What’s Apple’s secret to stellar revenue and profit growth, despite being an already huge company? Any CEO running a company with a few billion in annual sales will tell you just how difficult it is to grow 25-percent a year. That’s another new business of $500-million that needs to appear from somewhere. Apple seems to be defying gravity as both revenue and profit have hit stratospheric levels. Again.
Apple has a secret to success that actually is simple to understand, but difficult to implement, and not easily replicated by competitors; whether smartphone, tablet, or personal computer makers.
Customers have a special relationship, a bond of sorts with their Apple products, therefore, an allegiance with Apple itself; one that transcends typical store-to-customer, or product-to-customer relationships, and it’s a bond that is neither easily broken, nor easily created by Apple’s many competitors.
Microsoft, Samsung, and Google can put up store-within-a-store retail operations in Best Buy, but those do not equate to Apple’s retail stores which feature associates who do not work on commission, instant assistance without obligation, and technical service to repair what’s broken, and to show customers how to use their products.
Who else does that?
Whether it’s iOS or OS X, iPhone or Mac, Apple forgoes the laundry list of bullet point features in favor of usability. My iPhone will not do nearly as much as can be done on my friend’s Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but what my iPhone can do is done easier, faster, simpler, and with less headache, speed bumps or hiccups.
That ease-of-use and dependability breeds an ongoing relationship that is positive, grows, and benefits both Apple and the customer.
What’s the relationship that PC users have with Windows? For many, if not most, it’s antagonistic. Windows doesn’t make their computing lives easier. If anything, for many users, Windows is in the way.
What’s the relationship that smartphone users have with Android? A few love the complexity, but for many, if not most, it’s overkill, more complexity in an already overly complex world. That explains why iOS usage for smartphones and tablets far outweighs Android devices, despite Apple’s much smaller marketshare.
Apple’s customers get more usage from the company’s products because they’re easier to use, do what customers want, and iOS and OS X are less ‘in the way’ than Android or Windows. That relationship and trust between device maker and customer takes time to build, is constantly nurtured and cultivated, and just cannot be replicated as well by Apple’s many competitors.
Apple’s secret isn’t really a secret in the typical sense, but it is not understood well by technorati elite, market prognosticators, competitors, or Apple’s critics.