Originally Posted by cwt1nospam
Why do pundits always think that Apple's brand is built by secrecy or marketing? Brands cannot be built by either; they're built by your customers. Your brand either earns a good reputation or it doesn't. Dell, Gateway, Acer, etc. are all known for producing cheap computers, and that's because that is what they do! Apple is known for what it does: producing a quality operating system that is well integrated into quality hardware. That's what separates them from the rest. Not secrecy, not marketing. Reality.
Eh, there was a time in the 90s when Apple was also producing some really high quality gear but marketing it awfully. While the products have probably improved relative to the competition since then, the branding has improved even more. I remember being so frustrated that you *never* saw an Apple ad on TV, that you *never* had a clear, straightforward, memorable marketing effort from Apple back in those days. That has changed and I think it has had a lot to do with the branding.
Branding is, by definition, dependent on marketing. Having a great product helps, but without great marketing, you're not going to build a great brand.