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The voice of the brand strategy consultancy, The Portnoy Group Inc.

The Brand Man Speaks is a dialogue about the consuming world in which we live and a guide to successfully navigating it. The goal is to educate people and companies about branding, the most powerful yet misunderstood business tool.

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Apple clearly losing its mojo, losing sight of its rasion d'etre

I have been unabashedly a long time fan of anything Apple. I don't own any IT equipment that isn't made by Apple along with all the rest of the accessories and other toys.

I have from the beginning talked and written about Apple as the gold standard of how to market a business and make it an iconic brand. The company was highly successful because it created a journey for its loyalists to go on even if the journey included the creation of demand for things none of knew we needed. It as brilliant.

People clammered for Apple products for more than just the product themselves but more importantly what it said about "you" as an owner/user of Apple branded technology and what kind of lifestyle you wanted to lead. People were enrolled in the brand's essence, emotionally connected to any and all things Apple.

In the past two years since Steve Jobs died it does seem Apple has lost its Mojo. The brand is losing its luster, and loyalists are bored and feel there is no longer a meaningful journey to follow. Focusing on pricing (the current debate about the iPhone 5C and 5S) and competiting as a commodity can mean the death for any company.

In recent days all I read about is how Wall Street analysts are finding fault with Apple's pricing strategy. That may be a valid point. The bigger issue for a brand marketeer such as myself is why isn't anybody calling Apple out for losing its brand focus? That's the real story.Apple's current Ad Campaign is the worst in years and puts most people to sleep or is just ignored. Millions wasted.

If Apple can't find that Mojo again and it doesn't bring its loyalists back on a journey the company may forever fall out of favor and become another Sony. Sony, as you may remember, lost its way when it signficantly cut back R and D to shore up its P and L (and its Wall St position) after spending years as the most innovative personal electronics company on the planet. That mistake proved fatal to Sony who is now considered a second or third tier electronics company with dull commodity products. The brand was forever damanged and weakened by that short term decision.

I am hopeful both as a current Apple loyalist and stockholder that someone will save the day and re-open that pathway to an exciting journey for another decade or more.

Watching out for you everyday.





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