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How to Build a Brand like Apple

This month saw the debut of the iPad and no shortage of sprawling crowds lined outside of stores. Just how well did the newest iPad fare? So well that AT&T set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations. It seems that the tech giant can  do no wrong these days – its colossal 89% brand loyalty being the proof in the pudding. Mac owners, iPhone holders and iPad weilders love their products so much that they almost act as members of an elite and exclusive group.

So how did Apple build its brand loyalty and how can we emulate them? Several building blocks comprise their monumental success:

  1. Build honest and close knit relationships with customers – Give a face and name to your brand by connecting with clients online. Talk to them on Facebook and Twitter, blog about what’s going on behind the scenes, and don’t shy away from negative feedback. Embrace those comments by highlighting them and addressing them honestly. If something went wrong, own it and offer up a genuine solution. Steve Jobs spoke earnestly and passionately about his products. His enthusiasm captured the hearts and interests of prospects.
  2. Market who you are, not what you do – Apple’s brand is built upon its vision for clients: bringing the best computing experience possible through innovative, cutting edge technology. What does your company set out to accomplish? What does your brand stand for? What can you say about yourselves that will tap into the emotions of your clients and prospects? It’s not just about what you do; it’s about how you transform their lives.
  3. Simplify – Clean up the clutter by ridding your site or brand with layers of messages, texts, instructions, maybe even robust website language. Customers want clean and easy. Give them what they want in 3 steps – better yet, 2 steps. Be straight and direct with them, and cut it out with all of those cliche phrases. Set up your business like an Apple store: a pleasant, quick and straightforward experience.

Extra Credit: Find the wow factor. It may not always be easy, but if you can identify that one memorable, super impressive element, I guarantee you’ll be heads above the rest. Did you know that the MacBook Air can fit into a manila envelope? Such an easy concept, and yet those who hear it will never forget it. What’s your manila envelope?