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How to Beat Apple?

posted Aug 28, 2015, 4:30 PM by Julian Zhu   [ updated Aug 31, 2015, 8:29 PM ]

How to beat Apple? 

Since this question came to my mind this morning, I could not stop thinking ...

Brand and Loyalty 

A few years ago, when Microsoft started marketing its new product Surface, I asked the question, "why tie the Surface brand to Microsoft?". 

From Microsoft's perspective, it is important for a big company to remind consumers that Microsoft is still making great product. 
Yes, I do think Surface is a great product, but from consumer perspective, do I really care the "Microsoft" brand? Not necessarily. 

On the other hand, it is hurting its great new product Surface in some way -- "Really? it is from Microsoft, then it must not be that good after all ....". 

I was thinking Microsoft should have used the brand new name "Surface" for its marketing campaign, to dilute the negative effect of "Microsoft" in the past years -- a proud brand name in the competitive technology space, but not that competitive from the "Innovation" perspective. 

Don't get me wrong, I think Microsoft is doing a great job in almost all hot technology domains - software, hardware, enterprise, cloud, ... 

What Apple Really Is

In stead of focusing on what I like or not like about Apple (comparing with Microsoft, Google, and many other hi-tech companies that try to beat Apple) let me quickly jump to my points. 

We need to understand what Apple really is. 

Apple is not really a technology company. 

Apple is a fashion product company with technology that makes people look good and live better life. 

That is why it is not fair to compare Microsoft with Apple, for example. 
However, that is what people often do. 

How to Beat Apple

A technology company can never beat Apple from consumers who are pursuing fashion. 

Because they don't (need to) understand technology, they don't care. They are typically not people use Apple product to generate revenue. They are people who are willing to spend money to stay with "fashion" and "convenience". 

To beat Apple: 

Step 1. Start from Fashion (including Entertainment) Industry - either with an existing well established & recognized luxury brand, or a totally new Luxury fashion brand. 

Step 2. Partner with technology company like Google, Microsoft, or even some small innovation company who knows how to create convenience by staying live with the world around us - weather, stock price, medical records, social media, ..., and by commanding the world around us - enjoy music/TV, monitor home on vacation, control appliances, ...anything you could imagine. 

Step 3. Beat Apple by Fashion, easy of use. Hide technology behind!

Why we can beat Apple

Apple is not the leader in the fashion business. Apple is not better technology company than its technology competitors, either. 

Fashion + Technology, that is why Apple is successful.