Posts Tagged ‘Apple’


Be Like Google: How to Build a Valuable Brand

Your company’s brand is what people say when you are not around. Customers buy from brands that they know, like and trust. If built right, your brand can be one of the most valuable assets your company owns.

Google-LogoThis past year, Google finally topped Apple for the title of the world’s most valuable brand. According to Millward Brown’s BrandZ study, Apple’s brand value diminished 20 percent to an estimated $148 billion while Google’s brand value increased 40 percent since last year to reach $159 billion. Rounding out the top five on the list of the most valuable brands are two more technology firms: IBM at $170 billion and Microsoft at $90 billion. The fifth spot is claimed by fast food giant, McDonald’s. Where is Coca-Cola? Number 6.

Including the top four most valuable brands, a total of 18 technology companies made the list accounting for $827 billion in brand value. Facebook’s brand value increased 68% to reach number 21, while Twitter and LinkedIn make their debut to the list coming in at 71 and 78 respectively.

According to financeonline.com, there are several explanations for Apple’s fall. Here is what happened and what small business owners can learn from the world’s top brands:

  1. Perfectionism can slow your company down. Apple and Google could not be more different with how they choose to roll out their products. Apple exemplifies perfection and secrecy, while Google is known for releasing beta versions of their products and embracing feedback from the crowd. Overall, Google seems to take more risk (like Google Glass and a self-driving car) and is less afraid of failure. Lesson: You will make mistakes, so fail faster. Done is better than perfect.
  2. Build your brand image carefully. Even today, the Apple brand is impossible to separate from its cofounder, Steve Jobs. Can the company keep its winning brand without its visionary leader? Pundits continue to ask questions like how much of Apple’s breakthrough products was the result of one man’s genius? Alternately, Google is seen as a team of incredibly talented people on a mission to develop the world’s most innovative ideas. Lesson: A brand image can grow more easily and sustainably if it is not be tied to one person.
  3. If you’re going to set the bar high, make sure you can reach it. For a decade, Apple redefined product categories with iTunes, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. This is what consumers have come to expect with every new product. Its failure to launch an innovative new product to match the genius of the past has contributed to its fall. Lesson: Don’t get caught in the Innovator’s Dilemma. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innovator%27s_Dilemma

Set the bar high for others, but be able to consistently reach it yourself.

How have you made your brand valuable?


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5 Things Any Company Can Learn from Apple

With the iPhone 5 on the horizon, Apple is in the spotlight this week as tech lovers are on the edge of their seats waiting for the newest smartphone to be revealed. Year after year, Apple has had consumers mesmerized by the sleek design and innovative features of their computers, iPods, iPads, and iPhones. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny the success of Apple over the past decade.

But how did they get there? We’re diving into some practices and techniques that Apple abides by, and showing how you can apply them to your own business.

  • Make products user friendly – Sometimes less is more. Apple’s products are arguably the most intuitively functional devices on the market, with clean icons and straight-forward functions. Don’t overthink your products or make them unnecessarily complicated. Your customers will appreciate it.
  • Deliver the total experience – Apple is known for their integration within products. You can quickly transfer your iTunes music from your iPod to your iPad. Plug in your iPhone to your MacBook Pro and your camera pics are quickly uploaded to your iPhoto app. This cohesion is visible through all of their products and apps, which inspires users to buy the full line of Apple products. Reinforce consistency throughout your products to give users confidence in familiarity. Apple’s success proves that people are willing to pay a little extra for this convenience.
  • Amp up your public relations – Last spring, the hype was all about the iPad 3. This month, everyone’s talking about the iPhone 5. The newest Apple rumor is that an iPad Mini is in the works. Apple talks a lot, but in reality – they say very little. Observers are left to throw around product rumors until the company speaks up – and then they listen. Apple breaks all the public relations rules, but it works for them. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when launching a new product or service. A little mystery can go a long way.
  • Focus on making products, not money – Steve Jobs was known for focusing on new technology and the future of Apple rather than on making money. The goal of most companies is to “make more money.” Of course Apple wants to make profits, but their bigger goal is to make a product that people will want to use. This theory keeps them in the lead in terms of innovation and design, and, in turn, keeps money coming in the door. When you focus on making a great product or offering a superb service, the money will follow.
  • Differentiate yourself – Everything about Apple is different than its closest competitors, and their products are designed to be well ahead of the curve of comparable technology products. iMac’s desktop layout and software work in a completely unique way compared to the PCs of Dell, HP, and the like. iPhone’s flat, screw-less design with a single button and large touchscreen was one of a kind when it first debuted. iPad was the first tablet computer to achieve worldwide commercial success. Many companies are now contenders with products similar to Apple’s, but it’s no secret who paved the way. Apple even differentiates themselves from PC companies by offering an Apple Store where potential customers can test drive products and ask questions. By investing in research and gaining a strong knowledge of your products and services, you can set your company apart as a leader in your industry.

As a relatively new company, Nextiva looks up to successful companies like Apple for inspiration. We strive to offer innovatively unique products, such as our new NextOS 3.0 technology platform, and create a total customer experience through our social media and Amazing Service™ team.

For information on Nextiva’s business VoIP and to start saving your business money today, give us a call at 800-983-4289 and we would be happy to help!




 
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