Apple & The Power of Personal Branding in 2020
How did Apple become the Apple it is today?
Steve Jobs was the figurehead of Apple and when you thought of an iPod, an iPad or any other landmark Apple product, you thought of Jobs.
An enigmatic, controversial, and rebellious maverick, Jobs was synonymous with the idea of a trailblazer: someone who sets the path and clears the way for innovation, brilliance, and cutting edge design.
Jobs was adopted at a very young age, and although he was loved, he was also profoundly lonely and let the identity of him being adopted translate into him being unloved, alone and doing it all by himself. This actually cleared the way for him to fire forward in life with a brazen, intense, and focused energy who told everyone what was what - NOT the other way around. While this promoted a sense of aggression and bad PR around Jobs and his renowned outbursts, what you can take away is that personal brand MATTERS. As a leader of a company or the service provider, you are the face of your brand! And that means who you are is important. A big part of why Apple evangelists exist is because some people just see Jobs as way cooler than Bill Gates at Microsoft. Jobs is fun, captivating, and mysterious - even though this is a guy whose selling computers in a turtleneck and white running shoes!
How? Make sure you highlight your story. Show people your personality. Whether it’s on your Instagram stories or in your blog on your e-commerce website, I want to see personality. If you’re a cat lover, show it. If you have a crazy Italian family, show me! I will likely resonate with it and feel more bonded to you because I likely also love cats and/or have a crazy family.
For example, I talk about unrelated things to marketing because I highlight my personal brand: I love spiritual personal development, I have a deep appreciation for entheogens in healing, and I love me some luxurious relationship memes. Take me as I am, I say to my followers, and it just keeps growing. 50 followers a week organically, just saying.
Their captivating storytelling.
Even with competitors like Microsoft and Samsung, how have they stood out?
They're not actually very technical in their promotional videos nor are they logical, appealing to head types - they appeal to lifestyles. Their price tag soars because they’re not saying “here are all our features,” they’re more importantly saying: “here’s how you can get status.” You want to be the cool entrepreneur blazing a trail? Wear AirPods. You want to be the fun-loving dancer and unique girl at the party? Here’s the iPod. You ARE that entrepreneur when you wear AirPods; you ARE that unique girl dancing at the party when you have the iPod. Pairing products with lifestyle storytelling enrolls massive dreamers and misfits which all people can implicitly or explicitly relate with.
What you can do is tell a story about your products and services. If you sell essential oils, who do you want to use that product? Feature them in your promotions; maybe it’s you! Show someone that people want to be or be like: the It girl, the superhero, the king, etc.. tons of archetypes out there. Make sure any brand ambassadors or partnerships are with those other brands as well. The It girl, for example, holding the essential oil so other girls who want to be her also WANT. If you’re a service provider, the same rule applies. Work with a client in your photographs who looks like the soulmate client that you want.
For example, I tell a story in all of my captions. I see the mistakes you’re making, I’ve made them too! I know what you most deeply desire in your business, I wanted them to - maybe I still do! Resonance and relating through the power of connection are all done in powerful branding and you do this by telling a story.
Their slogan! They appealed to the people who wanted to think differently and who needed to think differently in a world in the 90s and beyond of new vistas for the 21st century. The technology was ramping up everything on a whole new, fast-paced level. Cellphones to smartphones and computers to laptops.. it would shock our ancestors to know of these technologies, not to mention how fast they evolved! The singularity, or the advent of artificial intelligence and the machine revolution, was catalyzed primarily by Apple, riding in the express lane of Silicon Valley’s darlings who were showing just how profitable these little personal computers and tiny gadgets could be.
What you can do is develop a slogan that matches the innate fabric underlying your target market’s beliefs. Does your audience want to explore spirituality? Do they want to be connected - maybe even experience more intimacy? Get crystal clear by talking to your audience and relating through archetypes in your banners, social media, and even your packaging.
For example, I know my audience wants to achieve financial freedom in their business and also really have a quality of life experience with their family, friends, romantic partners and more - so my slogan is “Wealth Building and Well-being.” I get compliments on this slogan all the time from even the unlikeliest sources so don’t underestimate a great tag line.
Their store consistency.
Walk into the Apple brand and you feel like you’re in a space station. How cool is that?! Their store is lined with easygoing store people who let their customers do about anything in the store, including eating pizza because their store isn’t a museum - it’s a playground. And that’s how technology should be! Apple doesn’t shy away from thinking big about their brand; bigger than just the average orthopedic-shoe wearing computer salesman in the 80s. Technology and science are fun and the company doesn’t let that be dismissed. Apple is for rebels and troublemakers and this makes their branding unique which makes them sexy and forbidden almost - who doesn’t want to seem innovative and like a leader amongst followers?
The next time you walk past an Apple store, think about what you can do: how is your brand experienced? How is it felt? Online, you can make your social media clean and aesthetically attractive or even funny and vibrant. You can even involve virtual reality simulations and augmented reality technology which is going to really take over the field. Your stores can be an immersive jungle, a castle, or even an enchanted playground. Make it yours.
For example, many of my leads come to me through Instagram, and my feed is all about purple colors conveying luxury and elegance and when you meet me, I love wearing purple! I live and breathe my brand.
Order any Apple product and you encounter a clean, lily-white, chromatic box that’s smooth and simple. Not too elaborate, not too busy, just tasteful, and high quality in its simplicity. They take advantage of white space by popping a beautiful, interesting looking product that looks like it’s straight out of a sci-fi novel in the middle of a white void. The accessories and products are sleek, curved, and they typically go where no one else is going.
This is largely due to their world-class design team and high standard of innovation, however, you can take this away: how are you packaging yourself? Is it busy, mysterious, clean, or structured? What is the energy your products or services give off? If most of your business comes from accountants and finance professionals, a slate grey packaging that’s simple and efficient or a service delivered in structured and clear formatting is highly effective here. If your business is from loud and vivacious flamenco dancers, paint your dance studio in reds and yellows or make sure your online presence is busy and vibrant with lots of creative femininity.
For example, I package myself in innocent, clean, and wholesome wording with magical and elusive colors and visuals.. when I speak at a conference or in a podcast, I’m also dressed with witchy accessories to my clean, tidy presence - I have packaged myself.
Never could I ever forget the iconic Apple campaign utilizing the Orwellian mystery of 1984 weir, as blonde faced sheep in the form of marching humans walk towards a screen commanding order, a buoyant female athlete smashes the screen with a big hammer. From back in the day, this commercial was so influential that it really set the stage for the entirety of the rest of their brand success. From there, came the same old ‘us versus them’ mentality and uniqueness with the PC and Mac poster children bickering and the campaign talking about people like Galileo and Nike who ultimately thought differently, was fearless in their branding despite the competitive landscape to not just toe the line and ultimately came out on top because they blazed a trail.
These are just some of their most successful and well-known campaigns, so what you can reflect on is your advertising. What do your banners on Facebook look like? What is the banner on top of your YouTube channel? That’s right, the banner that you might’ve just put a mundane picture of.. make it intentional. Make it stand out, or blend in - whatever your vision is.
For example, all of my banners everywhere not only show my favorite, on-brand visuals but also a call to action - follow me on Instagram through my YouTube. I advertise more places to go to and ways to funnel the public into prospects.
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