Showing Its Colors: The Apple Brand in the Midst of the 5C & 5S

iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c

It was only just recently that Apple execs held their press conference announcing the new iPhone 5C and 5S models, a preview of iOS7, and many other features and goodies coming to those that stand behind its products. In true fashion, Apple took a move out of their own playbook to ensure everyone in the room (and around the world) were well aware what they were seeing and hearing through reinforced branding imagery, speech, and presentation.

Since the first, Apple has slowly dominated much of the smartphone market, which has allowed the company to increase its revenue by billions. The rise of Android has placed a healthy competition between the platforms, providers, and manufacturers, leading Apple to release new versions of its flagship iPhone in rapid succession – each time bringing a fresh feature to the mix.

This time, however, people have been divided.

Tech websites like TheVerge, MacRumors, and GigaOm were ablaze in discussion with each new announcement about the new generation of iPhones. In particular, the 5C saw a mixed bag of opinions ranging from disappointment about its plastic case to those trumpeting the lower price that would allow it to have better market penetration. The 5S, too, had this kind of mixed review and feverish discussion, which has even lead to parody videos of the launch.

One thing, for sure, has been Apple’s ability to convey their strong brand through their iconic logo, keynote videos, iOS interface, and interaction with the community despite the fluctuation in opinions.

The Strength of a Brand

Apple, in normal fashion, has generally allowed the Web and tech community drive the discussions about the new releases which has been integral to building buzz around its products and brands for quite some time.

One rumor that was quickly squelched, however, was the issue that some had with the idea that the 5S’s new fingerprint scanner may store and share this private information. Apple immediately addressed news sources claiming that it does not and will not which is crucial for consumers and stockholders since it’s one of the main features the brand is standing behind when pushing the new phone. has an online marketing perspective on the use of news coverage in place of trying to play “catch up” through rebuttal advertising features:

“When it comes to any kind of commerce, there are always fires to put out — such as consumer complaints. Online marketing is a great way to provide thorough solutions for these problems, but many are led by the misperception that advertising through the Internet will get rid of any normal business problems.”

The Takeaway of the Unveil

If there is anything to be learned from this recent keynote, it’s the following:

1.  Rumors can do wonders for a brand because it builds a buzz well in advanced of the announcement and will continue to do so with each new piece of information released.

2.  Reinforcement of the brand through repetitive phrases and claims to innovation will echo to those that have been passionate about the brand even in the face of equal (or better) alternatives within the market.

3.  The use of logos, speech, and product visuals, within the same type of ad and presentation format will bring a familiar sense of joy and trust to the consumer – the consistency builds upon itself.

4.  Holding back from addressing the public about certain elements of the product can be very beneficial since it gives the consumers and tech evangelist the platform for discussion.

5.  A departure from a typical status quo (in Apple’s case of being the “high end”), with the right branding, awareness, and recognition, will allow a brand to explore new territories and markets of the industry without “muddying” the brand.

All-in-all, companies like Apple have the ability to release new versions of their products on a near-yearly basis with great reception because they have recognition within the marketplace. All other businesses that want to replicate this effect can take a move out of the Apple playbook such as through that which has been described above.

Promise something big – do everything it takes to deliver – reinforce the brand – dominate the market.