browse the web, to find and use information, to communicate with family and friends, to get our jobs done, to enjoy and capture moments of life.
Almost every function of every product that Apple designs, manufactures, distributes, sells, and services can be replicated to one degree or another by various competitors.
The difference– and remember, differentiation is the key to product marketing– isn’t that Apple does the same thing as others, it’s that Apple’s products show discerning customers a better way to use modern technology.
To be fair about this analysis and perspective, a very large segment of the world’s population will neither be able to afford an Apple product, nor be able or willing to discern the differences between a Mac and a cheaper Windows PC, or note the differences between an iPhone and an Android-based TracFone, a view an iPad Air as worth more than a $100 plastic tablet.
So be it.
Apple knows the market of customers that can see and understand the differences, and caters to those customers with discerning tastes; those who have a desire to get more functionality and usage from modern technology gadgets than the great unwashed masses of humanity.
Add to Apple’s target customer base of premium buyers with discriminating tastes and you’ll find a growing segment of humanity that wants a better way. Call it upward mobility if you choose, but people who have less often want more; those who have mediocrity want premium brands, regardless of products, and that bodes well for the only premium brand that makes computers, smartphones, and tablets that all work well together.
People want a better way. Not all people. But enough people to make Apple one of the most recognized and desired brands on planet earth.