Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apple: In Order to be Invincible, You have to be “Cool”

Some businesses are successful of necessity; gas stations, grocery stores, factories. Others are successful out of innovation; NASA, the internet. And then there are those businesses that are successful because they are appealing, in a word, they’re “cool”. Apple is one of these companies, it takes simple ideas, ones that every company should be using, and really sticks to them, and in turn, it has built Apple up to be the largest company in the tech universe, and the second largest of all companies in the nation (Manjoo, 1).
The way Apple runs is different than most companies, what with the end-all be-all Steve Jobs as CEO, and the meager two new products a year policy, it’s strange to think they’re the leaders in this field. It makes sense though. Take the iPad for example, back in 2002 Apple was throwing around the idea of a tablet, and it debuted in 2010. That gave them 8 solid years to plan, perfect, and produce one of Apple’s most innovative pieces to date. This is crucial to a company that’s entirety is based on putting out new products. If you take every idea off the drawing board, make the prototype, mass create them, and then sell a whole bunch before actually mulling over the idea and seeing why it’s a necessary product, you’re going to have things that aren’t worth standing behind. When Apple has a new item, it’s exciting, sought-after, and anticipated for weeks prior. That’s because when Apple has a new item, you know that it’s the best Apple has to offer, and it’s going to be pretty darn cool. And the competition? They’ll throw a new one together in a matter of months, whether it works well or not, just to keep up. It may make the numbers of products even, but it’s the quality that matters, the way it runs, the way it allows the user to feel like it was built just for them – that’s the part that you can’t do in a matter of months.
Jobs also knows what he likes – and what he doesn’t. Not only does he have a paid team of researchers who will come up with the latest and greatest, he also uses regular old people who want to submit their idea to the Apple brainstorm. And saying no to these ideas is key. Like with any company, there’s always feedback. The consumer likes this, they hate that, they’ll tell you how to make it better and so on and so on. It’s the seasoned individual, the one who’s been through the different aspects of the market, who’s seen the trends, to know when to say yes to a new idea. Jobs knows that while his product needs to be appealing, it needs to be functional, and combining those seamless – that’s really cool.
Probably the most important part of being successful, both for Apple and for any other company, is pampering your customer. Allowing them to come in and ask any question, directly or non-directly related to the product, is one of Apple’s greatest ploys. When you go into an Apple store and walk out with a free service, or advice, you feel as if you’ve gotten away with something, as though that person’s primary job function is to serve you (which it is). As a consumer, knowing that you have the Apple “Geniuses” at your disposal makes you confident in your purchase. Now if the rest of the nation’s customer service sectors would take note… that would be cool.
In short, Apple is leading the way in Computers, Innovation and in Customer Service. The way they do things is different, and maybe a little unorthodox, but you don’t get to number two in the nation by doing nothing. Maybe the key to success isn’t who has the best product, or who get’s it out the fastest. Maybe the key to success is to look the coolest while doing it.


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