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Apple's Marketing Funnel: It's A Hipster Vortex Of Cuteness And Subliminal

Post by
Sonu Kalwar
Apple's Marketing Funnel: It's A Hipster Vortex Of Cuteness And Subliminal

When it comes to creating a successful brand, Apple is an undoubted leader. With a company valuation of 3 trillion dollars and sales of more than 2.2 billion iPhones, Apple has become a household name in the tech world.

They have a knack for product marketing that's second to none. They create worldwide anticipation for their new releases—just look at the buzz around the #Apple #event #iPhone14! Apple's September 7 event was a success, with the company announcing its newest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 14 series.

The event caused the hashtag #AppleEvent to reach over 25 million impressions on Youtube and 1 million interactions within almost 2 days. This is a huge leap from last year's event, which saw only 20 million impressions in 11 months.

However, it was not just the number of impressions that made this an event to remember; it was also the quality of the content being shared by users on Twitter. While most brands are only interested in how many people are seeing their tweets or how many clicks they're getting on their website links, Apple is constantly striving for something more meaningful: engagement with their customers. And that's exactly what they got!

But how do they keep it up? What's their secret sauce or Apple sauce?

Before we begin, a quick back story on Apple. Apple's history is one of the most interesting in the tech world. It's a story of three people who came together to create one of the most successful companies in the world: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

The first Apple computer was created in 1976, a time when computers were still rare and expensive. It was sold through mail-order ads placed in magazines like Byte and Popular Electronics, which meant that only people who were already interested in computers had access to them.

The company didn't do well at first—their first commercial flopped miserably—but things started looking up when the Apple II was released in 1977. This version of the computer was much more user-friendly than its predecessor, and sales quickly took off. By 1980, Apple had sold 76000 Macs—and it was time for an IPO!

By this point, however, Jobs had left Apple over creative differences with Wozniak (who remained on board). He went on to found NeXT and Pixar before returning successfully to Apple as CEO a few years later.

Fast forward to 2022

In 2022, Apple reported revenue of $83 billion vs. $82.81 billion estimated, up 2% year-over-year. This increase was largely due to the success of its iPhone sales, which increased by 18 percent along with Apple watch. 

However, Apple also introduced a new generation of iPhones: the XR and XS series. The XS series was specifically designed for high-end users who wanted more power than what was offered by cheaper models like the XR.

Apple also reported strong growth in its services division which includes iTunes sales, iCloud storage plans and Apple Music subscriptions. The company announced plans to invest $500 million into original content for its streaming service Apple Music in an effort to compete with Netflix and Hulu which are both growing at fast rates despite being smaller companies compared to Apple’s size (market cap is over $1 trillion dollars).

Apple Value Proposition In A Nutshell

Apple's value proposition is based on three pillars:

1. Premium high-end products (with a focus on privacy): Apple is known for producing high-quality, luxury products that are meant to last. They also have a focus on privacy, which means they don't collect a lot of data about you or sell it to third parties.

2. Interconnected ecosystem: Apple has created an entire ecosystem where everything works together seamlessly and intuitively. From your iPhone to your Mac computer, and even your Apple Watch, there's always something new to try out with every purchase you make from them.

3. Access to iPhone/iPad user base: Apple users tend to be loyalists who stick with the brand for years at a time—sometimes decades! They're excited by new technologies and often feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves through their membership in the "Apple family."

  • Value proposition 1: Think differently
  • Value proposition 2: Tech that works
  • Value proposition 2: Your privacy is safe with us

Apple Marketing Funnel

Apple's marketing funnel is a simple but effective strategy that helps the company reach a wide audience, keep them interested, and then convert them into loyal customers.


Apple's top of the funnel is all about awareness through introduction and seduction.

Seduction is a powerful tool for Apple because it allows them to make users aware of their products without having to engage in the complicated process of explaining the benefits that make their product so great. Instead, they can simply show you an image of a smiling person holding up their product and ask you "Don't you want this?"

If you do, then you'll probably be convinced by the end of this section of the funnel that Apple has something very valuable to offer you. If not, well… they've got plenty more options coming up!

