Apple continues to lead the pack of brand leaders
Data published in Apple’s 2014 annual report and another report recently published by retail consultancy eMarketer points to the ongoing dominance of the Apple Retail Store model. With the passing of Steve Jobs many commentators have been watching for signs of the demise of the worlds most valuable and innovative brand, but in the short-to-mid term at least it seems to be business as usual.
Apple stores continue to be the most profitable retail property in the world with sales of US$4798.82 per square foot, beating-out all comers including the big box electronic retailers and top-end fashion brands. With more than a combined one million visitors each day to Apple’s 450 stores world wide spending US$50.6 million per store last year, the combined draw cards of Apple’s brand, product, customer engagement and ‘genius bar’ service offer show no sign of flagging.
The performance of Apple retail reflects the trend we’re seeing in increasing class divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ – that is the brands that have the valued consumer relationships and those who have not. Those brands built upon highly engaged customer relationships continue to be able to leverage that loyalty through consistent and increasing share of wallet as well as enthusiastic and endless word of mouth and ever more important ‘word of mouse’.
Wherever you stand in relation to Apple product, you’ve got to take your hat off the the brand and the business that sits behind it.