In August, Apple became the most valuable company globally after reaching the $2 trillion mark. To give you a perspective, Samsung has a net worth of $295 million.
But with the complaints about Apple’s lack of innovation on the rise, it makes you wonder why Apple is still so popular and what we can learn from its communication method.
Why people choose Apple
Three words: better user experience.
Today, you can walk into an Apple store to get a repair done, and you’ll be happy even if they charge you a premium fee because you’re getting a quick solution. But the same isn’t the case with Android.
A survey by PCMag revealed 47% of people who switch from Android to iOS do so to experience better customer service. Apple has streamlined a rich user experience – something that sits at the absolute pinnacle when it comes to smartphone satisfaction.
They’ve positioned themselves as being ‘style with substance,’ which basically means that you get the best of both worlds. And that’s the communication they’re sticking to despite creating products that many people believe aren’t worth the hype anymore.
Still, Apple continues to grow because their communication keeps winning even if their products aren’t performing well in some parts of the world.
So, what can we learn from Apple?
Reducing churn rate
If you know anything about email marketing, it’s a tool to reduce the high churn rate, which means retaining customers after the free trial is over. And Apple has been doing that without any emails.
To reduce the churn rate, it’s essential for you to find out two things; why people are leaving and why people are staying.
Apple realized this before they went all-in with their marketing activities. So, when they launched their iPhone, they made sure to highlight the fact that the phone can store thousands of songs just like an iPod – a device that was already a hit among their target audience.
Since people were familiar with iTunes and they loved it, they felt it was easier to transition into an iPhone than leaving the ecosystem and switching to Android.
Familiarity. That’s the main ingredient.
People will always buy things that they know and are comfortable with. So, Apple leverages its existing products’ strengths and markets the hell out of it to keep you tied up.
The new iPhone 12 variants are all about nostalgia. It’s a sum of all of Apple’s most loved parts, i.e., the body of iPhone 5, MagSafe, and mini screen size.
So, before you create any strategy, figure out that familiarity factor in your product or service to get one step closer to making a successful campaign.
Controlling the conversation
The first rule of PR is you must always control the conversation. This allows you to steer the story in the direction of your choice and avoid giving into rumors, which can harm your brand image.
When iPhone X was launched, let’s be honest, nobody liked it. People bullied Apple for copying Android and ditching their signature home button.
But just in 10 months, it became the best selling smartphone in the world, with roughly 60 million units sold.
Notice how they raved about the positive reviews from those who have the authority to influence the market?
They even brought in YouTube stars to say nice things about the product and quickly roped in Hollywood to work its magic as they did back when Apple replaced Blackberry in movies. That had never happened before.
If you head over to Apple’s YouTube channel right now, you’ll notice that they’ve turned off the comments under all their videos. They know that we are living in a world of memes. It doesn’t take long for people to joke about product features that can ruin sales.
By switching off the comments, they curb negative PR, which doesn’t hurt their sales much.
Remember what happened to the iPhone 7? People joked about the headphone jack being removed, and now, the whole world wants earbuds. Interestingly, iPhone 7 and 7+ have the highest sales of any iOS devices, with close to 80 million units sold to date.
And if you walk into an Apple store, you might spot the iPhone 7 positioned right next to the recent launches because it still sells like hotcakes.
Selling fun over features
The most fundamental principle of successful marketing is that you should always sell usefulness over features.
Gone are the days when people sat through the list of specifications before buying a phone. Now, all they see is how good the camera is.
But since Apple is still innovating, they have a unique way of showcasing their features. Because people care about the camera, in iPhone 12’s official trailer, Apple has led the video with what’s new with the camera.
After grabbing the attention, they move on to more critical features. But they don’t just lay down the features; they show what you can do with them.
Apple always tries to sell fun over features like editing on-the-go. But when they do talk about features, they stick to the details.
This way, even if they aren’t convincing people to buy from them, they’re creating a desire in them. So, they won’t wait for a second before running to the store when they have the money.
Having a clear target
Even the worst marketing campaigns can work if you have your target audience correctly figured out. So, if you aren’t familiar with your product or service’s accurate buyer persona, allow Apple to teach you.
Apple operates in two market segments:
- Apple enthusiasts
- High-income individuals
That’s why they don’t obsess over their price points or get bothered by the memes. They’ve sold a smartphone for $999, and just when you thought they couldn’t go any higher, they are now selling the iPhone 12 Pro Max for $1,099.
Apple isn’t wasting time appeasing people who aren’t their target. They focus on their customer base and speak to them directly. Their communication is clear.
