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Apple and Oranges – Why Apple Doesn’t Need a Blog

15 Feb

Apple Inc. is the apple to many company's orange

Apple is an enigma.  They basically do the opposite of what other successful tech companies do and thrive – they shroud their new products in mystery rather than giving sneak-peeks of what’s to come; they don’t use focus groups for product research; they typically release their products in “generations” over  releasing brand new products; they don’t use their Facebook page; they barely use Twitter (a single account for the iBookstore app); they don’t advertise in digital media and they don’t blog.

I wanted to talk about Apple and blogs today, so here goes.  A blog can be very beneficial to a corporation yet corporations only account for 8% of the blogosphere as of 2011.  Between 2009 and 2010, the percentage of Fortune 500 companies that had corporate blogs only rose by 1% from 22% to 23%.  Based on these stats, Apple isn’t too odd for not having a blog.  Overall, blogs are an underused resource that can help a company in numerous ways:

  • Blogs increase a company’s exposure on search engines.
  • They help promote feedback from customers.
  • They give a company a human quality in an online world.
  • They increase the dissemination of controlled communication to maintain the brands message.
  • They enhance media and investor relations by giving them easier access to concise company news and information.
  • They help drive traffic to the company’s website.

Many of Apple’s direct competitors including Nokia, Motorola, Dell, Sony and HP have blogs.  But, does that mean Apple should have a blog?  Does Apple need help in the areas mentioned above?  Truthfully, no and no.

Sometimes a corporation doesn’t need a blog because they’re coving their bases just fine.  Apple doesn’t need extra exposure on search engines for example because 1) they receive a good amount of traffic from search engines already (15.8% of their visitors came from search engines) and 2) they receive even more traffic from the 750,000+ inbound links from other sites such as Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, eBay, LinkedIn, Twitter and Craigslist, all of which are high traffic sites which is a benefit for Apple.

Apple doesn’t need to seek feedback from its customers.  Steve Jobs always felt that the consumer needed to be told what they wanted and that if you did in fact ask them what they wanted and made it for them, they would want something else as soon as they got it anyways.  Even though Apple doesn’t seek customer feedback as a way to improve products, they still succeed in building and selling some of the most sought after electronics in the world.

The Apple subculture alone can “humanize” the Apple brand without the company even getting involved.  There are dozens of Apple fan sites and blogs out there that enable followers to be involved in the conversation about what Apple is and what it means to them, which is exactly what Apple would want them to do.  Apple is a lifestyle brand which means its values and meaning are manifest in everything an Apple fan thinks, does and says.  With so many people living and evangelizing the Apple lifestyle, there is no need for a blog to help humanize the brand.  The brand is already human; it created its own lifestyle.

Apple doesn’t need a blog to disseminate a controlled message or to enhance media and investor relations.  Their keynote addresses are famous for doing that and are awaited for and watched by hundreds of thousands of fans, media agencies and investors alike.  The keynote addresses are announced in advance and can be watched live.  They then are accessible for later viewing from Apples YouTube channel along with their current and past TV commercials which also act to disseminate the Apple message.

Regarding driving traffic to their website, Apple wouldn’t need a blog to help with that.  Apple.com is ranked as the 30th most visited site on the internet globally.  Nokia.com is ranked, 596th, Motorola.com is ranked 2,316th, Dell.com is ranked 261st, Sony.com is ranked 1,005th and HP.com is ranked 242nd.

A blog is a great way to help a corporation gain more web traffic, improve customer relations etc. but Apple has those things covered.  That doesn’t mean Apple fans wouldn’t follow their blog if they had one though.  Maybe Apple should have one just to appease the masses?

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4 Comments

Posted by on February 15, 2012 in New Media

 

4 responses to “Apple and Oranges – Why Apple Doesn’t Need a Blog

  1. Megan

    June 22, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    I cannot argue, of course, with Apple’s current success which they have achieved without any type of social media. I believe even their Youtube channel is auto generated no? I think that if they fully understood and embraced social media, there would not be much room for competition. If another company can ever reproduce (not impossible) what they do with the same quality and at the same time understands how to use social media to their advantage, Apple could have a serious competitor one day. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding their long term goals, but I think its naive to assume that any one company can be on top forever. Do you think there will ever be a time that social media will play a role in their market position or will they continue to be the exception to the rule?

     
    • Dain

      June 22, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      I just can’t see who would be able to pull off the same pairing of customer loyalty/advocacy and lack of social presence. Anyone who tries would seem forced almost. Essentially the product would have to have a cult following from the get go. It can be done though I guess.

       
  2. The Emerging Critic

    February 15, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Dain, another great article. Your reflection on Steve Jobs approach to marketing and innovation reminds me of a famous Henry Ford Quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

     
    • dainmcquarrie

      February 15, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      I like that quote. I agree with Ford and Jobs in many instances. But if those who think like that take in some quality market research, I think they will do even better. I tend to think the consumer knows a bit about what they would prefer to buy don’t you?

       

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