Why was Apple voted just recently the #1 Global Brand by 2000 marketing professionals? Well we all know about the cool products. Customer satisfaction and strong financial results don't just depend on cool products. Apple learned the hard way that to truly succeed you have to excel in logistics, bold new channel choices (retail-Apple Store), and the "wow- that's cool" factor.
My recent Apple story is a demonstration they are truly firing on all cylinders.
Dec 16th I ordered an iPod mini for my son from the Apple web site. The first wow: they offered free engraving and free shipping. Making a mass produced product personal builds an even stronger bond between customer and brand.
Dec 19th Nathan's iPod shipped from...Shanghai, China via FedEx
Dec 23d iPod arrives in NH. The tracking shows a trip through the Phillipines, Anchorage, Indianapolis, and Boston. A huge wow, I have told friends the story over and over again.
My take: as Xmas drew near there wasn't enough time to ship into distribution for last orders so they were ready with direct from production line to my door in a week...from China. Truly remarkable logistics and coordination via the web. I am sure these last orders were the surprise in Apple's results and very profitable. And, by partnering with FedEx they compressed time to my door dramatically to capture all the remaining sales momentum in the key season.
Finally, when we took a look at the mini fine print on the clip we noted the very clever "Designed in California USA, Assembled in China", a succinct snapshot of current reality.