Apple Death Knell #66 - ‘The Dream Is Over’

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Apple Death Knell #66Meet Rob Frankel. He's a branding expert. In fact, he's, "The best branding expert on the planet." We know this because he tells us so on his blog. It must therefore be true. Mr. Frankel has a message for Apple fanboys, and it's earning him a spot in the Apple Death Knell Counter.

That message is ""The dream is over."" I'm not sure who he's quoting, but he put quotes around it, and I'm quoting him, so you know, double quotes.

Actually, here's the relevant passage from his blog post in full:

But hey, don't take my word for it. All you fanboys can keep believing, if you like. There are still millions of Beatles fans who don't want to accept John Lennon's announcement of the band's demise. Decades later, they still can't believe it. But believe it you must:

"The dream is over."

In another spot, he said:

I feel Apple's best days are behind them.

When I first approached this article (via Shawn King), my first reaction was to blink. Then I did a facepalm. Then I went reaching for the volume controls on my Mac because Mr. Frankel auto-plays some thunder claps on his site.

#lolthunder #1998called #isbloggerstillathing

That led me to another facepalming, and this one might leave a bruise.

The reason for all this head smacking is Mr. Frankel's Web-presence. His blog, for instance, is a site rather than a branded website. He has a branded website, mind you, but both the blog and the branded site look awful. No, the blog looks barely passable for 2003, while the branded website would have been pretty snazzy in 1997.

There's some massive irony in a branding expert so inexpertly managing his own brand, and it almost caused me to make the mistake of dismissing him. That's why I mention all this before I even get to the Death Knell. After watching some of his many, many TV interviews on topics such as Walmart, Obamacare, the NFL, Starbucks, the Today Sponge, Viagra, Playboy, Beer, Apple, and more.

The focus on these interviews is branding, rather than business fundamentals, business strategy, pricing, or other aspects of business. Watching him being interviewed on MSNBC, Fox News, CTV, CNN, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, it's clear that he knows his stuff when it comes to branding.

For those interested, he's also the author of The Revenge of Brand X.

So, when Mr. Frankel tells us that Apple's is "a failing brand," it's worth checking out. Unfortunately (or not, depending on who you are), Mr. Frankel's opinion on Apple's brand suffers from close scrutiny. He appears to base his assertions on unsubstantiated and erroneous suppositions.

Next: Beats Me

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Lee Dronick

I usually discount the statements by someone who uses the word “fanboy.”

Bryan Chaffin

I don’t know, Lee. The “fanboy” concept is a real thing. There are fanboys and fangirls for many things. Mac/iPhone/iPad, Windows, Android, games in general, Xbox, PS, Ford, Chevy, animé, comics…

There is a particular mindset that goes with being a fanboy. Calling anyone who thinks Apple is doing well a fanboy is silly, but faboys do exist.

Lee Dronick

True that Bryan, but it seems to me that the word has come to be associated with those who are trolls and click-baiters.


I like the word Drone or Clone for the Apple myopic.
I’ll tell you what, anybody who DOESN’T say Apple’s best days were behind them is just on crack, or just hasn’t paid attention to the reality of ALL things business, or simply wasn’t there when OS 6 and 8 then 9 came out, the first PPC’s, the first iMacs, etc.  Well, we all know that the Apple Death Knell is simply a clone-boy JOKE because APPLE COMPUTER DID DIE, or hasn’t anybody remembered the name change once Apple decided to be a PHONE and PADLET company. Apple really doesn’t have any panache anymore, zero in fact except for the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is like the new Dodge Challenger Hellcat with the 707 horsepower supercharged HEMI. Phones? snore zzzzz


Nice article, Bryan. An expert saying that Apple is simply grasping for the lowest hanging fruit for easy money is grasping at windmills.


I agree with Lee.
Fanboy, Fandroid and others are term of derision, of insult. To me it’s a corollary to Godwin’s Law. As soon as someone uses one of these terms I stop taking them seriously.

Paul Goodwin

Apple’s Brand world rank and recent performance:
- #1 and almost double the brand value of the second and third most valuable brands.
- It’s brand value increased 20% in the past year.
- Revenues of the brand is more than double number two and three, and
- Apple spends 1/2 as much on advertising as number two, 1/3 that of number three, and 1/4 of number 9.

Frankel’s a blowhard idiot. He’s got more of Macalope’s antlers in him than a porcupine has quills. Branding expert? His sites are completely void of design, and offer no memorable brand. One of hundreds of click baiters.

Call it panache if you want CudaBOY. You wouldn’t know panache if it fell on you. Name me one other tech brand of phones, tablets or computers that even in the same universe as Apple in terms of panache. If there’s one thing that Android phones don’t have it’s panache. Apple owns the high end of the market, and their share of that target market is growing. There’s leaders and there’s followers. Apple leads and the others follow. People know that. 35-50 million per quarter buy their phones, 10-15 million buy iPads, and 10-15 million buys Macs. And the numbers increase every year.

Who are number two and three brands? Microsoft and Coca-Cola. What little panache MS ever had is rapidly fading. The article should have been about them.



Macs would smack down IBM mainframes and leave PC-based systems in the dust with an elegant ease.

That’s a quote from his piece. When the heck did Macs ever smack down IBM mainframes? Aside from a joke the first Mac made when introduced, this simply never happened. Sure there were plenty of Photoshop bake-offs where Macs did leave PCs in the dust, but I don’t recall Steve ever wheeling out a mainframe on stage. Complete BS.

And OMG his branded site???? Wow. That’s painful to even look at.

Paul Goodwin

I believe this is the best term describing Frankel:  Putz.

1.  a stupid or worthless person.

1.  engage in inconsequential or unproductive activity.


Did Frankel get paid for his shtick about Apple? Because it does not sound like credible information. I’d almost bet that one or more of Apple’s competitors paid him for that misdirection.


Yeah CuddleTOY, Apple COMPUTER is dead. That’s why after having 3 pc laptops crap out on her in the last 6 years my wife is purchasing MacBook Pro like many others have and are. You must be related to Frankel.


@CudaBoy: You are saying that everybody who doesn’t agree with you “is just on crack”. That’s pretty insulting. Actually, if that was my website, anyone making a comment like that would be banned.


You were right on about Mr. Frankel’s website; it completely undermines his credibility as a “branding expert.” Unless you are Saul Goodman. It would be the perfect website for a sleazy CRIMINAL attorney. But Mr. Frankel’s website is a testament to the fact that he knows nothing about how to promote or maintain a premium brand.


You can read in 2010 when he thought “Apple Jumped the Shark”

If you do read it, tell me how Apple jumped the shark, I couldn’t find it.


jfh17, gnasher729, Cudaboy will typically not respond once you make it clear that you publicly disagree with his position and especially if you ask him to support it.

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