By Hannah Whittenly, a freelance writer from Sacramento, California While Apple does turn out high quality products, the real reason people have an unquestioning faith in everything Apple creates is because the company has done an exemplary job with branding. Here are 5 lessons you can take away from Apple’s branding success: Spend money to make money Although it is always prudent to save money when running a business, it is also wise to spend money to grow a business. One of the most important places to spend this money 5 lessons Apple taught us about BRANDING is through advertising and promotional campaigns. Apple is notorious for its advertising and has increased its advertising spending over the years. In fact, this is a primary reason why Apple computers are so popular today. Numerous people buy Apple products just because Apple made them. For instance, when the iPad first came out, it became national news that people all around the country were forming lines outside Apple stores before the doors were open – and this hype is still true today. Understand your audience The more you understand your target audience, the more you can give them exactly what they want, and if you don’t have what they want, you can always manufacture a product to fill their needs. Apple was very clear on what they wanted to communicate and to whom they were sending their marketing messages. They knew the type of person who was most likely to buy their products. Avoid imitation Apple was successful because it used a variety of ideas to separate itself from the competition. Apple computers don’t even look like other computers. While it may appear to be clever to piggyback on a hot trend that someone has identified and created products for, this is not a good idea in the long-run. Instead, differentiation is the key to branding success. If you differentiate enough, then you will be the only source for the product.The more original your ideas however, the more others will try to copy it. So, it’s important to file for a trademark to protect your ideas, inventions, solutions, and designs as you brand. Stay within cultural norms Although Apple did re-invent the computer, they did it within accepted ideas of what a computer can do and how it works. In other words, although they were ingenious with their designs and innovation, they kept it simple enough to stay within the cultural norms about computers. Hire creative people Much of Apple’s success story is their people, and while branding strategies may have done a lot to build their reputation, it’s the creative people at Apple, from the software engineers to the marketers, who are ultimately responsible for its success. So, if you want to build a legendary business, hire creative people who love innovation. A company is only as good as the people who work for them.