Pre-launch Influence

Apple is a master of the art of marketing.

Just look at what they do with their product launches. They don’t just throw a product out there, slap on a price tag, and watch the money roll in. That would be far too easy! No, Apple gets expert bloggers and thought leaders on board way before the product launch. They get everyone talking about the upcoming event for months — way before there’s even a demo for anyone to see. The catch is — no one talks about what the product does. Instead, they talk about what it might do.

Apple throws a bone to the influencers without revealing too much: “What if it could do this? What if it could do that? Wouldn’t that be amazing?” And then they wait for them to start talking amongst themselves.

Apple knows how to create curiosity. Apple is known to keep the media and fans at bay till the very last minute. The company creates so much hype for their new products that you can't help but be intrigued by what they're going to announce (or not announce). And then when Tim Cook walks onto the stage, he casts a spell over everyone in attendance and makes them feel like they've just been transported into their own personal heaven.

Product Launch Day

Visual Storytelling

Apple is the master of creating a certain mood for their audience. They can do this by playing with colors, music, and light. When they want to make you feel happy, they play upbeat music and turn on the lights. 

When they want to make you feel relaxed, they play slow-moving music and turn off the lights. These changes in atmosphere are designed to give you a certain feeling about Apple's product—and that feeling gets ingrained into your memory.

When Apple wants to create a certain impression of its brand culture, it uses a technique called "memory palace" to do so. By placing particular scenes throughout a space—such as placing an iPod on a table next to someone who is listening to it—you will remember that scene when you see an iPod sold by Apple later on in life. This technique is used very often in marketing campaigns because it creates synergy between consumers' memories and their purchases.

Setting up moods & perceptions in the Apple launch events


Apple's new product launch event is the perfect example of how to frame your audience's perceptions and buy decisions. And their presentation was no exception. From the moment you heard the word "Hello," you knew this was going to be a different kind of event.

They used phrases like "experiences that enrich people's lives" and "unique and powerful ways our hardware and software are designed to work together" to describe the product. 

Apple has a long history of making their customers feel special by framing them as part of something bigger than themselves—like being part of a community of people who love technology and innovation as much as they do. This kind of language makes us feel like we're part of something bigger than just buying an iPhone—we're part of a movement!

Environmental Framing

The Apple launch event is a time-honored tradition. Each year, Apple marketers use their marketing skills to create an atmosphere that will make you feel like you're part of the family: warm and friendly, with a side of sunny days and warm breezes.

The weather and light have a tremendous importance in setting a person’s mood and Apple marketers know that. They choose locations that are bright and warm, because they know that those conditions will elicit positive emotions from their audience.

Anytime you get ready for an important event—like a wedding or a job interview—you want to be in the best frame of mind possible. You want everyone around you to think you're calm, cool, collected, ready for anything. And it's not just about what other people think of you—it's also about how YOU feel about yourself!

That's why the Apple launch event is such an important opportunity for marketers: it gives them the chance to create an atmosphere of positivity and success for their loyal customers.

Visual Framing

Apple is known for its bright, colourful product launches. Their visuals are always filled with vibrant colours, which translates as a fresh, new and vivid experience. This is why people love to watch Apple events: they're colorful, they're fun and they always bring something new and exciting to the table.

Apple's use of colour is an important part of their brand because it gives them a unique personality that helps them stand out from the crowd.

Music & Sounds

Sound is a powerful tool because it can help us recall memories, learn new information, and even feel emotions. Apple knows this, which is why they use sound effects to create an immersive experience that makes you feel like you're there.

When people hear Apple's sound effects during their product launches, they feel as though they're in the room with Tim Cook and his team as they unveil their latest innovations. The sound effects help create an immersive experience that makes it feel like you're there with them, even if you aren't.

Songs used:

  • 'Dancing In The Shadows (feat. Clementine Douglas)
  • 'There You Go' - Billy Lemos
  • 'Luv Like' - Nia Archives
  • 'Watch Me Now (feat. Koda & VAAAL)' - The Crystal Method
  • 'On the Verge (Safari Riot Remix)' - Skott and more

User Generated Content

The Shot On iPhone campaign was originally created as a UGC campaign, and it was meant to highlight the high-quality photos that could be taken on an iPhone. 

