I've run over five dozen brand positioning workshops and have never left a session without the brand Apple being mentioned at least once. Usually, it's something aspirational about "being more like Apple," and I cringe.This article in Inc. talks about why this brand (not company) is valued at $205B...no, it's not just about Apple's track record for innovative products, it's about "the feels."
The positive feelings that customers have toward Apple seriously outweigh any negative feelings in a monumental way. This doesn't mean everyone loves Apple, in fact, so many people don't, but the admirable brand equity is possible because as a brand Apple is always thinking about that customer experience. Every experience and brand interaction is carefully designed to delight the customer.
While I tend to roll my eyes when anyone says they "want to be more like Apple," I get it. This is something every brand can do if they focus on it. The question though is not "how can you be more like Apple," but rather, how are you unlocking emotional value with your customers each and every time? Do you know what that emotional value is? Now, when I can discover that with my clients, then I light up!
It's about a feeling. Apple has always generated strong feelings from its fans. In fact, that's been one of its greatest assets. I often say that your brand is how people feel about your company. If that's true, think of the value of a brand as the net positive feeling expressed in terms of dollars. In Apple's case, that's a lot of positive feelings. Sure, not everyone likes Apple. In fact, there are plenty of people who are adamantly anti-Apple. There are people who will never use an iPhone, or a Mac, or an Apple Watch. Some of them have pretty strong feelings about it and are more than willing to tell you about it. But, at least according to Forbes, the positive feelings that customers have towards Apple seriously outweigh any negative feelings by a net factor of 200 billion. That's a lot.