Brand Imagery – How Apple as a Brand has it embedded
The Apple brand is associated with sophistication and technology. Apple products are generally bought by computer and fashion savvy customers rather than the usual computer user. This is because they are looking for something more than functionality and Apple delivers that little extra in a very suttle but distinctive fashion. I love to use an Apple not just because of its performance and the way it looks, but also because it shows others who see me working on it that, I’m different from the rest. Apple products give users an unique identity that other products fail to convey. This is because Apple has concentrated on selling the brand rather than the product and this approach has worked very positively for them. Take podcasting for example. ‘Podcasting’ started to become popular at the end of 2004. The term first appeared in February 2004, and is a combination of the words iPod and broadcasting. ‘Podcasting’ involves users downloading audio files from the web and then transferring them to an MP3 player, to be listened to at any convenient moment. Not only has this given broadcast radio programmes a new distribution method but has provided ordinary people around the globe with the opportunity to make their own ‘podcasts’.The BBC began a trial of ‘podcasts’ in October 2004. In June 2005, Apple added 3,000 ‘podcasts’ to its iTunes service. Within two days customers had downloaded over one million ‘podcasts’! According to one management consultant, ‘iTunes has managed to move podcasting into the mainstream.’
Media giants such as CBS and ABC now offer a number of radio programmes in ‘podcast’ form. ‘Podcasts’ are appearing on all sorts of subjects: business and management topics, education, sport, religion, computers and culture. August 2005 saw the first ever ‘podcast’ from space, by US astronaut Steve Robinson from the space shuttle, Discovery. Now, ‘podvertising’ could become popular, with companies such as MasterCard and Orange already paying for advertising slots at the start of ‘podcasts’ by Virgin radio in the UK.
Apple’s iPod is one of the most popular MP3 players, helping to make the company one of the leaders in the digital revolution. Although the term ‘podcast’ does not only refer to the iPod, the increasing popularity of ‘podcasting’ is certainly benefiting profits at Apple! Just as Sony became synonymous with ‘Walkman’, it seems that the new term ‘podcasting’ is enhancing the Apple brand.
According to my view, Apple products are used for applications which require high performance. Hence the high levels of quality that lead to high reliability and durability. Apple macbooks are used by artists, designers and engineers. The IPods are used by athletes and fitness freak and the Iphone for people who take their business seriously but also like to have fun. It sets about portraying a fun, new and hip personality which not only moves with the times but is also a trendsetter.
Apple identifies itself as a company that started from scratch and grew to something amazing and it portrays this in all its products. It shows how, through innovation, great things are possible in the shortest time scale. It builds its brand image based on the experience it provides to its customers from the time the customer enters the showroom to the time the product is purchased and after that. This is the reason why the brand recall is so high. For example, Apple encourages owners of its computers to form local Apple user groups. By 2009 there were over 3000 groups, ranging in size from fewer than 25 members to over 1000 members. The user groups provide Apple owners with opportunities to learn more about their computer, share ideas, and get product discounts, as well as sponsorspecial activities and events and perform community service. A visit to Apple’s we site helps
customers find nearby user groups. The Apple brand also identifies itself with particularsegments of the market like specific age groups and Income groups. The multi-couloured logo itself depicts that Apple is for all races and creeds. The meaning of the name also gave the company a “friendly and shine” and warm based personality.