Join Eddie Davila for an in-depth discussion in this video Planning for the future, part of Business Foundations.
- Today we know Apple as a versatile innovator of handheld devices: iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Electronics that changed the way we live. Machines that are both effective and efficient to use, but also elegant in their design. Before the iPod though, Apple was a personal computer company. They didn't invent the personal computer, but compared to conventional PCs, Apple's computers were stylish, and many consumers felt they were so much easier to use.
Their brand was defined by words like elegant design, user friendly, computing excellence, and then one day this personal computer company decided to start selling portable music players. We all know how well the story ends for Apple, but when Apple made this shift to handheld portable devices, it was seen as a big risk, but Apple had a strong brand. Yes, a brand built on personal computers, but also a brand defined by style and user friendliness.
Plus, Apple had developed such a loyal following that their customer base was eager to see if Apple could make music easier to enjoy anywhere. As your company manages its present state, and considers its future, it's helpful to study a brand like Apple. Apple understands that its present offerings, computers, portable devices, iTunes, and their Apple stores, are what connects them to consumers today. Excellence in product quality, service, accessibility, and overall value, they're vital to maintaining a strong brand.
In turn, all of the effort expended to keep customers happy today, keeps Apple in contact with their customers. This helps Apple understand its own weaknesses and also informs Apple on changes in their customer base. The brand stays strong today and the information can be used to develop new products and services for tomorrow. What's next for Apple? Who knows? But their ability to make machines and sell media in fun and convenient ways is opening up the possibility for Apple to sell nearly anything we find vital to our lives.
If you love Apple, would you consider an Apple TV, An Apple car, how about Apple appliances for your kitchen? Apple used their reputation of elegant design, user friendliness, and an intense brand loyalty to reach out into new product categories and services. What can your company use to expand its portfolio of products and services? Think about the words that customers use to define your company.
How could you improve your image by making changes to your design, your materials, your employees, your website? Based on your image, what would your loyal customers trust your company to make for them? Any good long term relationship requires us to be aware of the needs of our partner and also requires that we effectively, communicate with our partner. Focusing only on our company and not the customer, or listening to the customer without committing to change, each could result in a broken relationship.
As we manage customer data, and as we develop our company's brand, remember, we're working to strengthen and grow a relationship.
He also reviews the basics of the people side of business: managing employees and developing customer relationships. Last, he covers the financial and information management aspects of business and provides a basic explanation of economics, so that you can understand the relationship of your business to the bigger picture.
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- Understanding business goals, stakeholders, and resources
- Developing a product or service
- Selling a product or service
- Raising capital
- Managing employees
- Managing customer data
- Understanding finances
- Managing resources
- Understanding economics