Have you ever thought why Apple can sell their products at a much higher price than its competitors? Have you ever seen them involving in a price war? No, they don’t. That is the power of their marketing.
Apple has the largest market capitalization from all major internet companies as of 2018, and the well-known secret behind their success is Apple’s marketing.
Of course, the design counts too. But, to be honest, there were so many better innovations out there, who couldn’t survive. So, the reason for the Apple aura is mainly due to Apple’s marketing strategy. 🙂
Apple’s marketing is considered to be a benchmark for the other companies who want to grow their businesses to the same heights.
As online entrepreneurs, there are some key factors from Apple’s marketing, which we can copy and adapt to grow our own businesses. Here we are going to discuss the essential facts in Apple’s marketing, which apply to small scale online marketers.
Apple’s marketing – Keep it simple
If you see any marketing material (including their website), the first thing that will pop into your mind is the minimalistic approach. You cannot find any flashing signs, too many content or lengthy descriptions.
Also, they never try to sell a product. They always try the sell the experience.
Take a look at below images captured from the Apple website.
What did you notice?
Can you see any “Buy Now” button? No, they provide only a “Learn More” button. Instead of trying to sell their products, they are trying to create an experience and awareness.
People do not like to be sold. So, Apple does not try to sell their products through the website or any marketing material. Instead, they create an awareness of their products, and the products speak for themselves.
Once people get to know about the product, they automatically search for where to buy.
Also, when talking about simplicity, have another look at the above images. Did you notice anything special about their graphics? The photos and graphics they use are super simple. It helps to get our attention to the products itself (not to the website).
Below image featuring the Airpods, explains this concept much better. I don’t have to speak further. The image speaks for itself 🙂
Further Listen – Keeping your business simple, on EcommerceBuff Radio
Apple’s Marketing – Spend less on Ads and use reviews and influencers to create the buzz
Surprisingly, Apple spends around 1% of its sales on advertising. So, how can they maintain their extensive visibility? 🙁
Apparently, they leverage two key strategies to create the buzz for their products.
- Product placement with celebrities and popular shows
- Leverage the power of positive reviews
Testifying at the Apple-Samsung trial in 2012, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, confirmed Apple’s non-marketing marketing strategy.
According to the bloomberg,
Apple has “spent decades strengthening its subtle but powerful grip over Hollywood, and unlike many companies, says it never pays for its products to appear on television or in movies.” Schiller, discussing the iPhone, said Apple decided not to pay for any advertising during a brief period after the device was introduced in January 2007 and when it went on sale later in the year.
This confirms that Apple is using Influencer marketing for their products.
But, as a small scale online entrepreneur, how can you use this tactic? Of course, you won’t be able to place your products in Hollywood movies or tv shows. But, still, you can pick a rising star on Social Media as an influencer. For example, if you sell fitness products, you can find plenty of influencers with a few thousands of followers.
Further reading: About Influencer Marketing: How to make money on Instagram
Apple’s other non-marketing marketing strategy is to use reviews and testimonials to create awareness.
Do you remember Apple’s ad campaign “behind the Mac”? In this Ad campaign, in videos of roughly one minute long, creative professionals and regular consumers explain how mac has helped them for their achievements.
This is clearly a customer testimonial of their product. And, Apple’s marketing has crafted a more creative way of publishing their customer testimonials.
According to the Neilsen 92% of the people trust the recommendations from the people they know. This can be the recommendations from family or friends. And, 70% of the people trust opinions posted online. These can be the product reviews.
As an ecommerce shop owner, you can leverage the power of reviews too. All you have to do is add a review section on your site or social media page and encourage your customers to review your products.
In the beginning, you can offer free trial products/ services to receive positive customer testimonials.
When you add customer testimonials, remember to use an image (avatar) of the person, and their names. In B2B, use the website link of the client with the testimonial. This creates the authenticity of the testimonials.
Apple’s Marketing – Speak in Your Customer’s Language
When we talk about Apple’s marketing, below capture from Apple’s website for the Airpods explain this concept.
Did you notice how they have described the Airpods battery capacity?
They did not use technical specification (398mAh) as their battery capacity. That because it won’t make any sense for a regular Airpod user. People only need to know how many hours would it work on a single charge.
And, when they need to talk about technical specifications like certain technologies, they have translated that technical jargon into simple terms, like in this example.
They have used the sentence “It is faster than most PC laptops” to describe the use of A12X Bionic chipset, neural engine, 5 trillion operations per second and AI learning.
Now, how can you understand your customer’s language? Actually, you should understand your buyer at the very beginning of your ecommerce journey.
That is why I always say, marketing should start even before the product design. You can identify your customer’s language by defining your target market and target audience.
Once you understand your target market and target audience (to whom you are going to sell your products), you speak their language in your marketing strategy.
Further reading: We have discussed this point extensively in this article about 5 Common Mistakes of Product Description Writing in Ecommerce. There we have discussed how to write the perfect product descriptions that can sell.
Apple’s Marketing – Build a Community
Over the years, Apple’s marketing has successfully created one of the largest and most hardcore fanbases. Apple’s marketing strategy has created an urge for people to join their community.
One of my most beloved ads is Apple’s think different ad (1997). It is so inspirational and unleashes the rebel inside you.
This ad creates an urge to join the “crazy” group. And Apple has done a great job subtly integrating their brand with the different think group. When you watch this ad, subconsciously, you feel like all other competitive brands are old-fashioned and not rebellious enough to change the world.
So, this ad urges the rebel inside you to join Apple’s community.
Now, let us see, as a small scale ecommerce entrepreneur, how can you integrate the same marketing strategy for your business.
The first step of creating a community for your business is by identifying your target audience.
Remember this article about how to select the target audience for your business? If not, check it out and pick the correct audience for your business. Then, you can use social media to create your presence and to engage with your community.
The main idea behind building a community is to create a presumption in your audience that you (business) understand your customers, and value them.
You can achieve this goal by frequently involving them with your business. You can ask questions and their ideas about your products or services. This will create positive interactions within your community.
Also, remember to comment and reply to the messages from your community. Always try to initiate conversations and bring in their participation. So, they will help you by spreading your brand message within their own networks.
One last thing is, create a loyalty program and reward your community member for their participation. Make it mutually beneficial for both your business and your consumers.
Apple has demonstrated an unparalleled growth in their business. Apart from creating great products, Apple’s marketing strategies have contributed to this outstanding growth to its fullest.
As we have discussed over and over again, Apple’s marketing is flawlessly converting their casual customers to their brand ambassadors. So, Apple products sell themselves.
The idea behind this article is not to encourage you to copy Apple’s marketing strategies. But, as small-scale business owners, there are a few marketing tactics we can learn from Apple’s marketing. And, we can use the scaled-down versions of Apple’s marketing strategies to grow our businesses.
Please comment below and let me know what else you think about Apple’s marketing. 🙂
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