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Apple Still a Master Storyteller

Starting with Steve Jobs, Apple has always been masterful at telling stories to position its brands. In recent years Apple has sought to position its Apple’s Watch, iPhone, and Health App are designed to gather health information and present it in user-friendly formats. Seeing these features resonate with customers, the company has leaned into this positioning. And of course, it uses the power of story to make its case in this new video.

This video might be used when you cover positioning (Chapter 4), consumer behavior (the Apple case opens Chapter 5), or storytelling (see Chapter 13 What’s next? box). You might ask your students why Apple is leaning into health for its positioning. The list of answers below (some from ChatGPT suggest why). These can all be categorized into elements of the marketing strategy process planning model:

  • Market Opportunity: The global health and wellness market is significant. By integrating health-related features into its devices, Apple can tap into this lucrative segment and drive sales. (Chapter 2)
  • Competitive Differentiation: As the smartphone market matures, companies look for features to distinguish their products. Health and wellness features differentiate Apple devices from competitors and add value for the consumer. (Chapter 3)
  • Technological Advancements: Sensors and other hardware components have become more advanced and miniaturized, allowing for more sophisticated health tracking on devices such as the Apple Watch. (Chapter 3)
  • Consumer Demand: As consumers become more health-conscious, there’s a rising demand for devices that can track, analyze, and assist with health and fitness. By meeting this demand, Apple can attract and retain a broad user base. (Chapters 3 and 5)
  • Platform Stickiness: Health features and apps often require a data ecosystem to be effective. For example, the Health app on iPhones aggregates data from various sources. This increases the stickiness of Apple’s ecosystem, making it harder for users to switch to a competitor since they have a trove of health data on Apple’s platform.
  • Regulatory and Partnerships Opportunity: Engaging with the health sector offers Apple opportunities to form partnerships with healthcare institutions, insurance companies, and researchers. This could lead to new business models or revenue streams. (Chapter 6)
  • Social Responsibility and Brand Image: By focusing on health, Apple can position itself as a company that cares about its users’ well-being, further strengthening its brand image and goodwill. (Chapters 1 and 19)
  • Data Privacy: Apple emphasizes user data privacy. By establishing a trusted environment where users feel their health data is safe, Apple can further differentiate itself from competitors who might not prioritize privacy to the same degree. (Chapter 4 – positioning around data privacy; Chapter 7 data privacy).
  • Future of Healthcare: The future of healthcare is expected to be more personalized, with preventive care playing a significant role. Devices that can monitor and provide insights into users’ health will be central to this transformation. (Chapter 3
  • Innovation Strategy: Apple has a history of entering industries and redefining them – music with the iPod, phones with the iPhone, and watches with the Apple Watch. Health is another frontier where Apple sees potential for innovation (Chapter 2).
  • Demographic changes: an aging population (Chapter 3) will have greater interest in health.
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