I looked online for reputable sources to explain why or how did Apple become the world’s most valuable brand, and frankly I cannot seem to find a meaty good article on the topic. All the articles seems to be vague or just shy away from the obvious, that Apple released innovated products or had a high end marketing strategy with Jonathan Ive (Jony Ive) as a lead product designer and Steve Jobs as the face and connector of Apple leading the way.

Little known fact, I used to be an Apple employee from before the iPhone launch till a few years after, and I saw the tremendous growth and value potential watching how it was presented in marketing and in the Apple retail stores, here is what I think is how Apple became the most valuable brand in the world, and exactly what they did to achieve these grander milestones.

Steve Jobs. Jobs was kicked out of Apple and he created NeXT Computers, which he developed two unique core values: one, he learned how to make a supercomputer for exclusive for commercial use only, which he eventually made it into an iMac when he returned back to Apple in, and two, he learned that marketing a product to the everyday person, is more value then supercomputers for commercial use only at $6,500. He invented and sometimes reinvented things that were already out, but he just made them more user friendly and look even cooler, the iPod, iMac, Macbooks, iPhone, and with the help of Jonathan Ive.

Jonathan Ive. Ive’s (he reminds me of Jason Statham of product design) felt the Apple user experience was a departure from the computer design at that time back in 1992, and was hired as a consultant, then quickly moved to product design working alongside Steve Jobs, while making sleek and groundbreaking designs. By Ive creating these designs, this gave Jobs the chance to be a real showmanship, with presenting something off the charts at his famous keynotes.

Online Niche Marketing. Apple team seem to try to find something that someone else has invented and then make a bigger, badder, faster version of it. The iPod was already out in different concepts, Roxio player, Sony MP3 players, but back in 1997 you downloaded the MP3 illegally from Napster and then you put them on your MP3 player, so there was this huge disconnect between the MP3 player and location to buy these songs legally, crazy I know. Apple came out with the iTunes Store, first, (people were like “why do we have this?”), then they came out with the iPod, they found a gateway to connect the users, from the player, the music store, and make revenue on all sides of the board by doing this Apple created brand trust between them and their consumers, pretty nifty. They did this for the iMac, iPhone, Apple TV, they created this wonderful brand experience and brand storytelling to connect their audience, really amazing stuff.

Branded Storytelling. OK so you got the charismatic CEO, the product designer to make it look cool, and lastly a niche market product that will blow your consumers socks off, now what! Storytelling, branded marketing campaigns from Apple were always simplicity in nature, and they let the products speak for themselves in the ads, not to mention the Justin Long and the PC guy television commercials that seems to take off, as Long being the hipster poster child for what’s cool at Apple. You’ll notice how everyone is jumping on the Apple brandwagon for simplistic products, organizations, websites, services or even advertising. I am a big fan of the less is more concept but try to be a little bit more original then beating an idea that’s been so overused, by being only simplistic and nothing else to your brand.

Trademarks. Trademarks protect the name of your brand so no one uses it in your field (stylized wordmark trademark) or own the whole context of the word (wordmark trademark). You can register this through USPTO yourself ($275.00) or you can hire a local patent and trademark lawyer ($1,000.00). Now having your brand trademark, gives you the ability to police the mark and make sure new businesses do not try to infringe on your name or a name that sounds similar. You can make royalties settlement if you can come to agreement with the other business, so both can co-exist, this is usually very costly, but beneficial to the trademark holder.

Patents. Then there are patents, which you may have heard about the patent wars between Samsung and Apple, fighting over who came up with the idea first, and why they should have the original patent of the invention. Patents, can make millions of dollars based on someone wanting to use your invention for another product, you can make licensing agreements (royalties agreements), this how Apple brand value goes skyrocket. Based on their patents and trademarks for the iPhone, iPad, iMac, which is based on previous and projected revenue streams which can be monumental in cash and brand valuations.

Brand Experience. First, it was building brand trust, the gateway of the iPod and iTunes store, which made users feel comfortable using the Apple products, from the packaging to the customer service, Jobs and company really made sure they left people feeling good about the Apple services and ability to find a solution for the their customers. Second, was the Apple Store conception, Jobs enlisted Ron Johnson, which it’s clear it was more Jobs vision then Johnson. The Apple Store was build on a simplistic approach, and even though the store remained empty for awhile, Jobs knew the products he was going to be rolling out, would bring people into the stores. Third, intimate customer service, Apple offered discounts to college students, threw in a free printer, and gave the Microsoft a discount as well, not to mention, he had a protection plan, where you can walk into any Apple store and get exceptional service. Now to have the ability for the consumer to come in and talk to someone face-to-face with computer problems was what the public needed and wanted, Apple filled that niche market.

People ask me all the time, what’s happening with Apple, they aren’t coming out with any foreseeable products, that Tim Cook doesn’t seem to hold that charismatic CEO approach of confidence as Steve Jobs did. My answer is direct, it took 7 years from the iPod to iPhone to come out, and the iPad creation came out first, but Job shelved it as he thought consumers wouldn’t understand it, so he made a smaller version called the iPhone, then did the bigger version for the touch screen tablet called the iPad.

If Apple follows the basics of how Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ives layered the groundwork for the Apple platform and approach, the future innovation of products from Apple should be around the corner, and if Tim Cook announces a product as cool as the iPhone or extraordinary, he will create a staple in his technology field for brand trust of Apple, which is really hard shoes to fill for any person stepping in for someone like say..Steve Jobs.

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