Let’s be serious: Steve Jobs never approved of the iPad mini. Yet here it is, available for users to play piano medleys of Heart & Soul and do whatever else they’d like on it.
Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage last month during an Apple event and introduced the iPad mini and a smaller MacBook pro, among other items. As Forbes contributor Nigam Arora wrote, there was nothing flashy at this Apple event. No “wow” factor, no introduction of never-before-thought-of products—instead, there were simple improvements upon preordained products.
Why has Apple stopped introducing those mindblowing products? Where’s the mini music player that we all gaped at in 2003 before integrating the iPod into our lives and now being unable to live without it? Where are those flashy laptops with the pretty, indented apple logo that don’t run on Windows and are inherently intuitive? Why does the iPhone 5 have so many issues?
I guess it all leads up to the grand question: Where is Apple these days?
Let’s find a solution. Here’s a crash course in the basics of branding: it begins with defining your company’s personality or identity and building off of that.
Rob Frankel, an author and branding expert in L.A., spoke to BusinessWeek about branding and had some wonderful advice that Apple and Tim Cook may want to consider:
“Branding is about getting your prospects to perceive you as the only solution to their problem. Once you’re perceived as ‘the only,’ there’s no place else to shop. Which means your customers gladly pay a premium for your brand.”
Is the iPad mini going to continue to convince customers that Apple is the only destination for 7 inch? No. Absolutely not. Samsung has the Galaxy Tab. Google has the Nexus. And Amazon has the Kindle (Fire).
As Apple steps further and further from the revolutionary ideas that defined it in the first place—from it’s personality—its competitors are catching up.
Check out this article from BusinessWeek, describing how Samsung is the brand that’s hot on Apple’s tail. In fact, the article reports that Samsung outsold the iPhone during Q3:
“Strategy Analytics says that more Samsung Galaxy S III phones than Apple iPhone 4S handsets were sold in third quarter of this year. Samsung Electronics moved 18 million such handsets, while Apple sold 16.2 million during the three-month period, says the research firm.”
I can’t decide whether competitors are catching up to Apple now because it was only a matter of time, or if it’s because Apple has quit being the innovative powerhouse it once was. What I do know is that when my cell phone contract runs up, I’m considering ditching my iPhone for the Samsung Galaxy—and I never would’ve thought to do that two years ago.