Brand is an identification mark, symbol of spirit, value idea and core embodiment of superior quality. The purpose of enterprises in pursuit of branding is to make them different from others.
Apple is a well-known successful brand in the world. It has been the world’s most valuable brand for the second straight year. Brand value is a key factor to measure the success of brand, reflecting the comprehensive image of brand in the mind of demanders, involving attribute, quality, grade, culture, personality and others (Henrik, 2013).
Each successful brand has the unique brand personality. As the important part of brand identity, brand personality shows a range of personality traits and brings about the powerful brand association and plentiful brand connotation (Frederic, 2009). It is hard for other competitors to copy the Apple’s brand personality in regard to lifestyle, imagination, regain of liberty, innovation, passion, dream, hope and ambition. And Apple’s brand personality is also embodied in the simple, people-oriented product design and company vision of becoming a real humanizing enterprise and maintaining the sincere contact with customers.
In the past few years, Apple launched a series of historic, creative and popular smartphones such as iPhone 4 series, iPhone 5 series and iPhone 6 series that perfectly show the brand personalities of Apple and give consumers the rich brand association. However, could the new iPhone SE continue the fine tradition?
What about iPhone SE?
The new iPhone SE was issued in March 21th 2016. Apple announced it was the most powerful 4-inch smartphone. That is true from the view of hardware configuration of iPhone SE. IPhone SE is equipped with the same A9 chip as iPhone 6s (https://www.apple.com/iphone-6s/). And the camera with 12 million pixels will finish the amazing photo and 4K video. Live Photos will make your photos more vivid (Apple, 2016). Moreover, the advanced Touch ID can give you an easy safety protection.
Why Apple changes the strategic direction to launch small-screen smartphone against the market trend?
In fact, Apple firmly put forward the big iPhone a year and a half ago for increasing sales. But it revealed the deficiency of single lineup after iPhone 6s. The iPhone sales cannot keep the former high growth. So, Apple had to focus on the potential of small-screen iPhone users. Almost 32% Apple users are still using the old 4-inch iPhone like iPhone 5, 5s, 5c. Obviously, this is a big proportion. If these loyal users choose to upgrade their iPhone, the new iPhone SE with old appearance and powerful hardware configuration is very attractive. Then, iPhone SE will contribute a lot in enhancing the iPhone sales.
On the surface, iPhone SE is just the extended product of iPhone lineup. It is regarded as the upgraded “iPhone 5s” or small “iPhone 6s”. Brand extension is a very important brand strategy that will be conducive to reduce the market risk and introduction cost of new product (Don, 2016). To develop a new product needed the huge costs, including product design, test, identity, registration and package design. And the continuous advertisements and promotion activities is also a costly process.
Some consumers are greatly touched by Apple’s return to Jobs feelings. Steve Jobs thought the 3.5-inch screen iPhone was best. However, this is a kind of illusion indeed. IPhone SE is just a business decision. Apple has given up the Jobs persist in screen size of iPhone two years ago, and kept up with the big screen trend. Because iPhone sales play a key role in Apple’s financial performance, the weak growth of iPhone 6s and decline of stock price give the top managers of Apple a big pressure. The launch of new iPhone SE may be a market test and get many market shares back in a short term. But it cannot further intensify the unique charm of Apple brand and turn the weak sales of iPhone around in the long run.
Of course, iPhone SE may only be an appetizer of Apple in spring.
Apple. (2016), iPhone SE, [ONLINE] Available at:
https://www.apple.com/iphone-se/[Accessed 21 April 2016].
Frederic, P, Miller. (2009), Brand Management, Alphascript Publishing
Henrik, Johan, Ibsen. (2013), Brand, Salzwasser-Verlag Gmbh
Don, Reisinger. (2016), Here’s How the iPhone SE Survived a Torture Test, [ONLINE] Available at:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/iphone-se-survived-torture-test-145744114.html [Accessed 21 April 2016].