Apple’s Key Events

2 06 2014

Every business has its ups and downs. Successful companies are always those who make the right decisions at the right time. It needs visions, personalities, and a philosophy which form the golden thread, the DNA of a company culture.

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We cannot say that the company was catapulted to the most valuable brand in the world (Forbes 2013).

More than 40 years of hard work and focusing on customer satisfaction made Apple to one of the mega brands of our times.

See what happened in 4 decades. I summarized the key events in a mind map.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. Best practice for reading is to download the DOCX file format which includes outlined textual information and the image.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

The main events/decisions …

Essential points of Apple’s strategy are

  • 1 Combining the development of hard- and software
  • 2 Initiating disruptive and sustaining innovation in the market of mobile devices
  • 3 Releasing finished products
  • 4 Building an ecosystem (All-In-One) with hard- and software, services and stores
  • 5 Focusing on customer satisfaction
  • 6 Paying respect to employees and competitors
  • 7 Innovative approaches to keep the environment green

Reputable analysts pointed that out as you can see here.

How Apple works

In a fascinating interview with Calcalist radio, the largest economic newspaper in Israel, Horace Dediu gives us a scintillating insight into how Apple works. Horace Dediu is a well-respected analyst who knows a thing or two about Apple.

“I studied their DNA,” Dediu explains. “But Apple cannot possibly be perceived as normal or average, but is analyzed as such. This is a company that breaks all categories, as based on the growth front and on the value or dynamic versus static. It just works differently. ”

Dediu posits that Apple uses the same strategy as an army. ”You have to look at Apple as adopted by the pattern of military activity,” said Dediu. ”The army has no obligation to produce profits, but it has a deep commitment to achieving goals. Everyone focused and training for a specific task, and then another mission.”

Finally, Horace Dediu believes this status quo will not change under Tim Cook.

Dediu said: ”I think Apple’s culture is very stable. Generally, most of the large companies have a tough fight when they want to change the organizational culture, Steve Ballmer at Microsoft across this barrier. Tim Cook may have made changes within the company, but this is not clear from the outside. Steve Jobs built something bigger than himself. You can see it also in another company he founded, Pixar. People usually do not associate it with Apple, but they are very similar. Both companies are completely committed to the product, focusing obsessively on the details giving rise to beautiful product.”

(Source, TheTechStorm)

Regarding innovation

Ken Segall, author of the bestselling book – Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, suggests that Apple and Samsung have differing philosophies when it comes to innovation.

“Innovation comes in many flavors,” Ken Segall said. “Sometimes it’s about creating revolutions, other times it’s about adding features. Sometimes it’s about creating things that people fall in love with, other times it’s simply about creating things.”

According to Segall, Samsung’s approach to innovation is more about adding features and in most cases, at the expense of customers’ satisfaction:

Less than six months after launching the Galaxy Gear watch, Samsung replaced that device in February 2014 with two models, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. These aren’t just upgrades — they’re new watches, running a completely different OS. Android has been replaced by Samsung’s home-grown Tizen OS.

So what happens to the people who just months ago bought into Samsung’s last “next big thing”? Well, they get stuck with a Galaxy Gear, which will be quickly forgotten. They also become living proof that Samsung values innovation over customers.

On the other hand, Segall posits that

“Apple’s innovation philosophy is quite different. Its highest priority is creating a product that people can fall in love with – a product that will improve customers’ lives without frustrating them in the process.”

“Of course, Apple loves features too.. The difference is, when Apple innovates, it’s innovating in the most user-centric way. That’s consistent with one thing I heard Steve Jobs say often: Apple’s highest priority is earning the love of its customers,” he explains.

In concluding, Ken Segall emphasizes that it is impossible to judge who’s leading in innovation by tallying products and features. Meaningful innovation will forever be about quality, not quantity.

(Source, TheTechStorm)

Apple’s credo

I didn’t know this until I went to work for Apple Retail, but their credo is “Enriching Lives.” I never had a job with a philosophy attached to it. I know the Marines have one. It’s Semper Fi. If you see that on a bumper sticker, it’s Latin for, “Mess with this car, and you’re dog meat.”

[..]
I first heard Apple’s credo during employee training. I was not prepared for corporate culture. Sure, there are icebreaking games and group activities, but there’s also a long section where you just sit there, and someone reads you the rules. They turn page after page in a manual, reading both the rules and the perfectly rational reasons for each rule. That was a bit intense.

The trainer asked if anyone knew that Apple Retail had a credo, which I guess is more serious than a mere motto. Several did. I didn’t. It’s not printed anywhere. Employees don’t say it aloud in the store. I got sort of a smug vibe off of those who knew what it was, and then I realized that I had just become one of them! Nobody told me we were getting a slogan! It just gets put on you with the job, along with two blue shirts and a name tag.

(Source, TheTechStorm)

Special ad …

Advertising is at the front of delivering the proper message to customers and prospective customers. The purpose is to convince customers that a company’s products and services are the best, enhance the image of the company, point out and create a need, demonstrate new uses for established products, and announce new products.

Among technology companies, Apple is often perceived to have something that rivals like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, others don’t have …
that indefinable element of coolness.

A cornerstone of cultivating this specific image is the company’s advertising, especially the 30-second spots that air on television.

In 1984 the long history of exceptional advertising started with the iconic Super Bowl commercial that introduced the Macintosh to the world.

While all products share common qualities – style and ease of use – Apple and its advertising agency take very different approaches to get that message across.

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Despite their differences, Apple ads have in common at least one major advantage over many competitors’ commercials:

Regardless of whether you love or hate the spots or slogans you’ll likely remember them.

That’s the first step to building a brand well-known all over the world.

Some Apple haters like to say the company is only successful because of marketing. The masses are so entranced by Apple advertising that they’re blind to the existence of other, potentially better products. After nearly 4 years of using Apple’s mobiles or more than 200 blog posts later I agree to the assessment ‘potentially better’ but it’s still your brain which makes a mobile device to a powerful little helper or to a gadget. I’m in doubt about the usefulness of the many more customization features of competing devices.

Summary …

Apple, a very special company with a very special strategy over more than 4 decades. For further details see my posts under ‘Related links’.

Related links …

Apple’s Ecosystem

Apple’s Strategy and Ad

Apple’s Customer Relationships

Apple’s Intangible Assets

Designed by Apple in California

Thanks for surfing by.


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