Is Apple Spreading Its Brand Too Thin? (L.E.K. Executive Insights)

Brands convey meanings to target customers, and Apple’s brand is the world’s most valuable. That’s why two of its recent moves are so fascinating. With the soon-to-be-launched Apple Watch Edition collection, Apple has created its first true luxury fashion product. At the same time, its IBM Mobile First for iOS partnership represents its first real push into enterprise IT from the CIO down.

From a strategic perspective, this is remarkable. But from a marketing perspective, it is unprecedented. The luxury fashion consumer and the CIO could not be more different audiences, and require very different messages to persuade them to spend comparatively enormous amounts. Other companies faced with this dilemma use entirely different brands to do so. Apple is attempting to use the same brand with both.

Does the Apple brand have the strength and malleability to convey the right associations to each audience? Or has Apple, in this instance, lost Steve Jobs’ legendary ability to focus? Is Apple spreading its brand too thin?

My L.E.K. colleagues Rob Haslehurst, Brett Baptist, and I explored this further in an Executive Insights article on lek.com. Here’s the full article (online PDF): Is Apple Spreading Its Brand Too Thin?

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