Recently, Apple became the first US (and the World’s) first company to cross USD 2 trillion in valuation powered by the relentless rise in its stock price. The price has more than doubled since February 2020. This is after it hit a low of around USD 224 per equity share over the fear of COVID-19 impact. This is before its 4:1 split.
COVID-19 has not yet subsided; the recovery seems long-drawn and with the volatile political situation, one would expect the stock price to fall. However, Apple has been on fire and gained further momentum after the announcement of the share split.
No other company has possibly performed as well as Apple has done. Even companies like 3M which is critical to supplying N95 masks globally or Pharma companies like Pfizer could not see such a meteoric rise.
One of the factors that are being considered responsible for the surge is the irrational investments by the neo-investors. These investors have benefited immensely from the stimulus money provided by the US government. With the spending options being limited, the general population is turning towards investing options. Further, trading apps like Robinhood in the US are providing easy investment options.
We cannot attribute the rise in Apple’s stock just to the neo-investing populace and the funds available from the Federal stimulus package. Yet another critical factor is Apple is an iconic brand and its image as an innovative company has contributed significantly to it being the focus of investments.
Apple is an inspirational brand. A lot of people aspire to own Apple’s products. The below picture may represent the aspirations of millions who still want to acquire Apple products one day.
Apple means many things to many people. Apple is the best learning device (iPad Magic keyboard) for a high school going kid; it is the best music device for someone, it is the laptop they swear on.
Steve Jobs mastered the art of innovation by releasing amazing designs for its product line including the MacBook and iPhone. Combined with amazing marketing and messaging to its customers, the company has seen phenomenal success. The legions of fans who used to stand in line bearing severe cold for several hours before every new Apple release is a testimony to its brand equity. I thought this phenomenon does not exist anymore but was surprised to see a long crowd in front of an Apple store in San Francisco when Airpods was launched. Apple Event and Apple Developers conference are perfectly choreographed events for showcasing Apple products. Even they are great examples of mastery of design and communication.
Apple seems to be a perfect case study of Peter Drucker’s most famous observation: “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs”.
Atmakur is a senior executive with passion for marketing and digital transformation.