How should a brand be measured? Sales/ Profit? Consumer perception? That’s a question that a lot of people seem to be asking right about now. If you really want a great case study, happening in real time, look at Apple which is getting its clock cleaned by competitors.
Apple makes a lot of money because they have some of the highest profit margins in the industry but can it maintain those margins? Here’s one issue with Apple’s brand: People don’t think it offers good value for the money, according to a survey conducted by UBS. That is a problem, but the problems go deeper.
Wired magazine just said that the Google Pixel is “the best smartphone on the planet” and more and more people are saying that they are going to covert to the new Surfce Studio, including a lot of current Mac users. Why? Because Apple is losing equity as a “cool brand”.
Now a lot of you reading this might say “who cares” they still make good products, which is true, but a lot of consumers are not willing to pay a premium price for an Apple logo. Apple events have become a huge yawn and Apple still believes people are interested in how much time and money they invest in things like keyboards.
I believe the biggest mistake Apple has made is allowing competitors like Microsoft to catch up while neglecting flagship products like the iMac and purchasing products that just aren’t that good like Beats headphones.
Tim Cook was never meant to lead innovation at Apple. He is a process and logistics person who was supposed to steer the ship through the plans that Steve Jobs left. Now Apple VP’s go on stage and act like the features and products they are introducing the greatest innovations since the PC was invented.
I am an Apple person and use an iMac, iPhone and iPad but my next desktop will not be an iMac and my next smartphone will be a Google Pixel. I think right now Apple is a successful brand, but strategically I believe they are in trouble. Apple customers want to be wowed with new products not features that Apple charges a premium for. Tim Cook should hire someone who can innovate like Steve Jobs and that means hiring another pirate, but Apple is too corporate for that now.. sigh