My experience with Apple and the importance of brand values
During the last couple of years I've had the opportunity to work with Apple, one of the best and most influential brands in the world. This experience have allowed me to understand in depth and put in to practice some of the knowledge I gained in life, learning by doing and watching how is done by the best in the market. This has certainly been a great experience and a contribution to my life and I hope I've been a contribution for them too, because this has been my only aim.
My admiration for this brand began a while ago when I was a teenager and my Dad bought us our first computer, an Apple Mac 2, back in 1989. I still remember being mesmerised and captivated by the technology and the design of this machine, everything about it was completely original, authentic, honest, sort of "hand made" technology. The grey plastic box, the small glossy screen, the dark green letters, the floppy disks, the keyboard and the freaking mouse, everything was like a window to the future... And the branding, the logo, the concept, how something so simple, accesible and universal like an Apple could be used for a hi-tech company and make so much sense... Now thinking in retrospective I can clearly see the influence of this brand in my career choice.
I even remember an anecdote when we just got the Mac and a very smart friend of mine (a nerdy sort of guy) came to visit, so we start playing with it and somehow we made the computer talk with a robotic voice. We were all amazed and it was a table topic for like a month... a nice memory, sweet old days.
Until of course, Windows appeared and we had to change to Microsoft, because Mac was not compatible with the world anymore, (Steveles). It was a shame because for some reason I really loved the brand and its concept.
I had to wait 10 years to use another Mac computer again. It was my first job after Uni, an internship as radio producer and they gave me this blue Imac G3 to write scripts and create some content. I have great memories from that job and my Mac. Everything about it was cooler, friendlier, easier and for the first time I could connect to the internet and navigate the world wide web and travel to anywhere in the world. I was free to "think different" and I felt in love again with Apple.
Like many people, one of my youth dreams was to work with Apple one day, and that admiration grew through the years while reading about Steve Jobs and following the evolution of the brand. During the last twenty years I have treasured beautiful memories using Apple products and more than once I have discovered myself dreaming awake creating adds for Apple, I'd loved to have been one of those guys! ... But "life is like a box of chocolates" and after a couple of learning curves, uppercuts and a lucky strike I found myself in my forties, living in Australia, working for Apple, enriching people's life's. To be honest, I wouldn't been able to do it without technology and Apple was a great support in my journey. Getting out of my confort zone in Chile and migrate to Australia looking for my own destiny, leaving behind my family, my friends and the place I used to call home. And afterall, this valuable experience have given me the opportunity to fulfil one of my dreams and to put into practice all the principles and values that I have learned not just with my studies but in life, and I am very grateful for that.
Steve Jobs said once, “Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.” The core values are the fundamentals of any organisation's beliefs, philosophies, principles and code of ethics for doing business. The core values build the brand and the brand builds the company. In Apple, not just the Marketing strategy is focused on the core values of the brand, but the product development, the promotion, the distribution, the customer service and all other functions of the company has been intensively focus on these values.
Apple Values are the qualities, customs, standards, and principles that the company believes will help it and its employees succeed. They are the basis for what we do and how we do it. Taken together, they identify Apple as a unique company.
These are some of the values that govern our business conduct, (an oldie but a goldie):
Empathy for Customers/Users: Apple offers superior products that fill real needs and provide lasting value. They deal fairly with competitors and meet customers and vendors more than halfway. They are genuinely interested in solving customer problems, and will not compromise their ethics or integrity in the name of profit.
Aggressiveness/Achievement: Apple set aggressive goals and drive themselves hard to achieve them. They recognise that their products have the power to change the way people work and live. It is an adventure, and we are in it together.
Positive Social Contribution: Apple build products that extend human capability, freeing people from drudgery and helping them achieve more than they could alone. But beyond that, they expect to make this world a better place to live. As a corporate citizen, Apple aims to be an economic, intellectual, and social asset in communities where they operate.
Innovation/Vision: Apple built their brand on innovation, providing products that were new and needed. Apple accept the risks inherent in following their vision, and work to develop leadership products that command the profit margins they strive for.
Individual Performance: Apple expect individual commitment and performance above the standard for the industry. Only thus will they make the profits that permit to seek other corporate objectives. Each employee can and must make a difference. In the final analysis, individuals determine the character and strength of Apple.
Team Spirit: Teamwork is essential to Apple's success, for the job is too big to be done by one person. Individuals are encouraged to interact with all levels of management, sharing ideas and suggestions to improve Apple's effectiveness and quality of life. It takes all of us to win. We support each other and share the victories and rewards together. We are enthusiastic about what we do.
Quality/Excellence: Apple care about what they do. They build into every product a level of quality, performance, and value that will earn the respect and loyalty of their customers. At Apple, quality management is critical to continued success.
Individual Reward.: Apple recognise each person's contribution to Apple's success, and we share the financial rewards that flow from high performance. Apple recognise also that rewards must be psychological as well as financial, and they strive for an atmosphere where each individual can share the adventure and excitement of working at Apple.
Good Management: The attitudes and behaviours of managers toward their people are of primary importance. Employees should be able to trust the motives and integrity of their supervisors. It is the responsibility of management to create a productive environment where Apple Values flourish.
These are the values and principles that make Apple a great company to work with, and also a huge family of like minded people, who believe that we are not just selling great products, but we are also changing the world for the better and we are truly enriching people's lives.