Apple. The Brand

"Without the brand, Apple would be dead," Gobe said. He tells how brands have established deep, lasting bonds with their customers. Apple, of course, is the archetypal emotional brand. It's not just intimate with its customers; it is loved. "Apple is about imagination, design and innovation;" Gobe argued that, in some cases, branding has become as powerful as religion”. Research shows that Apple triggers a religious reaction from certain consumers. Of course when it’s considered as religion, we must have the believers- in this case, they are called “Apple fanboy”.

These are notoriously vocal about the superiority of their platform of choice. Emotional brand is always about people the company has established a "heartfelt connection" with its customers. This can take several forms, from building trust to establishing a community around a product. In Apple's case, its products are designed around people: "Take the iPod, it brings an emotional, sensory experience to computing," Gobe said. "Apple's design is people-driven."

In short, for Apple, brands are more important than products. Products have limited life cycles, but brands -- if managed well -- last forever.

Customer Service: Apple takes the customer service to another level. When it comes to retail, Apple strikes all the right chords: an attractive physical store that mirrors the company’s holistic design, informative and knowledgeable salespeople with true dedication to customers. Not only are the Apple “Genius” store clerks knowledgeable about your iPod Touch, but they know about the device that came five generations before it. Apple has established itself as the best in the world at delivering these services.

Apple’s approach to its product design: For any product that Apple creates, the people who create it have to want it themselves Almost every normal engineer only cares about the technology when creates a product, and often create something only because they can. But Apple’s approach is quite different. The engineers who are creating Apple products actually make them for themselves. And Jobs was the chief “user” of Apple products when he was alive. All of Apple’s products are based on the fact that Jobs represented the real customer. It has to be something that they personally couldn’t live without.

The Human-touch: Apple has always projected a human touch -- from the charisma of Steve Jobs to the notion that its products are sold for a love of technology. Most consumers feel like It's like having a good friend when they have their iPhone. Gobe said. "That's what's interesting about this brand. Somewhere they have created this really humanistic, beyond-business relationship with. And as Jobs once said when the first iPhone ever came out: “It's a big tribe, everyone is one of them. You're part of the brand." The human touch is also expressed in product design. Apple's flat-screen iMac, for example, was marketed as though Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive created it personally, not by factory workers in Asia. The products have to be easy to use

For Jobs, even if the product is technically and physically perfect, if it is not easy to use, it is considered worthless to the consumer. This is what every Apple engineer has to keep in mind when they go to work. All of the products they create have to be intuitive and easy to understand and learn. The ease of use is more important than the product itself. Apple makes this a critical goal of its approach to creating anything for the market. Keep it simple

The real reason Apple is successful is because it has one product; in this case the iPhone. It minimizes the decision-making process for the consumer by making things simple. With the only one iPhone model, the staff members at their store are able to know a great deal about each of the four major products carried in its stores. Apple doesn’t have five iPhone models to choose from; it has only one.

While this may seem like not a good thing since there are lots of different types of smart phones in the market, the truth is, while choice is nice, in reality the customers want the process of choosing a phone to be simple and not complicated by various choices. Apple only makes a product if Apple can do it better

Apple normally doesn’t invent a new product or product category. All of Apple’s other products have been recreations of existing products. Apple did not invent the MP3 player; Apple reinvented it and made it better. Apple did not invent the smart phone; Apple reinvented it and made it better. And Apple did not invent the tablet; Apple reinvented it and made it better. As Apple designer Jonathan Ive said recently, “Our goals are very simple — to design and make better products. If we can’t make something that is better, we won’t do it.” Clearly, Apple applied that thinking first to iPods, then smart phones and more recently, to the iPad. Its position in the market:

Apple remains a leader in innovation that is adored by consumers around the world. The brand helped the company generate $40 billion in profits over the past 12-months. According to Forbes, the Apple brand is worth $87.1 billion, up 52% from two years ago. The Apple brand is worth 59% more than Microsoft, which ranks No. 2 in brand value and overall. Most importantly, this brand is chosen to be the most powerful brand in 2012.

Conclusion: These six principles may seem a bit simplistic given the fact that Apple also has great software, industrial design and a powerful ecosystem of content, apps and services as part of the company’s success equation. However it’s these six key principles that are what really makes it successful. And as long as it adheres to them, it’s pretty likely that Apple will continue to grow and command a relatively large share of the market in the company’s product categories where it competes.

So you see, it’s not just an iconic logo or sexy packaging that has made Apple the most valuable -- and most envied -- brand on the planet. It’s a powerful combination of 1) an awesome product, 2) true dedication to customers, 3) a passion for design, 4) extreme focus, 5) the courage to re-invent everything, 6) consistent delivery on its core promise, and 7) a very clear and compelling answer to the question “WHY?”