We at Reign Media greatly respect Apple’s disruptive branding and marketing campaigns which effectively commands brand loyalty. Apple realizes that instead of emphasizing what Apple does, how they do it, and expecting a result, they take on a different methodology which works. Diametrically opposed to the aforementioned methodology, Apple starts with why they challenge the status quo, then explains the way they challenge it, and accordingly this pulls in users who believe what Apple believes, thus achieving brand loyalty. I see many parallels with their approach to commanding brand loyalty with inbound marketing (content), as opposed to advertising.
A huge trend in digital marketing in 2016 is a shift towards leveraging user generated content, as it connects with consumers well on emotional, visual, and functional levels. Apple has been at the forefront of this trend, launching a branding campaign globally leveraging user generated content. This strategy works very well for their brand compared to competitors using user generated content as well because it promotes the authenticity and innovation of the brand. To promote the iPhone 6s, Apple featured fifty-three images from forty-one professional and amateur photographers from around the globe. Apple is focusing on portraits which targets a mass market by emphasizing everyday moments that most people can relate to. Apple completely understands the paradigm shift in marketing; advertising is proving far less effective than content marketing. They launched this campaign on various billboards in eighty-five cities and twenty-six countries.
Their focus on targeting the mass consumer market allows them to offer a whole-product solution which allows them to efficiently cross the chasm for their new products. In terms of gaining sustainable competitive advantage, Apple’s brilliance is their ability to differentiate in a meaningful way to the consumer. I find it very intriguing how they leveraged user generated content in order to align their brand’s essence with their marketing campaign. There is an element of transparency with user generated content; it is very relatable and brandable. Apple’s brand message is unifying, consistent, and sustainable; they conveying their unique value proposition in a concise and meaningful way.
Compared to other direct competitor’s marketing efforts, Apple’s strategy differentiates in a meaningful way. Since user generated content is a huge trend, clearly Samsung and other competitors employ the same campaigns. Both Apple and Samsung also focus on the consumer rather than the product itself. Apple’s brand message stands out despite competitors employing similar content marketing strategy. As first movers within most of their product lines, Apple thinks differently and consumers perceive their brand as innovative. Further, Apple’s organizational structure and culture allows their central executive committee to make informed decisions in a streamlined way, which aids in maintaining sustainable competitive advantage. Also Apple differentiates and stays true to their brand by not engaging in modernly accepted digital marketing strategies. For example, Apple doesn’t have a blog, or Facebook and Twitter accounts. This aids in their competitive strategy of being innovators; competitors of Apple who essentially differentiate their products can only gain market share as second movers in the market. Specifically aligning Apple’s brand identity with a mass-market marketing campaign with relatable, captivating content allows this marketing campaign to be extremely successful. Apple’s sustainable success as a brand comes down to the notion that amazing products and consumer-centric marketing campaigns are conducive to establishing loyal brand advocates with huge customer lifetime values.