From birth in the 1970s to the 21st century Apple has managed to do what few technology companies every do. Differentiate itself from competitors, and secure the most profitable end of the product spectrum.
Not only are Apple’s products easily identifiable from the riffraff of technology competitors, the company’s modus operandi pays homage to Think Different™. Apple is organized different, and every product smacks of quality feel, and easily differentiated from both Windows and Android devices.
Of Trusted Brands
Major companies work diligently to cultivate their brands, maintain and bolster a brand image, and do everything they can– legally and illegally– to protect a brand. A company or product brand is a living entity; loved, hated, scorned, trusted.
In product marketing, differentiation is a key component for success. To topple an industry leader, a newcomer or competitor must succeed with specific, axiomatic elements. For example, how would a new car manufacturer compete against Lexus?
It’s either build a notably better car– luxury, performance, features, value– and sell it at the same or a slightly lower price, or, build a car with perceived features comparisons, but sell it for much less.
See the problem Apple’s competitors have these days? Differentiation. Most PCs sold today run Windows, regardless of brand; Dell, HP, Lenovo, et al. Most smartphones sold today run Android, regardless of brand; Samsung, Motorola, Xiaomi, whatever. Competing products may have cheap, plastic hardware, or finely crafted aluminum but they have one thing in common. Windows or Android.
Apple products are differentiated by both hardware and software. OS X is not Windows, and does not suffer under the yoke of hatred many customers have for Microsoft’s flagship product. Likewise, iOS is not Android OS, and does not suffer under the yoke of growing distrust over security and privacy issues inherent in Google’s spawn.
The most telling success point in Apple’s strategy is not marketshare but profitshare. If a competitor could build a hardware product which is perceived as good as an Apple product, it would still be saddled with the common OS, either Windows or Android, thereby being perceived as a lesser product, perhaps good enough for the masses, but not sufficiently competitive to pay prices that rival Apple’s retail prices, thereby denying the competitor the profits that Apple enjoys.
Marketing can be defined as ‘the methodology which delivers products or services to a user or buyer.‘ If so, everything a company does to design, build, and sell a product or service is part of its marketing efforts, and it’s difficult to name another technology company that is organized and functions like Apple. Differentiation is what sets Apple apart; a key component of success.