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Apple: An Icon of Branding

You ever notice how the ads of Apple are different than those of its peers?
Heck, they’re the only ones who can get away with saying something like, “If you don’t have an iPhone, well you don’t have an iPhone”. The nerve!

Not all their ads are even necessarily about their products. They have ads that have with a whole different agenda to it, case in point – their ‘How the Grinch stole Christmas’ ad. The ad was released during the Christmas of 2016. The ad has the iPhone in it but even that only because the monster was recording something on it. In a way, it could be said that they have videos using product placement.

The ads that they come out with for their products also are extremely focused. They’re the engineers of niche and targeted marketing. They do not confuse the consumer with several options and ideas, but instead, give them one thing to look forward to, one thing to appreciate in the product, one thing that makes it unique, vis-à-vis, the one thing that makes it Apple.

The recent campaign ‘Shot on an iPhone’ is an entire campaign focusing on only one trait of the product, i.e., of course its camera. We see billboards from this campaign that have only a picture that has been shot on an iPhone and nothing else to it. There is no doubt that the photographs are brilliant and quite spectacular to look at. In fact, they do, to a certain extent, make owning a camera entirely redundant. That’s what Apple’s all about – making it clean, simple and effectively minimalist.

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Such simplicity in luxury (so to say) is what makes the brand stick out and give it the ultimate edge in the ‘battle of brands’. Apple has positioned itself for so long as a brand that it does not exactly need branding. It prides itself in making the consumers feel the need. One of the chief reasons of such strong brand identity is of course Steve Jobs, whose enviable legacy continues to exist even after his demise. He was not just arguably the most cutting-edge innovator and salesman the world has ever seen; he didn’t just know how to invent things but how to sell them as well, and we can safely say that very few stand in the same league as Steve Jobs to that end. He established himself as ‘cult of personality’ and the weight Jobs’ image and name carries is worth more than any marketing budget. Other companies have also followed suit, the likes of Tesla for example, is ad averse, owing much to the popularity of Elon Musk and the iconic image he’s built for himself in the world. To people, that means more than a laundry list of features.

All in all, Apple has somehow managed to set itself apart from its competition and create an everlasting image for itself. Despite the criticism it has faced (most recently for its air pods), it still continues to hold its place on the pedestal and will probably continue to do so. It has created an image of itself in the consumer’s mind that puts itself on a more elevated plane than its competition. So much so that it is immune to even negative press and controversy (in the long run). Such strong consolidation is why it’s often identified and studied as one of the most iconic brands of the 21st century and even after decades, still holds a vaunted place in the industry.

It’s worth reading up on and studying for eager and prospective marketers who aim to build brands that stand for uniqueness amongst the competition.