In 2019, Apple launched an app called "Shot on iPhone" which allowed users to upload their own photos taken with an iPhone and share them with other users around the world. The app was designed to showcase the versatility of the camera on iPhone models like 8 Plus or XS Max by allowing users to edit their photos before sharing them through social media channels like Instagram or Facebook (or both!).

But over time, the quality of these photos became such a hallmark of Apple's brand that they were no longer just a part of an ad campaign; they became synonymous with the brand itself.

Social Media Presence

When you think of Apple, what do you think of? New, innovative products? The sleek design of their devices? Their use of social media? If you're like me, it's probably a combination of all three. But while they are known for their products, it's also true that they don’t have a pretty solid social media presence.

Apple's approach to social media is one that I can only describe as "calculated." They don't follow trends or try to keep up with the Joneses—they just do their thing, and do it well. They've got a consistent tone across all platforms and channels, which makes it easy for the consumer to recognize and trust them.

It's because of this consistency that I think Apple has been able to command such loyalty from its base, and why it continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the tech world.

Apple on Facebook

Apple doesn't sell on Facebook—it just tells stories. That's because Apple's marketing strategy is based on the idea that people don't want to be sold to so much as they want to be inspired. And when you're selling a product like the Apple Watch, which is all about encouraging people to get up and move around, it makes sense that your marketing would focus on how the product helps people reach their goals instead of just telling them what it does.

For example, Apple has a campaign called "Give the Gift of Go with Apple Watch." It's not about selling people watches; it's about selling them an adventure—and making sure they have everything they need along the way.

Apple on Twitter

Apple loves Twitter. It's their go-to for everything from advertising their launch events and keynote each fall to partnering with Twitter to create a "Retweet for updates from @Apple." That last move was brilliant, because it helped Apple build up a base of followers who are now invested in the company's success. And that's what social media is all about—getting people invested in your brand.

Apple on Instagram

Apple is a master of Instagram marketing. The company has a team of people who are constantly on the lookout for user-generated content to post, and then they repost it with little or no editing. They also do a lot of original photography and video, but they aren’t afraid to use other people’s work either

The key to Apple's success on Instagram is that they're not afraid to be playful and funny! They have a great sense of humor about themselves and their brand, which makes them more relatable to their audience.

It's also clear that they know what makes great content: it has to be authentic, engaging, and (most importantly) shareable. And that's exactly what they do—they give users an opportunity to share their photos with the world by challenging them with fun word puzzles or interesting topics for discussion.

Apple on Youtube 

Apple's Youtube channel is no exception. The company has always been known for their minimalistic approach to advertising. They've never used big budget ads with actors and actresses. Instead, they focus on telling stories that are simple but impactful. 

They use 360° Experience videos that are stunning and captivating way for Apple to share immersive stories, places and experiences with their viewers.

For example, Apple recently released a video showing off its new campus in Cupertino, California. The video was shot using drone-based cameras which allowed users to take a virtual tour of the campus from any angle. Similarly, last year during WWDC keynote event Apple released a video titled "Welcome Home" where users could explore what it's like inside the new campus using virtual reality goggles (VR). These videos are just two examples of how Apple uses technology to create immersive experiences for consumers that they can enjoy anywhere they go!

Apple spending on Google Adwords

Apple is famously averse to advertising, but it turns out the company doesn't mind spending a lot of money on search ads. According to analysis by Semrush, the tech giant ranked among the top 15 Fortune 100 companies that pay the most to appear in search ads.

The figures are based on an analysis of more than 200 million ads on Google, Yahoo and Bing over a period of 12 months. They show that Apple spent $64.8 million on Google AdWords alone in 2020. 

Apple Co-branding partnerships

Apple & Master Cards

Apple's co-branding partnerships with credit card companies have proven to be beneficial for both parties. Credit card companies get to keep their customers and remain in competition with other companies, while Apple gets to keep its customers happy by providing them with a new way to pay.

