Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Real Innovation Is Not Incremental Improvement - An Apple Case Study

When great companies lose their edge, it's usually something that happens slowly and is correctable. If not corrected they slowly approach a cliff, a downward spiral if you will, from which there is no recovery. How about the "Blackberry" brand as an example, you see, usually no one can believe the company could ever lose its stardom, the brand is just too strong. Okay so, let's us a different example; Apple, one of the strongest brands in the world.

There was an interesting article in the San Jose Mercury News in Silicon Valley on November 1, 2013 titled; "Biz Break: iPad launch events just ain't what they used to be," by Jeremy C. Owens which spoke of lower turnouts, and ho-hum greetings by reporters. Okay so, why is this? Well, I have some theories on this and I am not an Apple-brand loyalist, so my comments are strictly business branding related and thus, more of outside the box looking in, here is what I think;

Some would say it's because they need a new spokesman like Jobs, sure that's some of it, but really Apple has failed to innovate. Longer battery life, skinnier devices, new colors, that is not innovation, that is incremental improvement and to PR it as innovation is BS, and everyone knows it, so they are not too enthralled to drop everything for every announcement anymore - enough of the hype - where are the holographic iPhones and iPads, they should be here by now - Apple is resting on its laurels - this is wrong for a company like that.

Interestingly enough, there was an article in Fiscal Times, replayed on MSN Online "Money" News titled; "14 big brands falling from grace - These names used to be among the leaders in their field. But it's easy to slide far and fast when things don't go right," by Jonathan Berr, but Apple was not listed amongst them, but I would submit to you that their brand has easily lost 20% or more of its watermark high in previous years. Also, they are losing a huge amount of market share as well, to just about every competitor, rather than innovate they simply have come out with new colors, and sleeker sizes. What about new technology?

You see, when I read the "Technology" page for news on Google, MSN, Yahoo, Reuters, New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, or other newspapers I see lots of talk about Apple, but is a set of new iPhone color schemes really technology? No, no it is not.

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