Aug 14, 2014

What Would Apple Do?

Apple is a fascinating company with an even more intriguing brand.

The rumor mills are in overdrive right now. In a little less than a month, the rumors suggest Apple will introduce the iPhone 6. There is a ton of speculation on the iPhone from sizing, specs and features. But it’s all a mystery. No one really knows until the Apple executives walk on stage, and make the big announcement.

It’s hard not to admire Apple’s brand. They not only have brand loyalty, they have brand anticipation. Everyone wants to know what Apple will do next.

So why not take a page from Apple’s playbook. Take a look at your brand and ask, “What would Apple do?”

Stay insanely focused

Examine your products and services and consider what would Apple do, WWAD.

While COO of Apple, Tim Cook said, “This is the most focused company I know of, am aware of, or have any knowledge of … We say no to good ideas every day so that the company can keep its focus on a small number of areas.” Tim Cook then pointed at a conference table, and remarked that most of Apple’s product line could fit on the table.

That’s focus. Apple has revenue in excess of $171 billion, and their complete product line can fit on a conference room table.

Look at your product mix. Is it focused? What could you remove or enhance to make your brand more iconic?

Cannibalize past wins

What is your firm’s priority? Are you focused on the cash cows of the past, or considering the future?

In early 2013 Tim Cook said, “I see cannibalization as a huge opportunity for us. Our core philosophy is to never fear cannibalization. If we don’t do it, someone else will. We know that iPhone has cannibalized some of our iPod business. That doesn’t worry us. We know that iPad will cannibalize some Macs. But that’s not a concern.”

Steve Jobs echoed Tim Cook’s sentiments, “If you look backward in this business, you’ll be crushed. You have to look forward.”

The past provides stepping stones for the future. Look at the positioning and focus of your company and ask again, WWAD?

Your competitors are small fries

It’s easy to have a myopic view of your industry, and only see what’s happening amongst your competitors and customers. That’s too small. WWAD?

Steve Jobs said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”

Apple has done something that is virtually unheard of. They have created or redefined at least five new categories in a single decade: the iPod, iTunes, the Apple Store, the iPhone, and the iPad. Most companies only have one great idea. Apple keeps challenging the status quo, and redefining consumer expectations.

How can you make a dent in the universe? Plenty of companies have already left a significant mark, and you can too. You’ve got a great role model with Apple. Just ask yourself, “What would Apple do?”

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