4.09

Will Apple’s Brand Extend Into Services Successfully?

Apple announced it is moving into services — Netflix-type services, curating and streaming content.  It’s a pretty big shift for a company that’s been primarily in hardware and software.  If any company CAN make the shift, it’s Apple — but I wonder if it SHOULD.

Will the core of the Apple brand be eroded in the services industry, where its unique strengths in exquisite design and seamless user interface which produce emotional user experiences seems less valuable that the content that’s being provided.  I share some of my thoughts in this video. 

Please let me know your outlook on the Apple brand by leaving a comment below — thanks!

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transcript:

Hi!  It’s been a couple of weeks since Apple announced that it would be moving into services like Netflix-type services and curating content from new, information, and entertainment sites. And there’s been a lot of conversation about whether Apple CAN make this shift successfully, but my question is whether it SHOULD make that shift.  

You see in my first book What Great Brands Do, one of the principles that I talk about that separate the best brands from the rest is that Great Brands Commit and Stay Committed — meaning, they commit to the core essence of their brand and they resist all temptations to stray from it.  And so we’re at a moment in time where we have to ask ourselves, what is the core of the Apple brand?

When Apple first started, my sense of the core of the brand was about seamless user interface, exquisite design, and also challenging the status quo.  And then when Apple moved into electronic gadgets like the iPhone and iPod and iPad, it further went into that core, really leveraging this experience you had with the device. And when they expanded into retail stores and all of its apps, the focus was on this empowering, exciting, inspiring user experience.  And now I just question whether moving into services, if Apple can actually leverage that core and stay committed to that core.   

You know the services space is fraught with lots of competition, the future is quite uncertain, there are so many new developments in technology that we’re not even sure what the future of services are going to look like. And I just don’t know whether Apple can create the sustainable, unique value that it’s had in the past. In the past it’s been known for being highly differentiated, offering unique experiences, and emotionally resonant experiences and I just wonder if it’s possible.  

You know one of the differentiations or distinctions that I make is that there are things that you CAN do or able to do as a brand, but then there are things that you are MADE to do, things that really come out of the core and the heart of the brand.  And I’m not sure that services are really it. I understand that the company needs to grow and so they’re looking at this area as a way to take the brand and the company up to the next level. But I really wonder what’s going to happen to the Apple brand and whether that core of the brand is going to be eroded. I don’t know?

Let me know what you think.  Please put a comment in the section below.

related:

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Brand Evolution Problems
Steve Jobs On Brand-Building

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