Thinking Differently: Why Apple’s Brand Succeeds Worldwide

Posted by Kenzie Shofner

No matter where you go, if you put a picture of Apple’s silver Macintosh symbol in front of someone, they’ll immediately be familiar with the logo. The two-dimensional outline is recognizable across the globe, synonymous with iPhones, MacBooks and technological innovation.

Just as the McDonald’s golden arches and Coke’s fire-engine-red color scheme have made names for themselves in modern day Americana and around the world, so has Apple.

The company is one of the most successful in the world, worth more than $2 trillion, according to Forbes. But how does Apple do it? What makes the tech giant as successful as it is?


Consistent Branding

Apple execs have often talked about making their products intuitive. And that user-friendly interface has gone mostly unchanged in recent years, with the aesthetics of Apple hardware and software remaining consistent. This branding strategy has made Apple recognizable in any market.

Unlike other mobile brands, Apple has made it easy to spot one of their iPhones – the look and design are always the same, which ups brand recognition.


Localizing The Message

Although Apple’s consistency may be veiled as a one-size-fits-all approach, the company’s localized branding for other countries makes it successful worldwide.

Log onto Apple’s website and you’ll have the option to visit sites customized for over 100 different countries. Localizing products and marketing info for all of your target markets is important, and Apple’s success is a prime example of that.

Apple also customizes its stores based on their location. The company has more than 500 Apple stores worldwide and makes a point to tailor each to its geographic region. Brand Quarterly reports that former Apple VP of retail development Bob Beidger said the brand tries to “make sure the store has an inviting appeal that matches its surrounding culture and environment. It’s about ‘getting out into the street’ and feeling what the local feels.”

Apple’s international success is evidenced by the fact that the company is almost non-existent on certain social media platforms. Search for Apple on Twitter and you’ll find an account with 5.3 million followers and no tweets. While the company does post on Instagram and boasts over 24 million followers, just a small handful of accounts are luckily enough to claim a follow from the brand. Apparently Apple’s success has allowed them to circumvent popular marketing techniques on social media.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the brand, which has experienced its own localization missteps, but it seems as if the company learned from its mistake and is more prepared than ever to tackle new globalization challenges.


“Think Different”

Not only does Apple attract consumers with its global branding consistency and sleek products, but it also caters to buyers’ emotions.

Apple’s “Think Different” television commercial from the late ‘90s featured images of Einstein, John Lennon, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. Referring to these icons as “the crazy ones,” the ad’s narrator talks of “pushing the human race forward” and says that “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

The ad is an example of Apple attempting to connect emotionally with viewers, creating a brand that denotes progress, innovation and creativity. Who doesn’t want to be associated with those traits?

Creating connections like these are no doubt part of the reason Apple was recently (again) named the world’s most intimate brand.

When the company earned this title in 2017, Fortune reported that consumers who took part in the survey to nominate Apple said the company manufactured items “they can’t live without.”


Looking Ahead

If Apple continues to keep messaging consistent globally and cater to consumers’ emotions and geographic regions worldwide, it’s likely the brand will remain on top of its game well into the future.

For more information on global marketing tactics and ways to implement effective localization strategies, explore our full blog. 

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Topics: Industry News