May, 2011

The iPad2 is no doubt a revolutionary machine. For me, the closest thing that comes close to the experience is a laptop after desktops. In this post I would like to take a look at 2 fundamental branding principles that Apple followed when introducing this ground breaking product. If iPad2 sales, excitement and buzz are an indication then it is safe to say that these branding principles served well.

Branding iPad

Market appeal
A basic branding principle is to appeal to the people that consider your product valuable and relevant in their minds. This goes against trying to be everything to everyone which does not work well especially creative unique brands. In a competitive and easily replicable world, there is an ever nagging temptation to generalize.
I could really fall in love with my new iPad2 only if there was someplace I could plug my USB drive into. I don’t care if it was built in or came in the form of a small accessory, the ability to seamlessly display work documents would be a huge advantage. Apple purposely chose to omit this feature simply because product design takes precedence and differentiates them from the competition. Jobs has indicated many times that Apple is a design company that happens to be in the business of making computers. Product design is a fundamental pillar of Apple products.

Scarcity creates stampede
Apple continues to use the concept of scarcity to its advantage. When the iPad2 became available in Canada, the only way to get your hands on it was to order online (shipped in 2 weeks) or reserve through store websites only open after 9pm pacific time. I chose to do the latter and it took me 2 weeks to finally find an iPad available in Vancouver.
Apple could have flooded their stores with the product and everyone would have purchased it in a day or two. They chose otherwise and multiplied the desire factor. There is definitely a relationship between scarcity and value.

Staying true to branding principles is key to product success. Knowing the people that are attracted to your product, their preferences, likes, dislikes and why they chose you over others is essential in business success!
Teg Brar, Msc.

Personal Branding begins with harnessing the power of self esteem. In our hyper connected environment building a strong personal brand is impossible if you do not believe and feel good about yourself! You have to find a way to chase away the demons or as the marketing specialist Seth Godin puts it, the lizard brain that discourages us from doing. In Personal Branding you have to be no less than a legend in your own mind!

Self esteem is really the way you feel about yourself and the confidence to carry out the tasks well. In other words, it’s self respect. Maintaining a high self esteem is essential to professional success. Employees with high self esteem are more productive and contribute to a positive work environment.

3 simple ways to build self esteem:

-Accomplishments, praise, recognition and doing result in high self esteem. A child will develop high self esteem from riding a bicycle rather than being told that she can do it! Start by undertaking simple tasks and completing them successfullly.

-People must have the knowledge to successfully carry out the tasks that they are responsible for. I am not suggesting to fear failure, however, support and encouragement are important.

-Know your strengths. Identify what you are really good at and then help someone who could benefit from your strengths.

Building a strong personal brand starts with feeling good and confident about yourself. This directly influences stakeholders behaviour.

By Teg Brar, MSc.