Case Study: Is Apple Really in Decline?

Case Study: Is Apple Really in Decline? image apple logo 300x225apple logoThough headlines of Apple’s decline might be premature, they certainly haven’t been helpful for the brand. In September 2012, Apple stocks were trading at a historic $702.10, yet just a few months later at the start of 2013, Apple’s stocks fell to $468.59. Part of what drove the decline were the negative headlines from major newsmakers such as:

  • The BBC
  • Business Insider
  • Forbes

A variety of news and technology thought leaders blasted Apple’s iPhone 5 launch as nothing more than a glorified iPhone 4. While the iPhone is known as the “phone that changed phones forever,” the iPhone 5 was seen as stagnation in Apple’s lineup. Since Apple prides itself on innovation and the latest in great technology, many were disappointed in the lack of groundbreaking features. Instead, the iPhone 5 only improved existing iPhone elements.

Why Headlines of Apple’s Decline are Premature

Though Apple’s stocks have hit a rough spot, it’s important to note that both the iPhone 5 and 4S outsold their biggest competitor – the Galaxy SIII – in the final quarter of 2012. Samsung’s Galaxy SIII sold 15.4 million units compared to 17.4 for the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 did even better with 27.4 million sales. Combined, the last two iterations of the iPhone outsold the Galaxy 29 to 1. So why all the negative headlines?

Simple: There’s a new hierarchy of information infrastructure on the internet. The best way to gain a reputation and build popularity is by having the thought leaders in the industry write good posts about you. This is why developing a good content strategy is so important. Unfortunately, Apple lost ground in the online information battle. Negative reviews found channels to express their opinions to the market. By losing control of the online mood and reputation agenda, Apple lost some control of its brand management and reputation.

What this Means for Small Business Owners

This is a reminder of what we’ve known all along. Content matters. Whether it’s content that you publish or a 3rd party review of your site or business, the content will affect your online reputation and image. A good content strategy allows you to be proactive in defining your brand’s reputation online. Whether they’re blog posts hosted on your site, guest posts, static content, social media, or something completely random, the content that is found online is what will ultimately define your brand.

Do you think Apple is in decline? How can you change the conversation for your brand?

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