Apple & Nike

When Apple and Nike first teamed up, their goal was to bring music from Apple to Nike customers' workouts using the power of technology: Nike+iPod created fitness trackers, sneakers, and clothing that tracked activity while connecting people to their tunes.

The partnership has since grown into a global phenomenon. Nowadays, you'll see both companies' logos on everything from headphones to running shoes to gym bags. And the collaboration continues: The two companies recently announced that they were teaming up again for "Nike + Apple Watch," which will feature built-in GPS tracking in a special version of the Apple Watch Series 4.


Pre-order Landing page - Design

Apple products are like jewels. They're displayed on a pedestal, so that you can marvel at them and know that they are special. Apple have mastered the art of making things easy to find by taking a clear, minimalist approach—and it's not by accident. Apple's product page is, in a word, beautiful.

Top Navigation

When you visit the product page, they have made it easier to find stuff on top navigation. Discarding unnecessary things and making the dashboard as clean as possible is what Apple does best. Their copy is short and sweet. They don't use words that are hard to understand—they use words that are easy to understand. They also use bullet points instead of paragraphs, so you can quickly skim through what they have to say.

Hero section - First 3 are vertical sections

The first thing you notice is the gorgeous image of the iPhone 14 Pro: it's crisp, clear, and eye-catching. As you scroll down the page, you see that Apple has used layout to their advantage: the top three slides are laid out identically.  This is a visual hierarchy, where the important elements are laid out vertically—which makes sense because we read left to right. 

For example, observe how the product title “Pro.Beyond’, tag line “From $41.62/mo. for 24 mo. or $999 before trade‑in1 or subtitle “Iphone 14 Pro”, call to action ("pre-order"), and image are all above or below each other.

Copywriting - the beauty & science behind it

Apple is one sexy company. I mean, look at their landing pages. They all share a common theme: one big idea behind the product. Just look at it:

 "Pro. Beyond." - Apple Iphone 14 pro

"Wonderfull." - Iphone 14 & Iphone 14 plus

“Adventure Awaits” - Apple watch

“Ipad Air. Light. Bright. Full of might” - Ipad

“Macbook Air. Don’t take it lightly” - Macbook

The Apple copywriters are like a band. They're not afraid to try something new, and they never take themselves too seriously. They use puns and popular culture references, as well as rhythm, to make their marketing campaigns memorable and fun to read. They all have that same kind of sensual, direct approach to communicating the idea behind their products—and they do it well.

Product Landing page

Above the fold

Headline: Apple's headline "Pre-order iPhone 14 Pro" is short and on point. It tells you exactly what you need to do: pre-order the new iPhone 14 Pro. There's no need for any kind of filler or fluff, which makes for a much more efficient headline.

Sub-heading: Apple's sub-heading "From $999 or $41.62/mo.per month for 24 mo.months before trade‑in" is clear and concise. You know exactly what you're getting, and how much it will cost you. Apple makes the value proposition concrete by making the numbers so specific: you'll know exactly how much it will cost you to lease your new computer for 24 months after you trade in your old one—and that's only if you pay for the full 24 months!

Hero image: Apple is known for its sleek, simple design. Not only does the company's packaging and products look great, but their hero images are some of the best in the business. The hero image for the Iphone 14 Pro is no exception. It's just as sleek and simple as you'd expect from Apple.

Promotional offer: Apple is known for its unique marketing strategies. One of the most interesting is the way they offer special carrier deals to customers who trade in their old phones. For example, if you trade in your old phone and buy a new iPhone 14 pro, Apple will give you $1000 credit on your next bill. They also have other options available depending on what kind of phone you're trading in. This makes sense from Apple's perspective—they're able to offer more affordable phones because they're getting rid of their old inventory—but it also makes sense from the consumer's point of view: if they have an old phone lying around that they don't use anymore and don't want cluttering up their space, why not get something back?

Easy comparison: Apple's marketing strategy is to make sure that you are always aware of the options available to you. In fact, it's so good at this that it makes it easy to compare currently available Apple products. For example, the latest Apple 14 Pro compares well with its sibling, the Apple 14 Pro Max. Customers can easily see the differences between these two devices and make an informed choice and free of confusion.

