Marketing – The Core Of Apple’s Marketing Success – Part 3 of 3

Marketing Lessons from Apple

AppleYou may feel you’ve heard enough about Apple’s impressive marketing ways in Part 1 and Part 2 where you learned:

Lesson 1 – A Guiding Light

Lesson 2 – Ask the Right Question

Lesson 3 –  Idea Snatcher

Lesson 4 – Limb Walking

Lesson 5 – Create Lovers – Not Buyers

But I have just a few more Apple seeds to plant.

Lesson 6 – Go For The Cream

Apple doesn’t staff its retail stores.  They go on a quest for the cream.

They don’t turn over the company’s guiding light – think differently – to people who don’t think.

They screen and hire only the best.  And then Apple makes them better.

The rigors of the hiring and training process would put most retailers to shame. The chances of being hired at Apple’s New York store is the same as being accepted at Harvard – 2%.

New hires shadow seasoned employees for 3 months, not 3 days.  If there is any suspicion a new hire isn’t ready, they are retrained or let go.

Apple store employees are happier, empowered and they deliver the results.

Apple doesn’t want its retail staff to “sell” merchandise.  Instead, Apple creates environments where the staff can educate the customer and foster genuine relationships that lasts a lifetime.

Do you make an effort to recruit the cream to staff for your business?

Lesson 7 – Knitting Moments

Apple injects opportunities for a series of unique moments that when viewed as a whole create a distinctive customer experience, yet one that is driven by the customer.  Customers are greeted, exposed to various “solutions”, encouraged to test drive the products, to ask questions and basically to become involved with Apple.

Online, the customer self-services by scheduling appointments, classes, purchases and pick-ups.  This allows in-store staff to facilitate, personalize and customize the experience for each of these customers.

And then there are the memorial moments that puts Apple in a class by itself.  Moments where the staff offers water, umbrellas or whatever to lines of customers waiting for the newest release.  The pet friendly touches of water dishes for the thirsty pet.  Staying open late to help a 10 year old purchase her first Apple computer.  The personal touches that turn customers into a evangelists.

Are you knitting memorable moments with your customers?

Lesson 8 – CAD or Compulsive Attention to Detail

Apple pays close attention to each and every detail in the entire package:

  • selecting high traffic locations that will make it easy for current customers and prospects to find and visit an Apple store
  • encouraging the touch factor of the products so people feel comfortable playing and operating the devices for as long as they want
  • designing stores that communicate the specialness of Apple’s product line while creating a hang-out environment
  • replacing cash registers with hip-swipe Easy Pay on iPhones and iPads
  • injecting a ‘cool’ factor into the product design that smacks more of a private club than of a customer base
  • the design of the physical box that houses the product

How is the CAD factor in your retail stores or for your products?

Lesson 9 – Continuous Tweaking

Apple started its foray into retail at a distinct disadvantage with only a few products.  But it learned some marketing tricks along the way.  Some tricks were acquired by studying the failures of others. Other tricks were picked-up in the process of testing, tweaking, and more testing of every aspect of the concept – a practice it continues today.

Apple doesn’t rest.

It is never fully satisfied.

It is continuously tweaking, refining and enhancing its retail operations.

It recognizes that the marketplace and consumers attitudes move fast and that it is its job to stay ahead in order to keep on top.

Do you?

Bottom Line

Apple took an established industry – retail – and turned it on its head.  It truly transformed it.

In so doing, Apple is one of the most successful retailers ever…even in the current dank economic times.

As a business owner, you have an obligation to learn from those who are successful.

And to take action.

Which of the Apple marketing lessons highlighted most apply to your business?  Which, do you feel, would be most beneficial to your business?  Use the comments section below to share your thoughts.

I hope you enjoyed this mini series on Apple.  To find out what prompted this series of posts, you’ll need to read Part 1.

If you found this post interesting, join our list of readers and feel free to pass this along.


Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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