Marketing Strategy

What Small Businesses Can Learn from Apple’s Marketing Strategy

You don’t need to be a world-famous technology company to learn from the creators of the iPhone®.

Source: Farid Huseynov / shutterstock

Probably everyone reading this is familiar with Apple. Actually, many are likely reading it on an iPhone. The tech giant is a huge company, with one of the largest footprints in the world, and its marketing strategies could be a case study all their own. But what if you’re a small business? Well, there is still something to be learned from Apple.

Apple should inspire businesses because it isn’t afraid to go into the “blue ocean,” where it’s easier to make a name for yourself. The business book Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne stresses the importance of venturing into unpopular territory; staying where everyone else is keeps you in the “red ocean,” where sharks constantly attack. In this way, Apple isn’t afraid to try new things when it comes to its products, services, or marketing strategies.

In addition, Apple focuses on hype. Although you may not draw a big enough crowd to rent out a huge theater or have a swarm of people creating YouTube videos discussing your latest product, consider how you could create hype using your own size and your own budget. Whether it’s merchandise, a smaller gathering, or a series of webinars, focusing on that hype to get people excited about what you’re launching will help give your bottom line a boost.

Finally, Apple is known for a more minimalist marketing strategy, as it understands that less isn’t always more. Its products and systems have simple names (think “app store” or “genius bar”), and it embraces a sleek, modern design. If you go to Apple.com, you see quite a bit of white space, with one main product promoted on its home page—it isn’t throwing a million things to the wall and seeing what sticks but rather is putting the majority of eggs into one basket and making that basket the best it can be. In fact, when Steve Jobs first started Apple, he said they were going to focus on two different types of computers and that was it. Obviously, the company has expanded, including its product line, but it still maintains a very minimalist mind-set, which allows it to push out the products the company feels the proudest of.

So, whether you have 2,000 employees or 20, consider how you can use Apple’s methodology to make your next launch a success.