Benefits: Apple's new Iphone 14 Pro has a lot of slick features that make it a no-brainer for anyone who wants the latest and greatest tech. But one feature in particular is drawing attention: the Apple Card. With this card, you'll get 3% cash back on all your purchases. The card also comes with a nifty feature called "Apple Pay." This allows you to make purchases by simply holding your phone up to any checkout screen and tapping your thumbprint. It's super easy!

And if you're worried about security, don't be—the Apple Card uses the same state-of-the-art technology as the company's other products, so your data is safe


When it comes to keeping customers happy and loyal, Apple has always been at the top of its game. And that's not just because of the sleek design of their products—it's also about how well they treat their customers.

According to a recent survey from SellCell, 92% of iPhone users plan to stick with Apple when they next upgrade. That's an amazing number: 92%! And it makes sense: Apple offers outstanding customer support in the form of Apple Care and the Genius Bar. Plus, the seamless integration of different Apple products into the entire Apple ecosystem—from iPhones to Macs to Apple watch—means that there are virtually no barriers between you and your data, or your friends and family members.

Apple knows how important it is to keep customers happy, so they've built an entire ecosystem around customer satisfaction. Their commitment to quality is evident in every aspect of their business model—from hardware design to software development

Apple Support

Apple has built a reputation as one of the most innovative companies in the world, and that's not just because of their products. Apple's customer retention strategies are also top-notch. Apple's customer retention strategy is based on two things: education and convenience. Apple has always prided itself on its ability to educate its customers so that they can use their devices at their fullest potential, and it's a philosophy that extends beyond just the tech world.

The company has its own mobile app and a dedicated page for the customer support. They also launched an official Apple Support YouTube channel in 2018 with over 100+ videos highlighting little tips and tricks for the Apple products. One video shows how to use FaceTime Live Photos as your phone's default ringtone, while another teaches viewers how to make an animated GIF from any video they've recorded on their phone. 

These educational videos offer real value to your audience that they can apply to their everyday lives.

Apple Trade In

Apple's trade-in program is pretty amazing. It's easy to get started, and the process is straightforward. First, you search for your device using the model number or serial number (if you know it). Then you enter your zip code and email address. You'll receive an email with instructions on how to ship your device to Apple, where they will evaluate its condition and value. 

If it meets their criteria, they'll send you a prepaid shipping label so that you can send it back to them and they'll give you credit toward your next purchase—or they'll give you an Apple gift card that can be used anytime.

If your device doesn't meet their criteria, they'll recycle it for free! This is a win-win for everyone involved: The planet gets a bit of help, and Apple makes sure that no matter what happens to your old device—even if it's completely unusable—they'll find a way to turn it into something good for both people and planet alike.

Apple gift cards

Apple offers gift cards to their customers to retain their loyal customers. The idea behind this strategy is to offer a gift card that can be used by the customer for the purchase of goods and services from the Apple Store, the Apple Store app,, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Books, and other Apple properties.


Word of mouth

Apple is the most talked about brand in the world. Apple is everywhere. It's on the news, it's in your conversations, and it's in the air you breathe. You know what I'm talking about: wherever you go out to a cafe or coffee shop, you seem to be surrounded by people who are all talking about their iPhones—and judging everyone who isn't using an iPhone.

If you're not an Apple user yourself, this can seem like a pretty exclusionary vibe at times.

Apple card promotion

Apple Card is a digital wallet for your iPhone and Apple Watch. The app allows you to make purchases, pay bills, and track your spending. Now, if you sign up for the card and make your first purchase with it, you'll also get $75 in bonus cash. The bonus comes in the form of Daily Cash, which is available every day at noon to spend on anything.

The referral program is open to both existing Apple Card holders and new customers who have never had an Apple Card before—but if you're already signed up for the card, you can refer a friend or family member right from the app!

