Applephilia, Microsoft, Mindshare & Superbrands (1 of 2)

2014's Best Laid Brand Strategy & Tactics Take Root

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At the end of 2013, and for an extended period in 2014, I found myself spending a lot of time

with a beautiful Apple iMac. It was one of several PCs I'd been tasked with fixing & locking

down. But from a branding—rather than purely technical—perspective, the experience lent

credence to Arthur C. Clarke's claim that: “Any smoothly functioning technology will have

the appearance of magic.”  Aesthetically, it “appeared” flawless. Despite delayed login

problems OS X Mavericks popularized plus a host of productivity limitations irrelevant

herein, Apple's efficient Brand Strategy/Tactics keeps winning. Forrester Research

study showing Microsoft beating Apple in Brand Ubiquity & Essentiality as the No 1

brand was largely ignored. Because Microsoft, under Satya Nadella's unified “One

Microsoft” strategy seen today in both buzz and promise surrounding everything

from Redmond from Windows 10 to MS Edge was only beginning to take root.

1 flaw of rankings such as Interbrand & MillwardBrown (hyperlinked above)

in contrast with Forrester's TRUE Brand methodology is its malleability to

Applephilia. While there is no denying Apple's brand eminence, I'd argue

brand tactics across products, services or categories matter more than

quality these days. And in the superbrand mindshare wars in which

everyone is playing second fiddle to Apple, which recently posted

the biggest quarterly profit in history, you could be Microsoft,

the  most trusted enterprise—not consumer—technology brand

making great consumer products minus Apple's negotiating

genius. Reason for its unrivaled brand presence, and vast

profit margins in China, where rising Xiaomi struggles

for top contender position alongside Samsung whose

me-too run fizzled with the Galaxy S6Edge, while

Apple's Beats Acquisition further solidified the

Cupertino giant's brand as its inferior EarPods

gave way to the more superior “Hear what

you want” stuff from Beats & with Apple

Music in July 2015, completing the bold

bet it made in 08/2014. Meanwhile in

China Burger King by 2014, started

aggressively differentiating itself

from the ubiquity of McDonald's

and KFC creating buzz despite

being pricier. Yet with iPad

Pro borrowed straight out

of Microsoft competition

playbook coming soon

Microsoft Surface Pro

could be crushed IF

Redmond, which

powers produc-

tivity on iPad,

with designs

on Android

does  not


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