Technology

Is This the End of the Apple Brand As We Know It?

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(Forbes) – Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats has gotten many people wondering if the Apple brand is as strong as it once was.  Some see the surprising move as a significant departure from the strategy that has built Apple into the one of the greatest brands of all time and they consider it a proof point of the decline of the Apple brand cachet.

On the surface, the development does seem like a radical change.  For the first time ever, Apple will operate under another brand name.  No other Apple offering carries a name other than Apple and the decision to use of Beats name suggests to some that the company views it as the stronger, or at least, cooler brand name today.

And in the past Apple’s corporate strategy has favored a build vs. buy growth strategy, which has given the Apple brand name strong associations with invention and originality.  At $3BB, the Beats acquisition is so large (the company’s next biggest buy was NeXT Computer back in 1997 for just over $400 million) and so publicly promoted (media has been saturated with the news, in part as a result of Apple’s own PR machine) that it seems to be repositioning Apple as a more typical technology brand – one that is less based on unique creations and more based simply on new capabilities.

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