Today, I’ll be discussing the second topic in a series about how financial services organizations can emulate Apple, which boasts high customer loyalty and continually impressive sales. While Apple’s retail locations and customer support strategy are major factors in its success, I would argue that its product offering is its true differentiating factor.
The design, the operating system and the way the products seamlessly integrate with each other have all been created with the user in mind. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously (some might say notoriously) strove for simple, sleek design that strictly controlled the user experience. He also insisted that Apple software could only be run on Apple products and all mobile applications for the iOS must be sold in the organization’s App Store, as noted in a profile in The New Yorker. This is an attitude that continues in Jobs’ absence, most recently reiterated by Jonathan Ive, the company’s senior vice president of industrial design.
In a recent speech at the British Embassy’s Creative Summit, Ive discussed the attitude that Apple has toward the products it creates and distributes. “We are really pleased with our revenues but our goal isn’t to make money,” he said, as quoted by Wired magazine. “It sounds a little flippant, but it’s the truth. Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products. If we are successful people will like them and if we are operationally competent, we will make money.”
I think that kind of goal is worth adopting in financial services as well. Rather than building your financial product and service offering with the highest revenue in mind, think about which options would be most suitable and useful for your ideal client base. Whether sitting in initial meetings with prospects or trying to provide value-added service to existing clients, how do you determine the products that would be best for them? Do you choose based on the quality of the products, or the ones that will provide a greater return for your firm? Seek to deliver products and service that assure a high-quality user experience and improve your clients’ lives, and you may enjoy the same level of brand loyalty and success as Apple.