Marketing – The Core Of Apple’s Marketing Success – Part 2 of 3

Continuation of Marketing Envy of Apple


Apple Envy


I don’t know many in the business and marketing world who don’t have Apple Envy and its really easy to understand why.  They just do it better.  Which is why I started this series.

Initially I was engaged in Steve Chazin’s Apple’s Retail Secrets ebook, but while reading, I discovered there was much more at play.  While the focus was on retail, business philosophy was being revealed.  One that has application for every business – big and small.

In Part 1 of this series we talked about two important lessons from Apple.

1.  A guiding light – Apple created an inspirational vision for itself that defined everything that was to follow – its product offerings, its unique approach to retail and its overall success.

2.  Ask the right questions – Apple didn’t ask the standard questions that focused on revenues or profits.  It asked questions that focused on crafting a compelling experience for its customers.

Let’s continue with a few more insights.

3.  Idea Snatcher

This is the process by which one sees ideas being used in other industries, in other disciplines and has the moxie to ask themselves:

How can we adapt that idea to fit our business or to address a problem? 

The world is brimming with ideas just waiting to be snatched, transformed, or adapted.  Steve Jobs turned idea snatching into a fine art.  It is well documented that Jobs ‘borrowed’ ideas from a number of different companies and industries.

In actuality, Apple didn’t invent any of its product line.

It just took good ideas such as the PC, the MP3, and the mobile phone and made these products work better, more intuitive, simplified the operation and gave them a look and feel no one else had.

Basically, Apple Apple-tized them.

The credo?

Good artists borrow.  Great artists steal. 

Drop the mind set that says “that’s not how its done in my industry” or “no one else does it that way”.

Open your mind to the P O S S I B I L I T I E S.


Look around this big world and see all of the ideas you can adapt to your industry, your business or to a specific problem in your company.  It doesn’t matter if the idea comes from a power company, from a drug manufacturer or from a food cart vendor.

What matters is that you adapt the idea to work for your business and for your customers.  You have the ability to transform an idea into a competitive marketing advantage.

This leads us to the next Apple lesson.

4.  Limb Walking

What’s this?  Well, it is the idea of getting comfortable being out on a limb.  It is about finding your equilibrium in a new space – a space where there is no road map.

Standing all alone but possessing this knowledge deep in your heart that what you are doing is right and it will work.

Ignoring all of the naysayers.

It is moving beyond the idea of failure and knowing it is worth seeing your idea through.

If it doesn’t work and the limb breaks, that’s okay.   You’ll learn from the experience and now know how to make it better.

Limb walking is all part of the marketing process.

5. Create Lovers – Not Buyers

Jobs understood adding a few new bells and whistles to a product wasn’t going to cut it.

He wanted Apple to create truly “great products” – products that exceeded customers’ expectations on every level and made them fall in “love” with Apple.

He didn’t want customers to just “buy” Apple products.  He wanted Apple lovers…he wanted life long customers.

He knew there were people who would appreciate and pay for great design and stellar performance.  Just as he understood that customers would appreciate a unique retail experience and not the standard fare.  He just had to create it for them.

By creating lovers and not buyers, Apple is able to:

  • create a rabid cult following that is unmatched by any other company or product line, and to
  • charge premium pricing in commodity market sectors.

Are you creating lovers?

Are you practicing limb walking?

Are you snatching and adapting ideas?

I have a few more marketing lessons from Apple to discuss in a future post.  Share your thoughts below and come back for the continuation of this series.

Or you could join our list of readers.

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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