Apple: Marketing at its best
Apple has always been in the forefront of successful marketing. iPod is probably the greatest success story for Apple’s Marketing Gurus that were able to get an iPod in every other person’s hand within a matter of few years. It was truly unbelievable.
I still remember how 3 of my friends followed each other in being next one to own an iPod right after they saw it. At first, I thought that Apple was brainwashing everyone to believe that iPod is cool and owning one makes you cool. I actually detested Apple for what I took to be a brainwash. I am not naive and I do know that there are other companies that employ similar tactics but for some reason I could not take it from Apple. Maybe I expected them to have a higher standard.
A similar phenomenon is visible now with the introduction of iPhone 3G. While iPhone 1st Gen was fairly popular, most of the popularity seemed among avid mac fans. iPhone was like a MacBook: pretty, cool, designed to perfection but not affordable. iPhone 3G on the other hand has captured a greater spectrum of the population. While the 2 year costs for owning an iPhone and its 3G counterpart are similar, its a much easier decision to buy a $200 phone compared to a $400 phone. That is another example of successful marketing.
However, what I have realized is that the best marketing vehicle that apple has used, and this applies to all their products, is the product itself. Apple has established itself as a synonym for intuitive design and its the well designed product that is present in the market that sells more and more of these products, especially iPods and iPhones. Within the past month, 6 people in my company have bought iPhones and its not a co-incidence that they sit in the same area. It all started with one guy who got an iPhone and everybody just had to have one.
However, the best marketing move that I have seen Apple make is release Safari on Windows. I recently downloaded Safari on my machine, accidentally at that through Apple software update and I don’t think I can go back to Mozilla. Everything looks so much smoother in Safari and the more I used it, the more I found wanting everything else in my computer to look this smooth. THAT IS AMAZING! Apple, by giving you the mac experience in Safari is not only going to get a big chunk of browser market share but it could convert lot of PC (home) users to go to mac. Who does not like something that is well designed, intuitive and pretty. I just with I could somehow get my del.icio.us bookmarks on Safari.
Realizing that the credit to mac product penetration in the market over the past 5 years goes equally (if not more) to their designers/engineers and marketing team has helped me appreciate Apple products for their intuitive design and Apple for their constant focus on innovation and integration. One could only hope that someday I can see Steve Jobs in a different light where he no longer looks like a nutcase.