Insights to take from Apple Marketing Strategy

Focus on value—not price

Apple has been able to market their products as more valuable than other options by focusing on the user experience. They are known for creating intuitive interfaces and making devices that are easy to use. By focusing on creating superior products that are easy to use, they have been able to market themselves as a luxury brand without having to charge exorbitant prices.

Create an experience that drives attention 

With technology, you can create a unique and memorable experience for your customers. Apple does this by integrating all senses into their product designs—from the way they look and sound to how they feel in your hand or on your wrist—and even how it smells when you open the box. It's all about creating a memorable experience that will drive repeat business, not just one-time sales.

Build your strong community

Apple knows that a strong community is essential to the growth of their brand. The company has built a loyal following by engaging with their followers through social media, events and other platforms. 

If you notice their advertising they connect with their audience perfectly. In the ad below it began with a voiceover narration that said, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.” Have we had these feelings in our lives, haven’t we?

But how can you do it?

Here are some tips on how you can build your own strong community:

  • Engage with your audience. Respond to comments, share photos and videos from fans who use your products, and let them know you're listening!
  • Hold contests and sweepstakes (think: free stuff!) for people who participate in the conversation or engage with your brand online.
  • Be transparent about when new products will be released so customers can plan their purchases accordingly; this helps build anticipation around new products and gives them something to look forward to!

Modern Minimalism 

Apple has a very minimalist aesthetic, using a lot of white space and clean lines. Apple uses a lot of black and white, as well as negative space. The company's products are often portrayed in their natural state: wood grain or aluminum, for example. This style can be seen on their website through their product photography and video ads where you see the product being used naturally by consumers. In contrast to this minimalism is when Apple chooses to use color; it’s done sparingly with bright pops of red and green that add meaning behind each decision made by the consumer – whether it’s purchasing an iPhone or buying one from another competitor (like Samsung).

The company also utilizes bold imagery such as geometric shapes or images of animals instead of people in order to tell stories about themselves without having to rely solely on words alone (which tends not be effective at all times).

Appeal to emotion

Apple has a long history of using emotional marketing to persuade consumers to buy their products. For example, one of Apple's most successful advertisements was "Think Different" by TBWA\Chiat\Day. The ad features photos of famous personalities such as Muhammad Ali and John Lennon and quotes them saying things like "I'm not the smartest person in the world," "Don't be afraid to fail," and “You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them."

The main reason why this advertisement was so effective is because it taps into our emotions. We identify with these famous people who struggled with challenges in life but overcame them to become successful. The ad makes us feel inspired by these individuals' stories, which makes us want to buy an Apple computer so we too can be successful in life!

Master your target markets

It is important to know your audience and what they want, because Apple is able to understand their target markets. This approach will help the company focus its efforts on reaching these individuals instead of spreading itself too thin by trying to target a wide range of demographics.

Apple has done a superb job at targeting these key groups, which include college students and professionals in their 20s and 30s. This can be illustrated by looking at some statistics from the U.S., where more than 50 percent of those who bought an iPhone this past year were between 18 and 34 years old (this figure includes both men and women). In addition, nearly two-thirds were college graduates with higher incomes than average Americans ($29k per year for males; $26k per year for females).

While it's difficult for any entrepreneur or business owner to know exactly what their customers want before they even start selling anything—especially when you're considering creating an entirely new product category like smartphones—there are ways that we can make better educated guesses about how people perceive us based upon demographics such as gender or age bracket (the latter being especially useful).

Finally Think Different

Apple has always been a brand that has thought differently. They've been able to transform an industry with their revolutionary product offerings, like the iPhone and iPad. Their marketing strategy has followed suit by being innovative and unique.

One of the things they did in the 1980s was to create a television commercial that showed how much easier it was to use a Mac than a PC, even though it wasn't true. This was called "1984," and it's still one of the most iconic ads ever produced.

Another thing they did was to create a website for their new product, the iPod Nano. The site was designed so that you could only visit it once per day, and its design imitated an airport departure board. You had to click on different options before you could see what else was available on their site—and this made people want to return again and again!

It's a wrap

Now that you've read through the entire Apple marketing funnel, I hope you've found it to be as insightful and engaging as I did.

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