Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Apple iPhone 5 sales – reaping the results of 35 years of investment in its brand

By Mark Nunan, Managing Client Advisor, Global Reviews

The staff at Global Reviews love their technology.

On the announcement of the new iPhone 5, an office contest was sparked up to submit your estimate as to how many iPhone5’s would be sold in the first week.

In quick order, a spare whiteboard was scrubbed clean, and staff queued up to record their guestimate (in millions of units of course).

There was the low-ball club – those who decided that iPhone 5 was not going to have an incendiary results (by Apple standards at least) with estimates ranging from 5.5 million units to 8 million units. Then we had a cluster of true Apple believers, with estimates ranging from 10-11 million.

It is gob-smacking to think that any company can move such an enormous quantity of product in a week.

Two amazing facets of Apple stand out for me on the back of their iPhone 5 launch: their incredulous supply chain distribution results and their hyper-polished brand.

The supply chain wizardry of Tim Cook and his team is astounding. Cook came to Apple with fine distribution pedigree, having fine tuned his skills at Compaq and IBM. His feats at Apple have rewritten the laws of global supply chain distribution.

Yet Apple’s record breaking iPhone sales results are carried by its greatest strength – its dominant brand. Since Apple was founded in 1976, it has meticulously cultivated, curated, maintained and redefined its brand with incredible alacrity. It is this accumulated investment in clear brand positioning, fierce brand promotion and protection that has been the platform of their superstar company status and performance.

The lesson here is: invest time and care into your brand, protect the integrity of your brand, and think about the possibilities of expanding the business models that can sit underneath your brand’s canopy. If you do these things, you will harvest amazing results in time.

My punt on iPhone 5 sales was 7.5 million. With 5 million sales in 3 days (iPhone 5 First Weekend Sales Top Five Million), I should have had more faith in their brand.


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