The Power of a Brand

The Power of a Brand

Whew! Have you caught your breath yet? September has been a busy month, full of tech product releases and events. None, however, garnered nearly as much attention as the Apple event on September 9th (which, in the tech world, is an eternity ago).

No doubt, it was a media frenzy; the front page news of every paper, news site, and blog, not to mention the total Apple takeover on all social media channels.

But why?

Line outside the NYC Apple Store on 9/19/14 (Photo source:

None of this is particularly revolutionary – a new version of the iPhone seems to continually bring out the inner #fangirl in everyone. Apple certainly wasn’t the first to develop a cell phone with a larger screen (Samsung was); Sony and Motorola already beat them to the punch with the smartwatch; and while the “all in one” concept of Apple Pay is new, the idea of using your phone instead of a credit card is not (i.e. Starbucks Rewards, PayPal, etc).

Yes, the sleek design of the Apple Watch is beautiful and the user experience seems easy and fairly comprehensive, but then again, so are some of the other, recently released products on the market. So why does the announcement of new Apple products bring the normal news cycle to a screeching halt when the events of other large tech companies receive half (or less) the attention and subsequent coverage from the press across all verticals.

I realize it goes without saying, but for Apple, it’s simply the power of the brand. The iPhone was the first mobile phone to feature a multi-touch interface. It changed the future of mobile phones, personal devices and, arguably, completely disrupted how we communicate. Back in 2007, owning a cell phone was commonplace (albeit, a much heavier, clunky kind), but the release of the iPhone was monumental. The incredible strategy used by Steve Jobs and their PR team creating anticipation for something truly revolutionary using secrecy as their primary weapon of choice to keep the public salivating for the phone of the future.

Unlike many products that have followed (like the smartwatch) the iPhone appealed to the public’s sense of necessity. Apple was arguably the leader in changing how we feel about our phones – they’re no longer simply for placing and receiving calls – they’re personal computers that we are laregely dependent on. What resulted in the wake of the popularity of Apple’s products (not solely the iPhone) was the establishment of a brand that was high-tech, cutting edge and easily accessible – a reinvention of who they once were.

It’s now a very, very crowded space, and Apple is competing with incredibly innovative brands, yet it’s really not a competition at all. For me, it’s fascinating, and I can’t help but wonder what other major companies will do to recreate the brand power of Apple…if it can even be done.