While watching the Grammy’s the other week, Apple’s HomePod ads caught my eye. Featuring upbeat iconic music, white lettering on a black background, and a few simple shots of the new Apple HomePod, the ads left me excited and curious about this unreleased product. This was my favorite of the four commercials:
With Amazon and Google already dominating the smart speaker space, I began to wonder how Apple is expected to do. The first thing that caught my eye was the price: Amazon Echo and Google Home are both under $200, while the Apple Homepod is starting at $349… That’s almost double the price. I automatically laughed and thought to myself “Ha, Apple is a little late to the scene, and sure isn’t entering at a competitive price.” But isn’t this exactly what Apple did with the iPod, iPhone, and MacBook? PC’s and Android’s are way more affordable, have the same, if not more, features than Apple’s products, but Apple has won the US market.
The secret to Apple’s success is their strong brand identity. Forbe’s top 10 brands of 2016 reported Apple as number 1 at a whopping $154.1 million, while number 2 was Google at $82.5 million. Additionally, Apple is the US’s first $700 billion company (cue the jaw drop). Apple’s branding has always centered around emotions. That excited emotion I felt when I watched the HomePod commercial? Yep, that was all Apple. That feeling when you open up a brand new iPhone X on Christmas morning? Pure excitement. Apple realizes that customers remember and purchase products and services that make them feel good, which is exactly what they evoke in their branding strategies.
While I probably will not be dropping $349 to replace my current Google Home, I am interested to see if Apple’s entrance into the smart speaker space is as successful as the rest of their products.