Apple recently announced the arrival of their new watch. Not exactly a closely guarded secret. A Wall Street Journal article said Apple was trying to become like Rolex and I’ve seen other articles touting Apple as wanting to become a luxury brand.
People who believe that branding is marketing – and I’m not one of them – like to gush about the Apple brand … its “brand authority” and “brand value” and other such nonsense. Yes … Apple is a brand (so are you) and yes, Apple spends money on branding and probably has branding police and the like.
But here’s the truth about Apple: it’s a direct response company.
Let’s take a look at iTunes, a huge money-spinner for Apple and a source of constant revenue. You might think you’re buying an iPod or a iWatch or an iPhone. What you’re really buying is a way to buy more stuff through iTunes. The phone also helps Apple tap into continuity revenue from monthly phone bills.
Remember those print ads for Record of the Month Club or Book of the Month Club? You got 8 records for 99 cents or 12 books for 3 dollars; then you bought a book or record every month until you said, “stop!” The Apple model is essentially the same and it’s a DIRECT RESPONSE model and not a branding model.
I’m writing this blog on my MacBook Pro. It’s great but it’s not a big profit maker for Apple. It can be if I start buying stuff from Apple but buying a one off product once every three years is not the source of big revenue. The MacBook Pro is an awesome product for this direct response copywriter but the money is in repeat revenue from iTunes.
Very quietly, Apple is brilliant at email marketing. That’s an exercise in direct response. And if you look closely at Apple’s copy for expensive products, there’s plenty of copy. They use long-form copy. Again, that’s direct response copywriting, not branding copywriting.
Try checking out when you buy something on Apple’s site, as I have, and they try to upsell you like crazy. Again … an exercise in direct marketing.
Remember this fact: before he became a corporate rock star, Steve Jobs sold stuff from a booth in a shopping mall. So he knew how to sell. People who know how to sell are usually in the direct response camp. You can gush over Apple’s brand all you like but it’s a direct response company ... which is why it's so successful.
I'm a direct response copywriter. I write direct response copy for clients around the world. Enter your information to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here if you have a project you'd like me to quote.
I'm also a Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers.
Disclaimer for the above.
The Dan Kennedy Copywriter for Info-Marketers Certification is awarded to professional copywriters who have successfully completed a course of study of preparation for such copywriting. This Certification has not been provided by an accredited education institution. It does not constitute endorsement of or liability for any individual copywriter by Mr. Kennedy or any companies or organizations affiliated with Mr. Kennedy. The client's relationship is solely with the individual copywriter retained via any agreement.