When we think of technology in the round, I assume most of our minds wander immediately to Apple – mine certainly does. Whether it is a tablet, watch, phone or Mac, over the years, Apple has become the epitome of modern, state of the art technology.
Now more than ever, people rely on technology not only as a form of communication but for entertainment and escapism too.
From a business perspective, Apple’s values really resonate with me. And, by the same token, author and international speaker Ken Segall has been a huge source of inspiration, having worked as creative director at the ad agency of Apple founder, Steve Jobs.
Ken’s New York Times best-selling book ‘Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success’, very much mirrors a lot of the approach that Champions has adopted, which is probably why the Behind the Mac campaign appeals to me so profoundly.
Champions has been fortunate enough to have worked with Ken on a number of occasions over the years and Ken’s book is proof that, sometimes, less really is more.
Back to the beginning
Apple’s Behind the Mac campaign launched in 2018, with a series of adverts showing a variety of inspiring and creative people using the Apple Macs. Focusing on a host of different talent, the campaign included artists, designers, actors and musicians from around the globe, all of whom use the iconic Apple Mac.
The campaign very cleverly touches on current affairs and trending topics in order to evoke emotional responses from viewers. Themes have included International Women’s Day and, more recently, recognition of the UK creative scene.
Although a global phenomenon, the Behind the Mac campaign is very much localised. Apple understands its heritage and its heartland, and this campaign goes back to its roots in more ways than one.
While black and white footage elicits the genesis of almost every technological advancement, the most recent instalment concentrates on business and creative industries – the brand’s intended target audience since its conception.
As you may have seen in previous instalments of the I Doff My Cap series and particularly in the recent piece about Jack Daniels and how it continues to localise its brand, this approach to branding is something I deeply admire.
Less is more
Steve Jobs believed intelligence is the art of simplicity. And, today, Apple and its range of products are a real reflection of his philosophy. With a collection of devices all interlinked and synchronised, Apple allows consumers to become extended versions of themselves, wherever they are in the world.
Apple remains current and relevant in its marketplace and continues to place the user journey and consumer experience at the forefront of future planning and developments. Continuing to provide a solution for its users, Apple focuses on what matters most to them and then delivers just that, every single time.
For example, aware that we, the consumers, are taking more and more photographs, Apple continues to develop its smartphone cameras to provide us with the very best, and better still with each new release.
Complexity doesn’t always result in intelligence and, often, it can lead to confusion. By keeping things simple and easy to understand, Apple has been able to keep consumers engaged, winning their long-term brand loyalty.
Having positioned itself at the heart of the technology industry, simplicity is what sets Apple apart from its competitors. When communicating to consumers, Apple doesn’t confuse them with technological terminology or jargon.
The brand doesn’t talk a great deal about processing speeds or pixels but, as consumers, we trust the brand entirely. Proof of this is in every one of us who use Apple and know it is the best in the business. We tend to show little concern for the hows or the whys.
Consider the approach of other devices, such as the Dell OptiPlex Quad Core i5-2400, in taking on the Apple Macbook, or the Huawei Y7 2019 32 GB 6.26 Inch Dewdrop FullView HD+ Display when it looks to usurp the iPhone 11.
Fundamentally, the products are just cold pieces of metal, glass and plastic brought to life by electronic circuitry. But, somehow, Apple has successfully created strong emotional connections between those products and consumers.
As I have mentioned in previous pieces, successful brands are those able to stimulate an emotional reaction. And, whether that is through the ability to listen to music, staying in touch with family and friends or looking back on precious memories, Apple has done it to perfection.
People are attached to their phones, myself included. Our phones are deeply embedded in our lives but, despite how incredible these devices are, they do come with some flaws. However, the products that Apple provides are so unique that we continue to forgive them for any issues that do crop up and remain devoted to the brand and its products.
What we often find is that most people are loyal consumers of either Apple and iOS or of Samsung and Android. What comes with that is a tribe-like community feeling, which is something I cherish when I’m either supporting or consuming a brand or product.
And, in times like the ones we are currently living through, serving as a vessel for collective spirit must certainly be working in its favour, particularly for creative professionals who have in many cases found themselves alone and at something of a standstill.
So, as we move into a period of more self-employed freelancers and consultants in creative industries, such as music and design, this campaign is a reminder for Apple’s loyal customer base that by getting ‘behind their Mac’, they can work independently but together.
Remaining somewhat localised in consumers’ minds while still maintaining a status of one of the most successful technology brands in the world must be tough but clearly not for Apple. Proving simplicity is key and sticking to its values and ethos are precisely why I doff my cap to Apple and, more specifically, its Behind the Mac campaign.