Apple announced additional details of AppleWatch as well as a new, slimmer MacBook line. Apple is an iconic company and their innovation can provide helpful lessons, many of which apply to solution marketers. Here’s why.
Unlike many other companies, Apple has been able to harness and re-think our vision of the future in new ways than we could ever have imagined possible. When you buy an Apple product, you’re buying a complete experience that is a full solution. So what is it that makes Apple so able today when others are so unable to harness – and successfully sell – futuristic products? Let’s take a look:
Understandable and easy to use– Apple uses now-familiar metaphors (some of which they had invented earlier) that enable consumers to see how the new product will work. For example, Apple compares the Apple Watch’s “Digital Crown” to the now familiar iPod wheel.
A sensory experience –Apple products are designed to become one with the user – connecting with users through audio, visual and now, “tap” notifications. Sensory experiences help people to relate with devices at a much deeper, almost subconscious level.
Simple and easy to use– No surprise here, but Apple is relentless about stripping out complexity, resulting in products that are simple and easy to use.
Objects of desire – Apple’s rich promotional photography and demo animations make their product components look like works of art.
Good design that looks good– No surprise here, but Apple seems to follow Dieter Rams’ 10 principles – that good design is innovative, useful, aesthetic, makes the product understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long- lasting, thorough, environmentally friendly and is simple.
PRODUCT AND TECHNOLOGY
Continuous innovation– Just when you think that, say, standard laptops can’t get any lighter, Apples comes up with a new lightweight MacBook, with completely re-imagined batteries, more precise keys, high def display, case and more – at just 2 pounds. They continue to innovate across the board with both existing products and new lines, constantly staying ahead of the competition.
Manufacturing cost– It often seems that new technology is always priced high but through a relentless focus on sourcing and manufacturing, for new technologies, Apple has been able to keep costs low and margins exceptional.
Simple, emotional messages with rich imagery – Rather than get bogged down in the details of features, most Apple ads focus on emotional stories that we can all relate to. In my favorite commercials, you notice people and their reaction as the device itself becomes almost – but not quite – a footnote. In other words, what people accomplish and feel is far more important than how they actually do it with specific features.
Value– No doubt about it, Apple products command a price premium. But they also offer an enviable combination of features and ease of use for that premium, delivering a price/performance ratio that is probably better than that of underperforming, cheaper alternatives.
Accessible pricing at the low end– While premium Apple products are expensive, they always have very attractive starting price points at the low end that may be a stretch, but are within reach for many consumers.
For many years, Apple has been successful creating the future thanks to a relentless focus on a seamless user experience, great design and compelling marketing.