Apple innovation probably sums up innovative thinking in the twenty-first century. Recently named the worlds most profitable company, Apple has a lot of influence over the American economy and the world market. However, the question has to be asked Why are Apple so successful? What about Apple seduces the modern consumer and how do they have such a great reputation and admiration across the globe?
We will look into this and reveal some of Apples secrets to success through new innovative thinking.
I'm currently reading Peter Druckers famous work 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship' which has lead me to look at modern ideals of innovation and how a modern company could reach people like some of those amazing successes in the 80's. Drucker mentions the great successes of IBM and that of Marks & Spencers in the United Kingdom, but where are they today? Still very much alive and kicking but not having such an influence on the global market as companies such as Apple.
What has changed?
Apple's innovation has revealed to us some startling observations of modern western culture which shouldn't go unnoticed by anyone. A study of the post modern world would have previously said that a twenty-first century consumer wants things cheap, plentiful and with great choice of options. Apple is far from cheap and in all honesty there aren't an awesome amount of options in their product lines.
So, why would a modern consumer spend more and obsess about products that Apple sell?
Apple Innovation: Products of Success
Apple have been around for years - I can still remember having an old Apple computer in my classroom in primary school. We used to use floppy discs to play games and 'learn' about history and literature.
Somewhere between then and now Microsoft took over as the leaders in personal computers, until recently where Apple has made a resurgence through three particular product launches which have figuratively revolutionized the western worlds engagement with technology.
- The IPhone started the revolution with Apple Innovation at its finest. Prior to the launch of the original IPhone other company's dominated the market including Nokia and Blackberry. From a consumers perspective the IPhone seemed like a piece of science fiction with its easy touch screen and many features. It gave something to consumers which nothing else had done - easy and simple access to the internet without having to deal with 'mobile internet' and further than that; it bought a new aesthetic standard to hand held devices.
- The IPad has become a 'must have' now for every technology lover and professional. But, who knew we needed a tablet in our lives? I remember my dad having a brick of a tablet growing up, but they died off horribly. What could we use a tablet for? What need would it fill? Of course Apple's innovation explained it to us. It was like we couldn't function without it's easy internet access, organisational platforms and easily downloadable apps! That's another thing - APPS! What a simple thing to brush over but the App Store is now huge. Easy and accessible applications at cheaper prices than buying a CD with the same program on.
- The MacBook air came as a surprise to us all. Even at its launch the thoughts were - Ok yes it looks great and thin but whos going to want a laptop without many features including a CD drive. I know I was very wrong about this judgement as it now has surpassed the MacBook pro as Apples biggest selling laptop. It was marketed to University students and people wanting simplicity at its core (which is almost a trademark of Apple's Innovation).
Apple Innovation: Innovative Characteristics
Which characteristics define the success of Apple innovation?
The truth is that they've tapped into great qualities of the modern generation of consumers and through this given them products that fit into their lives remarkably well. Computers are a huge market for a technological world but why choose Apple over Samsung or Acer/Compaq etc?
- Apple Innovation has identified the next 'big thing' and created it first and with better quality than competitors. As stated above - many of their products were the first of their kind with many copies being produced by other companies. The truth is that there is always a market for the next big thing and discovering that takes risk and good judgment of modern culture. Apple has succeeded here by producing fantastic products with more features and connectivity than competitors.
- Apple innovation has perfected the customer relationship. As a business you can't just expect to sell a product and not have any support available anymore. If you've visited an Apple store then you've seen great customer service at work. Apple provides a support face-to-face to trouble shoot problems and put on classes to teach people to use their products. The warranty and availability to fix/replace products is exceptional. You can usually go in with a valid issue and get a brand new product under warranty or pay significantly less than market value for replacements. Not to mention amazing phone support with people who obviously love their jobs and want to provide the greatest customer support possible.
- Apple Innovation has discovered that people need 'value'. The numbers talk for themselves - people will buy more expensive Apple products than competitors because they see the value. Apple products will last for years and still be relevant and cutting edge. The very packaging itself shouts 'VALUE!' as it shows the care and thought put into opening a new buy and building excitement and aesthetic brilliance. These things all show the consumer that the value produced by Apple is attractive and WORTH more money.
- Apple Innovation has substantial 'brand'. The brand itself has built trust and customer satisfaction. Before i converted to Mac (yes i'm one of them) all my Mac using friends told me i'd never go back and should change over to Mac as soon as possible. Their customer relationship and products have shown the depth and ability of Apple to get the ground roots support of people.
To sum up all that is above - Apple has made itself ultimately and unequivocally 'cool' and has qualities which define a modern generation of consumers. Apple innovation is great example of creative innovation and should be studied to find the successful qualities needed for a modern business.
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