To many, Apple is more than just a company – it’s an institution. I’m not a 100% Apple product consumer, but I’ve sipped some of the Kool-Aid. I’ve always admired the company for it’s innovative thinking, and finally took some time to think about some of the elements of the company that make it so successful:

Identify unmet needs

Apple has invented many of the most infamous industry-changing products over the last few decades – many of which satisfied a need among consumers that did not even exist yet. Case in point, the iPad. I once worked with someone who said that their strategy for success was finding a way to automate or eliminate the need for his job in order to get a better one. Either way, looking outside of the box means being a partner to your company and finding new ways for improvement and innovation.

Beat expectations

Apple products, like most products, have their faults; however, they consistently beat industry and analyst sales expectations. There’s nothing better you can do for your brand than to beat expectations.

Fix mistakes

As of late Apple has been a little slow to manage product controversy. The company is typically very good at making improvements in its product line to meet consumer demand and listen to consumer feedback – a good idea for everyone.

Be innovative

Apple = Innovation. They’re innovators and they’ve made billions. That’s not going to happen to everyone, of course, but being innovative in any context is going to benefit your performance and your brand.

Try new things

Take risks. Make sure you do your research and take calculated risks, but you want to be in the business of always thinking forward – no matter what your pace.