In all the April Fool gags, most people have missed that April 1, 2006 marked the 30th anniversary of the founding of Apple Computer. Michael J. Miller took a jaunt down memory lane in his PC Magazine blog, after having covered Apple for its three decades in the computer media.
I’m sure we all have had some contact with one of the world’s iconic brands. The name itself reﬂects its founders’ desire for an easy-to-use, friendly computer, rather than something over-technical.
I still remember learning computing on Apple II Pluses and the advanced Apple IIe. The Apple IIc, the portable, was one of the best-looking computers around—showing that clever design for smaller computers did not begin at Apple with the iBook.
I’ve kept the original 1984 brochures for the Macintosh, plus a few for earlier machines. They truly reﬂected the Apple principle of humanizing technology. The Mac promised, ‘If you can point, you can use a Macintosh.’ Never mind the price was well beyond what I could afford as a teenager in the 1980s. A subtle rebranding saw the use of Apple’s version of the ITC Garamond typeface appear for the ﬁrst time, suggesting computers were now a part of everyday life. The word Mac began overtaking the word Apple when people referred to their computers. The word font began replacing the word typeface, thanks to the Mac. To this day, the 1984 Macintosh is what I visualize ﬁrst when someone mentions ‘Mac’.
There were dark times after that when Apple attempted to be a consumerist company, putting that ahead of its pioneering spirit. Such moves usually prove fatal to organizations in the long term. The Newton was a little too far ahead of its time as a PDA. But the iMac was just right for fashion-conscious consumers who wanted a basic computer in the late 1990s. And the iPod sub-brand probably beats the the Apple brand these days in terms of recognition.
Brand-wise, Apple has gone from a company that makes computers to one that comes up with category-busting technology. In fact, that category might not even exist at the time of the product’s launch. It appears Apple’s product developers look at people, not technology, ﬁrst.
The entrepreneurial spirit has been retained after 30 years, something that can be credited to Apple’s leadership and its commitment to its brand and culture. It’s in direct contrast to the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the brand was simply used to sell computers, and not unite the team.
If there’s anything marketing observers can take away from the 30th anniversary of Apple Computer, it’s the notion that being faithful to the brand, before the ﬁnances, of a company can be better for longevity and innovation.
Del.icio.us tags: Apple | brand | branding Posted by Jack Yan, 01:39
It's so neat to see you posting about the apple computers, about 10 years ago I worked for one of their branches here in nz and it's where I learned all I have about fixing computers and graphic design. I love apple macs, despite them being so expensive here they really are so easy to use. I miss them!
You are right about how pricey they are. It’s a shame as I have generally preferred them, too, though I have to say I don’t like OS X as much. Were you dealing with the Power Macs during your time there?
I worked there for just over a year so the ones I dealt with were colour classics, classics, LCII and LCII - it's going back a while that's for sure.
I remember them well—they were the benchmark in their day. By comparison, Windows 3·1 sucked.Post a Comment
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