Do You Know What You Stand For? Apple Does

It’s said that if you stand for nothing, then you will fall for anything.

It’s also true that if you stand for nothing, your prospects won’t have a reason to become your fans and loyal customers. In fact, they won’t even remember you 10 minutes after they’re exposed to your bland messaging.

Tom Watson Sr., founder of IBM, said that to be great, a company needs religion. Not the go to church type of religion, but the kind that Apple offers their customers.

Apple’s brand was valued at 355 billion dollars for 2022. That’s BILLION, according to Brand Finance. That’s also a 152% increase in just 2 years.

But what does Apple stand for?

“This is a very complicated world. It’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.” – Steve Jobs, 1997

What you and your brand stand for can be called your mission, your purpose, your values, promises, personality, positioning, philosophy or credo.

Call it what you like, it all boils down to answering just four questions:

Why? – Why does your business exist?

Who? – Who are you?

How? – How do you do things? How does your business look, feel and sound?

What? – What do you do?

Apple exists to, ‘Make the best products that enrich people’s lives.’ That’s the answer to the ‘why’ question. It’s short, clear and works as well today as it did when Apple was founded 47 years ago.

To answer ‘who’ they are, I suggest you watch this video of Steve Jobs launching the ‘Think Different’ campaign to his employees in 1997. Someone said it’s like getting a 4-year degree in marketing in just 7 minutes, and they have a good point.

Apple’s ‘how’ defines how they approach making their products for their customers, “Making them feel delight, surprise, love and connection.” They simplify, perfect and then start over, embracing a thousand ways to not do something before landing on the best way to do it.

The first thing we ask is what do we want people to feel?

Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection.

Then we begin to craft around our intention.

It takes time. There are a thousand NOs for every yes.

We simplify, we perfect, we start over until everything we touch enhances each life it touches.

Only then do we sign our work. -Apple

Apple’s brand personality embraces simplicity, creativity and humanity. These are their three lenses and, “If a product is not made up of these things, it’s not Apple.” – Tor Myhren, VP of Marketing Communications at Apple.

Lastly, what does Apple do? Really, they’ve answered the first three questions so well that they could make anything that fits into these parameters. That’s why they were able to seamlessly go from making computers to phones to opening retail stores. What they do can change, as long as their Why, Who and How don’t change.

So, what do you stand for?

“When you clearly stand for something, you will never stand alone. Standing for something special in your overcrowded marketplace sets you apart from armies of me-too competitors who try to be everything to everybody, and wind up meaning nothing special to anyone.” – Gary Bencivenga


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