Written by Canon Wing

I teach entrepreneurs and organizations the proven action steps to stand out within their market, improve the perceived value of their business, and better connect with their audience through naming, branding, storytelling, and communication platforms.

February 24, 2021

The Secret Behind Apple Marketing Strategy

Today we’re answering the question, “What is the secret behind Apple’s Marketing Strategy?” 

Apple is a brand that has captured the love and attention of the entire world because Apple knows that the secret for becoming an Inspiration to Millions comes down to just two words: Brand Loyalty.

Brand Loyalty is the key to generating the #1 most effective form of marketing known to mankind: Word-of-mouth advertising. Did you know that word-of-mouth advertising is 50X more effective than any other kind of advertising? A study was done by the Wharton School of Business recently reported that a word-of-mouth customer brings in 16-25% more value over a lifetime than a customer gained through any other type of advertising.

Some agencies call it “The Word-of-Mouth Game”, and spend millions of marketing dollars trying to figure out how to win the word-of-mouth game. 

What Apple knows and what any top brand who’s an Inspiration to Millions can tell you, is that word-of-mouth advertising is simply the result of Brand Loyalty. Brand Loyalty is the real big win.

I’m going to give you The Four Secrets for Securing Brand Loyalty, so your brand can Come Out of Nowhere and take its rightful place amongst the rockstar brands of our era who’ve become an Inspiration to Millions.

First, let’s take a closer look at Apple…

Steve Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world.”

His vision of “one computer, one person,” began the Apple empire, and today his tagline for the brand “Think Different,” is carried throughout the way that Apple continues to reimagine how their products can change people’s lives for the better. When Steve Jobs invented the first computer in his parent’s garage, he wasn’t trying to change the world, just wanted his own computer. But it’s his own personal passion for making that technology accessible to the world, and his enthusiasm to keep finding new ways to elevate that experience again and again that drives Apple’s Brand Loyalty.

For a brief time in the nineties, Jobs stepped away from Apple because he wanted to invest in a digital effects company called Pixar. Not everyone knows this, but his vision for Pixar led the company to make the first-ever full-length digital animation film that is now the much-loved Toy Story. What’s so important to observe, in terms of understanding Brand Loyalty, is that when Steve Jobs stepped away from the Apple brand to extend his embodiment of passion and enthusiasm for excellence in technological user experiences to an entirely different company,  Apple sort of fell off the map. During that time when Steve Jobs was estranged from Apple, the Apple Brand almost disappeared into oblivion. In the late ’90s, when someone said Apple Computer, people were still picturing that old first model, with its giant keyboard and floppy discs…and Blink! Nobody cared. 

The Blink Test is something that occurs during that crucial 2-5 seconds when a person encounters your brand for the first time and decides in an instant whether to dive in, or delete, and in today’s fast-paced digital marketplace it is estimated that about 99% of ads get deleted. And yes, at one time, even the now indomitable Apple was failing The Blink Test hard.

When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, the tagline became “Think Different”, and everything about the Apple brand followed suit with “Think Different” and Blink! Everyone’s attitude quickly changed— but it is Steve Jobs himself who is the embodiment of thinking differently. Today, Apple has people talking, lining up around the block, and creating word-of-mouth advertising worth trillions of dollars at no cost to them. Trillions of dollars worth of advertising that costs Apple nothing. Zero dollars. Doesn’t that sound nice? When seeking to create this kind of Brand Loyalty for our brands, the question we should be asking as the CEOs and founders of our own great discoveries is, “Does the world love Apple? Or is it the passion and enthusiasm of Steve Jobs himself that is infused into the Apple culture that we find so irresistible?” 

So now with that question in mind, let’s jump right into The Four Secrets for Securing Brand Loyalty.

First, we have Radiate Enthusiasm, and if while I was talking about the success of Steve Jobs, you caught yourself thinking, “Well, I’m not Steve Jobs…” then listen up! Winning Apple-level Brand Loyalty is not about being Steve Jobs, and thank goodness! Because he’s like one of those off-the-charts, once-in-a-lifetime genius-types, right? We know this. No, it’s about being so passionate and so enthusiastic about finding new ways for your brand to make people’s lives better, that your brand culture becomes synonymous with passion, enthusiasm, and living a better life. Enthusiasm is catching.

