Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rethinking Apple's culture.

Today a judge found that Apple conspired to raise the price of eBooks in collusion with the leading publishers.

Brands are often an extension of a company's culture.  (Think Harley, Oakley, Wal-Mart, etc)  That is why I believe Apple's challenge won't be solved through advertising.  The company must rethink its culture – be the company that democratizes great things instead of being elitist and evil.  (Wasn't that the moral of Apple's epic 1984 spot?)  Culture shapes values and behavior, which in turn shapes a brand's persona.

We fell in love with Apple because of its values, and because it always seemed evident that company's actions (product, pricing, promotion, etc) were in sync with its values.  In real life, when a person's words and actions are consistent, we call that credibility.  So too in brand marketing.  (Remember:  what's true in life is true in marketing.)

My greatest hope is that Tim Cook will invest more time getting Apple's culture right again.  Because we know how inspiring Apple can be when its values and behaviors are in sync.