Miruna Codeanu

Apple and Burberry

In ca'n viata, espresso on October 18, 2013 at 7:33 am

Apple is making some interesting moves nowadays. The most popular: Angela Ahrendts, Burberry CEO leaves Burberry and joins Apple. Apple is a tech company, why would Apple need a board member coming from a fashion company.  The most frequently heard explanation: “Apple is heading towards lifestyle”. Why would a tech, innovative company want to become associated with “fashion victims”? Of course, I believe, it’s another Apple vs Samsung move. Apple had this competitive advantage: its users that I believe could be referred to as fans.  Apple users are as engaged fans.

Apple stopped making major innovations some time ago. You cannot possibly innovate all the time, not tech innovate. But you can find a creative way to redefine innovation. Apple already had this competitive advantage against Samsung: Steve Jobs’ obsession for design made Apple develop beautiful products. Apple isn’t becoming a lifestyle company, Apple was always positioned as a lifestyle company, but that wasn’t primary, now that is becoming primary, moving in front of innovation. Apple was always about lifestyle, that’s why I always claimed that what made Apple successful was the ability to keep its “niche” feeling even though it a company addressing the mass market. Here’s the first commercial Apple ever aired, the famous Superbowl ad: 

Text?”On January 24th 1984 Apple will introduce Apple MacIntosh and you will see why 1984 won’t be like 1984. “ It was against masses, it was against being one in the crowd, it meant another type of lifestyle. 

Here’s the iconic Apple campaign:

Text: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.Maybe they have to be crazy.How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?We make tools for these kinds of people.While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

2013, Apple launches “Designed by Apple in California”:

Text:  “This is it. This is what matters. The experience of a product. How they make someone feel. Will it make life better? Does it deserve to exist? We spend a lot of time on a few great things, until every idea we have enhances each life it touches. You may rarely look it but you will always feel it. This is our signature and it means everthing.”

It is not about products anymore, it never was, it’s lifestyle. A dear friend of mine,  Apple user, said something absolutely awesome about Apple products: “Apple is the Jimmy Choo of IT products: probably more uncomfortable then other shoes, but hell, they’re Choos.” And here they are, bringing an executive from a fashion company.  Steve Jobs might not have been fashionable, but he knew his way through design, which Tim Cook might not know, the reason for which Apple needs Ahrendts. However, there’s nothing new about Apple’s philosophy, they’re just  continuing their almost 30 years long tradition.

Consumerism is about lifestyle, status and who you want to be.  Don’t believe? Here’s fresh news: Adidas launches a smart watch. Who? Adidas, that is right:

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