Your brand culture is going to follow your emotional example. It won’t be your words, but your attitudes and energy, that will have the final say in how your brand is perceived by the world. Ground yourself in a passion for bringing your community a product or service that is going to improve their lives, and then radiate enthusiasm for bringing that greater future to everyone who encounters your brand. “People with passion can change the world.”

When you infuse your brand culture with enthusiasm for making people’s lives better, you create a customer-focused economy of Brand Loyalists who are empowered with a higher purpose than just creating revenue. A brand culture of people who are passionate about adding value to the lives of others, and who are proud to be affiliated with your brand, is not only the perfect recipe for creating brand loyalty by the millions, it’s the very essence of word-of-mouth advertising.

Next, we have: Relentless Clarity of Vision

Apple is nothing if not consistent, with their motto being “It just works.” The products have never swayed from their sleek and simple aesthetic, and their user-friendly technology. And that style is reflected not just with their products, but it’s also consistent with the way the Apple Stores are designed, and even in the way Apple products are displayed in other stores. Whether you are upgrading your iPhone, trying out your first iPad, or opening your new MacBook, even just the experience of unwrapping your new device has the electric energy of elevating your lifestyle. And even though it’s new and exciting, it’s still familiar enough, that you’ll know how to use it. That is the magic of having a relentless clarity of vision for your brand: You create new excitement, around a familiar and comforting experience again, and again, and again. It’s like coming home after a long journey. You’re so excited to get that familiar feeling of being right where you belong. 

A relentless clarity of vision creates consistency, and consistency builds trust. As human beings, when we begin to trust, we begin to love, and brand loyalty is ALL about the love.

Which brings us to the third secret which is: Radical Listening

No matter what business you are in, Brand Loyalty is your business plan, and every pretty penny your company earns is directly correlated with how well your brand listens.

The brand that listens best is the brand that wins Brand Loyalty. It really is as simple as that. People LOVE to feel heard. When we feel heard, we feel known, we feel loved, we feel appreciated. We feel important. When we feel like a brand knows us, like really gets us, that brand begins to feel like home. And home is where we return to, again, and again, and again. If that is not brand loyalty, what is? 

Many people think listening is more like just catching enough of what is being said to know how you want to respond. Brands who listen in this half-hearted manner, are basically leaving money on the table. Everything your community has to say, the good, the bad, and even what is completely unrelated to your brand- is information you can spin into gold. Your customers are constantly telling you who they are, who they dream of becoming, what they are afraid of, and what changes they wish to see in the world. It’s ALL gold because it can all be used to fortify your brand’s values and ethics to align with your customers on an emotional and meaningful level that makes them feel like your brand really cares, and it’s 100% necessary to win Brand Loyalty. 

Finally, we have: Repeatedly Raise Their Expectations for a Greater Future.

No one does this better than Apple, as new products continually offer new features to bring customers more convenience, more efficiency, more joy, and more fun with each new year. The promise of a greater future is the most significant offer any brand can make, and a brand that wins brand loyalty, not only delivers good on that promise but also strives to continue to find new little ways to make that greater future better and better. This kind of dedication to excellence is only possible through passion and enthusiasm. Becoming an Inspiration to Millions is truly a labor of love. Connect with your customers, change their lives for the better, and then keep finding new ways to do it again and again. If you can do that, you won’t be able to stop them from wanting to be a part of bringing the goodness of your brand into the lives of anyone who will listen. That is Brand Loyalty in action, and the results of that action are priceless word-of-mouth advertising. 

Do you embody the essence of your Brand? 

Your passion, your enthusiasm, and your determination to create a greater future for your Brand Community are the seeds of inspiration that will take root deep into the hearts of your customers. Now that you have the four secrets, define where your brand can elevate its strategy for securing brand loyalty within each of the four secrets.  Thank you so much for joining me. Treat this as blog as a masterclass in becoming an Inspiration to Millions with Branding. And as always the way to becoming an Inspiration to Millions starts with our mantra: Love What You Do, and Love How You Do It. 

❤️ My Gift to You ❤️ 

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