Advertising Age magazine has named Apple its Marketer of the Year in a special report published this week.
“The genius of Apple is that its brand has come to embody a lifestyle,” wrote Alice Z. Cuneo, who said that while Apple remains an underdog in the computer business, the company “resonates with consumers across generations and international boundaries.”
“From a seemingly innate understanding of how to woo users with design, through a stand-out retail strategy to its ability to reach people with grassroots marketing techniques, Apple has proved itself a great marketer,” said Cuneo.
Cuneo cited sources who attribute Apple’s marketing acumen to “the energy vortex that is Mr. Jobs,” an “incredibly hands-on” leader who figures out “what customers are going to want tomorrow.”
Advertising Age also attributes Apple as providing “a lifeline for the music business” with a holistic solution comprising iTunes, the iTunes Music Store, and the iPod. The company’s strategy in the commercial music space garnered kudos from Interscope Geffen A&M Records executive Steve Berman, who said, “Steve Jobs put the music business on the right track.”
The magazine also notes that Apple has partnered with other companies to raise the profile of its own projects, citing Apple’s summertime “Pods Unite” promotion with Volkswagen and its recently announced efforts with Pepsi-Cola North America that will kick off with February’s Super Bowl.
Advertising Age said that Steve Jobs’ focus and Apple’s ability to make and market great products does have an Achilles’ heel, however — Jobs’ own well-documented management style, that purportedly leaves little room for dissenting views.