They know that this isn’t a race to the bottom, so they avoid price wars and focus on adequately positioning their value in the market. Because at the end of the day, a convincing value proposition is all that the customers care about.
And many businesses follow the same rule. For example, Ahrefs charges up to $9,990/year, while Majestic charges up to $3,990/year. Yet, people continue to choose the former because it has a unique value prop that’s still unmatched.
Besides, only 29% of users switch from iOS to Android due to pricing issues, so Apple’s marketing is right on the money.
Getting people talking
You don’t need to advertise if people are continually talking about your product. Creating a buzz is one of the most important marketing strategies that Apple has mastered. Here’s what Phil Schiller, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, had to say about advertising.
Schiller 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.
“We didn’t need to,” Schiller said. He read from several rave reviews of the iPhone and iPad, explaining that such stories did a better job than advertising to build buzz.
Word of mouth publicity is better than any paid marketing. So, if you can convince people to leave positive reviews, you won’t have to spend a dime on paid marketing.
Ditching the jargons
Take a look at this official trailer for all the iPhone 12 launches. There’s nothing that you can’t understand. Not a single dialogue, and you know exactly what you’re going to get.
Because they’ve kept it simple.
And when they do use a technical term like A14 bionic chip, they quickly follow it up with what it means, i.e., it’s the world’s fastest and most powerful chip.
When it comes to marketing, speak your customers’ language. You can’t talk about the eco-friendliness of a barbie when selling the doll to a 5-year-old. Instead, you’ll talk about how you can style it for different occasions to drive sales.
If you see Apple’s website, you’ll notice that they’ve simplified the copy significantly. For example, the copy on the watch section is planned out to make checkout easier for you.
Filled with well-positioned CTAs, the copy is designed to make you understand the technology while telling you what you can do with it, such as gifting the watch to someone for Christmas.
See how they’ve personalized the copy for the holiday season way ahead of time?
Apple knows that their target audience isn’t facing the wrath of COVID-19 as much as the rest of the world is. They’ve still got the purchasing power, and they’ll be looking for present ideas. So, Apple is cashing in on the opportunity the right way.
Leading with the intangible benefits
In 2016, Apple launched MacBook Pro with a touch bar – a feature that makes editing documents and producing tracks more convenient. But when Apple first introduced it, they addressed the intangible benefits more than the tangible ones.
For instance, they used sentences like “the touch bar allows you to interact with your MacBook” or that “it offers a more immediate connection to your content.” And then, they dove into the technicalities of having all your hidden commands in front of you for easy accessibility.
Apple’s entire marketing strategy is designed to spark a user’s desire before they move on to making a sales pitch.
They don’t sell you a 12MP camera. They sell you the experience of capturing, editing, and sharing crystal clear videos in Dolby Vision and clicking beautiful phones in wide, ultra-wide, and selfie mode even in low light.
Even when introducing MagSafe, they led the audience in with the line “everything just clicks” rather than saying something like “charge your phones faster with MagSafe” because intangible benefits drive sales and customer satisfaction.
Joining the conversation
It’s not just about controlling but also joining the conversation. Apple is one of the few companies that catch on pretty quickly.
The moment the world started inclining towards being more environment-conscious, Apple hopped on the bandwagon. They announced that they would be reducing their use of plastic by not offering adapters with the new phones.
Sounds noble but remember that this is the same company that launched iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone 12 mini all in the same year. Those plastic adapters aren’t harming the environment as much as these bulk launches are.
But their communication worked, and people are beginning to adapt to their logic with time. They’re also garnering more sympathy and brownie points for caring for the planet, which will affect their sales numbers.
Building a community
You know what they call Apple enthusiasts, don’t you? Apple fanboys/fangirls.
No matter how condescending it sounds to those on the outside, the Apple fanbase is a loyal one. They stick to their brand year after year without complaining about the lack of features or higher prices.
And every brand needs that to become the most valuable company on the planet.
Countless businesses have been asking people to join their Facebook group for years, but now, they’ve gone one step ahead and created more closed communities on Slack, where they can control the conversation.
These communities have the potential of spending more, generating a buzz around new launches, and becoming influencers for your products. Make this happen, and you’ll never go out of business.
Apple is indeed working with marketing geniuses to deliver campaigns that make people stop whatever they’re doing and listen.
And sometimes, no matter how much you invest, finding the right people can be quite tricky. So, why not speak to an agency that knows what they’re doing. Bash Foo has been creating marketing solutions for the past two decades, and we’re always willing to collaborate with businesses that love meeting goals.
Let’s get in touch and create strategies for your business’ long-term growth right away.