Apple Computeris ability to keep interest in the iPod high and grow interest in the Mac have earned it Marketing Dailyis Marketer of the Year award for 2006. Marketing Daily describes Apple like this: "Combine innovative, consumer-friendly technology with sleek design. Add impeccably crafted, integrated branding and marketing strategies. Stir and serve."
Despite predictions dating back to 2001 that Apple couldnit keep interest in the iPod high, the company has done just that. The companyis marketing prowess has helped lock the iPod into the top MP3 player position with 68 million units sold while bringing in about US$14 billion in revenue.
The trademark silhouette ads are instantly identifiable, and help associate a cool-factor with the iPod brand. Apple has used its marketing to set the iPod apart from all other portable media players.
"They had a lot of running room to make the iPod a generic brand, and they made the most of it," said marketing strategist Jack Trout. "In everyoneis minds, everything else now coming out is iiPod-like.i"
Central to Mac marketing is the popular Get a Mac commercials where John Hodgman as a PC and Justin Long as a Mac banter about each computer platformis features. Marketing strategist Jack Trout commented "The PC guy versus the Mac guy campaign demonstrates once again that Apple is the best youth marketer in the business today."
Creating a winning marketing strategy doesnit happen by chance, and Apple has shown that it knows how to do its homework.
Brand consultant Robert Passikoff observed "Plenty of companies do a lot of consumer research, then spend a lot of money grinding out [advertising] thatis ultimately meaningless and ineffective. Not Apple. It wouldive been so easy to just show their machines; instead, they used people. Viewers get a clear sense that you can do more with a Mac--videos, whatever you want."
He added "The ads are believable and entertaining, and they leave you feeling better about the brand. You canit ask much more than that from a TV commercial."
Apple is already building hype for its 2007 product announcements. CEO Steve Jobs commented that 2007 is likely to be "one of the most exciting new product years in Appleis history." So far, rumors of Apple cell phones, wide-format video iPods, tablet and ultra-thin MacBooks, and more are making the rounds.
With Macworld Expo and the famous Steve Jobs keynote address only a week away, we are likely to get to see Appleis marketing prowess in action. And maybe weill even get some new products, too.