Business Promotion : Apple

by: Mingjie Ma

Twitter: @MingjieM


An effective brand promotion is necessary in the business world, and Apple Inc. is a good example. According to Interbrand 2012 report, a global branding consultancy, Apple is the second best brand world. Their competitors Microsoft, HP, Dell in computer market and Samsung, HTC, Nokia in mobile devices market are all behind Apple. Part of their success needs to contribute to effective brand promotion, especially iPhone in recent years.

Apple was found in 1976, and they challenged the overlords in 1970s’ computer market: Microsoft and IBM. They created different operating system with Microsoft and design with IBM. Even in today, Apple still keeps own operating system and special design. They are not following the rule that other exist company created. In fact, they are trying to create a new rule. For example, they create all-in-one computer, combine the screen and computer case together. This is an innovative design in many years ago. When we look at recent computer market, there are many brands follow this rule, all-in-one computer. Therefore, I think innovation is an effective tool to promote a brand because it helps brand to be a leader in the market, not a copycat.

However, Apple is not always successful. During 1986 to 1997, the Apple faced a decline, and Steve Jobs were forced to leave the company. He founded a new company NeXT which was acquired by Apple in 1997. After Jobs came back to Apple, he established Mac OS X, Apple Store, MobileMe and iTunes store based on system that NeXT was created. Moreover, the success of iPhone is not an incidental. Apple introduced iTunes Store in 2000 and iPod digital music player in 2001. I have to say the part of success of iPhone came from the popularity of iTunes and iPod since people were used to it. I believe using exist platform in the company to extend a new product could consider as effective business promotion.


Apple: The Master of Product Placement

Collin Smith

Twitter: @Real_CSmith



From the early days of its colorful iMacs to the new age of the iPad, Apple has been dominating product placement across hit television shows and blockbuster movies for well over a decade. It was reported that in 2011, Apple products were in 40% of movie box office hits. It was also reported that Apple products appeared in 891 TV shows that same year. While those are both staggering numbers, it is the cost Apple pays to have product placement in those shows that is even more staggering.

One of Apples big marketing secrets is that it pays nothing to have product placement across those TV shows and movies. Apple has one designated employee who is in constant contact with Hollywood executives to place its products in their productions. Instead of paying a a base fee, Apple simply distributes large amounts of their products such as iPads, iPhones and even MacBook laptops to be used in scenes. Apple ends up paying the base costs of those devices for their product to reach the eyes of million’s of viewers while positioning their products in a positive and cool way. One would believe that those product placements should be worth a significantly larger value and below is the estimated value of a few of their product placements in hit blockbuster films.


As you can see above the estimated value reaches close to $50 million dollars for just eight movies alone. It is fair to assume that over many years that Apple is avoiding billions of dollars in product placement costs. Probably the key behind avoiding costs is the authenticity of their product placements. Authenticity is defined as quality of genuineness or naturalness. Their products feel natural in the scenes they are in and never seemed forced. They don’t usually demand the spotlight and are highlighted by the action of a character in the scene. An example can be seen in this clip from Modern Family below

Not once in that clip is the product mentioned or highlighted on its own. It is shown in a humorous manner and one we as consumers can identify with. Apple is writing the rule book in the sense that product placements need to be moved away from shameless plugs and towards natural uses in Hollywood. Once brands begin to adopt a similar approach that they can also enjoy the similar benefits of “free” product placement.


Apple iOS 7 Icon Design


This week in class we had a guest speaker come in and speak about the more creative side of marketing. He challenged the class to take apart and really analyze the elements of an iPhone ad. It was probably an activity most students were uncomfortable with and just didn’t have a lot of prior experience with. A lot of times business students don’t see creativity as one of their strong points, but with strong branding becoming such a driving force in the consumer market it’s important to find new innovative ways to do things.

Like our speaker in class said today, Apple is one of the companies with the strongest branding. Their simplistic and clean design is how they are easily recognized and with their new iOS 7 upgrade coming in the fall it looks like they’re pushing it one step further. There has been a lot of buzz around the new home icons where they have gone in favor of a light new color way and a flat iconic feel.

And who was behind the design of the new aesthetic? It might come as a surprise that it was actually the marketing and communication department at Apple rather than the design team. Only after the team set the look and color palette did the design team take over using those palettes as a guide (TNW).

This is an excellent example at how creativity doesn’t have to come strictly from the creatives. Creativity and great ideas can come from all sectors of a business and each person has the ability to think of something new and innovative.

“Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits.”

— Edward de Bono

Tami Vergara is a student at the University of Oregon