Wired News has published a piece on Apple, reducing it to its brand.
Marketer Marc Gobe, author of Emotional Branding and principal of d/g worldwide, said Apple's brand is the key to its survival. It's got nothing to do with innovative products like the iMac or the iPod.
"Without the brand, Apple would be dead," he said. "Absolutely. Completely. The brand is all they've got. The power of their branding is all that keeps them alive. It's got nothing to do with products."
Quelle connerie !
Apple's brand does not exist by itself, nor comes intuitu personae from Steve Jobs or ex machina out of the marketing machine. It derives from its products, hardware and software, and how well they fit customers' expectations. Apple has a strong brand in France, where it has failed to do any visible advertising until only recently. Apple has been kicked out of the enterprise when it has started to ignore its clients, and failed to deliver products that matched its brand and clients' expectations. A few years ago, the standard laptop in big consultancy companies was a PowerBook. In 1997-1998, Apple was so confused about its catalog that it basically had NO entry models. It consequently turned individual consumers away, and was at its lowest in 1998. Not long after Jobs returned in command and put the company back on tracks with a consistent product line, Apple got out of the red. The brand helps, of course, just like a lubricant. But it's a by-product. And you don't do much with just a lubricant, do you?
It's the product, stupid!
Zeldman offers an insightful story about how bad delivery can impact Apple, and proves that Apple customers can think different than brand whores.