I recently attended a seminar where a room full of company directors discussed the importance of innovation in business and economic growth. I found it intriguing that Apple was consistently used as an example in innovation. Why should this be intriguing? Apple is one of the leading innovators in commercial history right! I whole heartedly agree. However let’s consider the natural flow of …
Invention – innovation – imitation
What I found most intriguing during the above discussion, was that many were referring to Apple as more of an inventor than an innovator. Of the fact Apple is an impressive innovator there is no question. The examples are numerous. However have Apple invented as much as is often perceived by people?
So if Apple is the innovation master, appreciated by the billions of dollars customers give them and complemented by the likes of Samsung’s imitation of their products, what has been their single biggest and most successful innovation? What has seen them take concepts others have invented and take them to never before seen heights of success?
In my mind Apple’s success is directly attributable to one simple thing. Excellence in experience execution. Apple is the zen master of customer experience. They execute experience to levels most consider unachievable or uneconomical and Apple customers genuinely LOVE them for it.
Enter an Apple retail store and the experience is like no other. Buy an Apple product, take it home and the experience of taking it out of the box alone speaks for itself. Learn how to use it without the need for the instruction manual that it doesn’t come with. Shop online from a library bigger than big and easily searched without a PhD. Download software, app’s and content and experience it automatically making itself available on all of your Apple devices effortlessly. Have an issue with your device, that back up it created for you restores all your content. Have a hardware issue and your friendly reseller has already been made aware and has arranged a replacement without you having to ask.
So if in the near future, technologies like 3D printing (see post; The consumerism of manufacturing; 3D Printing), create the possibility for imitation products to become as simple as ‘copy and paste’, how will organisations win customer mindshare? What will make people come back and spend their money with you every time? Historically this has proven to be a complex question, however evidence arguably presents the simplest of answers. The thing that will make people come back every time is the experience you and your people give them. Apple is the pinnacle of evidence and example of this. Excellence in experience execution has made it the most valuable company of all time – ever. Experience execution, we all want it and we’re willing to pay for it. The evidence is real and this is a good thing for the future consumer.