Less is more: Apple and the power of Focus

Brands are difficult to substitute but easy to differentiate: this we can say about the inspiring and record smashing story of the worlds most valuable brand, APPLE”, the creators of Mac, Ipod, Iphone, Ipad, Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Behind every brand is a master-mind.
The Late Steve Jobs who co-founded Apple Inc (together with Steve Wozniak) is the personality behind the Apple brand. Apple grew from the lowest level of having its first office in a car garage to being the biggest and richest information technology company by far and the world’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer, thanks to Steve.

One of the ideologies that Steve Jobs utilized as a branding strategy to transform Apple is the principle of LESS IS MORE. Steve believed that selling is not about fooling people and convincing them to believe that they want something that they actually do not want, which is exactly what traditional advertising does.

Apple products do more than just delivering to its customers promises made in adverts, they sell dreams with their products and ensure that they add a wow factor to it while keeping it as simple as possible. Apple products have a way of combining multiple features into a single intuitive function e.g whenever you plug your camera into your computer, you are likely to want to upload them, and hence with the push of a button, you are done!

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Simplicity as a strategy was an idea paramount in Steve Jobs own life. For instance, he was renowned for wearing the same pattern of clothing (a black turtleneck and jean, an idea now commonplace in Silicon Valley) so that he never had to think of what to wear. He painted the walls of his workplace white to avoid distractions, he always had lengthy discussions with his wife before buying any equipment as to why they really needed that equipment. Steve always simplified and subtracted so as to enable him focus and do a few things extremely well. This ideology of simplicity and focus really manifested in all the products manufactured by Apple Inc.

Focus as a branding strategy simply tells you to concentrate your energy on important parts of a product while trying all your possible best to eliminate the less useful parts in order to minimize size, maximize space and enhance new innovations.

Steve focused on making products where every single gram or millimeter is taken into consideration. This extreme practice has activated exciting new features and inventions. Every offspring of Apple strives to be thinner and lighter than the product before it, and this ideology has driven the Apple brand for decades

CHECKOUT THIS 19 YEAR TREND (1991-2010)

1991
PowerBook 170
6.8 pounds
2.25 inches

2001
Titanium PowerBook G4
5.3 pounds
1.00 inches

2010
MacBook Air
2.4 pounds
0.68 inches

Fast forward to 2016 and we have the exact same product with 2.03 pounds and 0.52 inches for the weight and the width respectively. Apple focused on this strategy for years because they have realized that customers place much more value and utility on portable gadgets.

Among other branding principles Apple has applied since inception is the selection of their line of products. Apple produces gadgets ranging from Mac, Ipod, Iphone, Ipad, Apple Watch, Apple Tv, and relevant software, primarily for the high end consumer market while their competitors continue to produce more products for everyone. For instance, Samsung produces an endless array of products ranging from mobile phones to Generators, Television sets, Deep freezers, Wristwatches, Fans, Laptops and other unrelated products. Samsung wants to be everything to everybody. Not Steves Apple.

Steve Jobs believed that the way to do more is to do less.
He once said “People think focus means saying yes to things you’ve got to focus on, but that’s not what it means at all, it means saying no to a hundred of other good ideas that are available. I am actually as proud of the things we havent done as I am of the things we have done. INNOVATION IS SAYING NO TO 1000”.

Do you want to get results as precise as the pinch of a pin? Then take stock of your life and business while eliminating distractions in the form of junks, unnecessary product lines, unnecessary partnerships/friendships etc. Remember, “if it’s not adding to you, then it is most likely subtracting from you”

Focus is not just powerful, Focus is power by itself.

Our study on the terrific branding principles applied by Steve Jobs continues next week Saturday on the brand report.

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About  THE BRAND REPORT:
Until somebody decides to brand something, it remains a COMMODITY. Until someone decides to brand himself, he is a NONENTITY. From the plush Skyscrapers of Wall Street to the gigantic business Enterprises of Lagos, get set to learn the a-z of personal and corporate branding straight from the world’s finest, richest and most successful brands. Strap on your seat belt for the ride of a lifetime!

The Brand Report is brought to you by PROJECT X.

Kindly drop your comments, suggestions or questions in the comments section below.
STAY TUNED.

Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded Epower.ng, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

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