BW: Apple Masters Teen Marketing

Apple has mastered the art of reaching teenagers, and other companies could learn some lessons on how Apple does it, according to Business Week on Thursday.

Appleis success didnit happen overnight. It was a long process whereby early adopters spread the news of the iPod by word of mouth until it became a cultural phenomenon. Recent surveys show that of those students who own a music player, 82 percent have an iPod. A fourth of those teenagers said theyid be willing to spend US$500 for an iPhone.

The key has been products that make one "cool." Even so, there is more to it than that. Apple has implemented four key ideas that form the foundation of the cool products.

1. Meet a real need. "Apple has positioned itself as a company that wants to empower young consumers, giving them the freedom to DIY*," said Holly Brickley from Outlaw Consulting, which specializes in research on youth. "Though other technology companies have provided similar tools, no one brand has so effectively aligned themselves with satisfying this motive ? that is, the desire to be empowered as a creative unique individual ? which is so important to Gen Y."

2. Design matters. Good design generates loyalty. When good design extended into the marketing, the effect is increased.

3. Let fans to the marketing. Apple keeps its advertising simple and lets the media fill in the technical blanks. Meanwhile, teenagers value each otheris opinions even more than traditional ads.

4. Design for everyone. Apple doesnit try to reach teenagers specifically. However, the teenagers just instantly get it, and thatis the biggest lesson according to Anastasia Goodstein.

"Even if you canit create your own cult of Mac, you can learn a thing or two from Apple on how to reach the iPod generation," Ms. Goodstein concluded.

* Do It Yourself