Apple, arguably the most recognisable global tech brand, has a distinguished record of delivering innovative products and services. The iPod revolutionised how we consumed music. The iPhone ushered in the smartphone era. The iPad introduced tablets as a concept, and iTunes is considered the first successful streaming service. How is the company able to maintain this high level of innovation?
Ingraining Innovation in the Corporate Culture
Apple’s corporate structure and culture are deliberately designed to foster innovation. Employees, especially those involved in product development, are encouraged to think outside the box when coming up with new ideas. An open-door policy allows those lower in the corporate ladder to directly approach decision-makers with their ideas.
Supply Chain Control
Innovation means having unique products and services. This is difficult to manage while outsourcing parts from third-party suppliers that your competitors can access. Apple develops most of its vital product components in-house. This includes their revolutionary processor microchips, cameras and high-definition graphics components. Apple even controls its retail spaces to best present their products.
Understanding Their Customer Needs
Apple does not just understand its customer needs, it anticipates them with unerring accuracy. Some of their signature products such as the iWatch, the iPod and the iPad had no existing established alternatives. Apple invests billions in market research to know the type of products their customers need. This is why the brand has a loyal following.
Hiring the Right People
Apple is renowned for the out-of-the-box approach it takes during recruitment. It’s not just about academic qualifications, technical expertise or industry experience. Apple tries to ensure that all of its employees have the capacity for innovation. This is concerning product development, but the company is also renowned for innovation in other corporate aspects such as marketing and human resource management. Having innovative people ensures that the company’s innovation can be sustained on a long-term basis.