(Editor’s note: Bold is taking a deep dive into technology giant Apple Inc. Today’s installment of the five-part series explores their secret to success.)
In June 2023, Apple’s market value reached above $3 trillion. The improving inflation and successful expansions into the new markets helped keep the high records stable for the year, but it took more than that to keep Apple an industry supergiant for decades. Apple’s continued success revolves around management secrets, something that companies today should follow. So what is the secret to Apple’s success?
(Some believe Apple found Steve Jobs should’ve won a Nobel Prize. That might be a stretch, but read this Bold story on Nobel Prize winner-should-have-beens and see who really should have won.)
Apple Values Simplicity
The biggest secret to Apple’s success isn’t about big and extravagant ideas but of simplicity. Apple makes every project and idea into successful campaigns and products by distilling them to their essence. Keeping things simple was Steve Jobs’ way of dealing and making success out of projects and ideas. He called it the Simple Stick. When things are simple, they’re quicker and better.
The Simple Stick is the symbol of Apple’s core value. In some ways, it also acts as an inspiration, or depending on the situation, a heavy hand to impose the power of simplicity. The Simple Stick is not only for products and ideas; they’re also visible in the management and environment that Apple provides to their clients and employees.
Most brands and companies today think that complexity equals top-notch ideas, but the truth is that it only makes failure more prominent and success harder to reach. Simplicity allows a direct focus on whatever campaign or product a company wants to promote, highlighting all its best quality, thus ensuring customer engagement.
In addition, Apple’s core value of simplicity touches on clarity and thinking human. One of the notable business problems companies have nowadays is clarity, or the lack of it. Words and content in branding are critical components to build customer engagement and eventual loyalty. But too much of it would only make things confusing. Apple always settles on keeping its campaigns and communication clear. Instead of putting too many in one basket, Steve Jobs and Apple believed that the best way to look smart is to express an idea with simplicity and clarity- saying a great deal by saying little. That means effectively communicating with simple sentences and words in a relatable, natural way.
Consistency in Customer Service and In-Store Experiences
One of the most notable problems with technology is its ability to become complex despite having products that are easy to use. Due to this, companies in the tech industry experience clients and customers who require guidance in using their products for some time.
Some businesses find these complexities as problems that could lower sales and isolate them from potential partners and clients. But things are different with Apple. Instead of seeing these as issues, they used them to their advantage. How? Their answer to that is making the most out of customer service and continuously improving their customer’s in-store experiences.
Apple believes that the best way to fight the complexities people still experience from easy-to-use technology is to be more accommodating to their confusion by guiding them to resolve that problem. Tech-related companies have already inserted retail stores for their products since the early 2000s, and the surge continues today.
With Apple, their retail strategy focuses on going straight to the heart of their customer’s queries. Instead of asking what they’d like to do, their customer service agents and salespeople ask the customers how they could help. In doing so, they focus on properly explaining their needs, thus enabling the staff to help them faster and immediately find solutions.
This consistency in customer service and in-store experiences is one of the reasons for their massive customer following, loyalty, and engagement. Apple users are confident that whenever they encounter a problem, the company is there to guide them in dealing with it.
Only Making A Product that They Can Do Better
Although Apple invented the Apple II, the first commercial PC, and helped improve PCs with a graphical user interface and mouse input with the Mac, they didn’t often invent new products or create product categories. In the past decades, most Apple products were only recreations of existing products.
Another key to Apple’s success? Instead of being inventors of new tech products, they reinvent existing technology by making them better. One good example of this is the MP3 player. MP3 players were everywhere in the 90s, but after Apple reintroduced it by creating the iPod, listening to music became more convenient and accessible. These reinventions continued with the iPhone and iPad.
Following their core value of simplicity, Apple designers keep their goals simple by designing better products. Due to this, their products keep them ahead of their competitors for at least two years.
Smaller businesses and startups can learn from this idea instead of investing their budget in every direction because that’s where trends are going. Apple weighs its options and looks for the best way to reinvent a product and make it better while consistently considering new inventions, not out competing with current fads but if they can create the best version among their competitors.
These principles may be simplistic, but Apple thrives on them because they keep simplicity at the core of all their projects and campaigns. They never give in to the temptations of extravagance to stay ahead. Believing in keeping things simple, clear, and human are the secrets to the world’s most valuable company’s success, and businesses ought to follow them.