Apple, one of the most renowned, powerful and popular brands of today has always defied use of content marketing.

This may be surprising to hear. Content marketing is one of the biggest marketing trends over the last couple of years. And Apple is one of the world’s biggest and most famous brands.

Content Marketing Interest Over Time

Interest in “content marketing” as a search term, via Google Trends

So why does Apple not do content?

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Apple’s lack of content is deliberate. To suggest that a business creating such innovative, world-class products and spending millions on its marketing efforts isn’t aware of one the latest successful marketing trends would be absurd.

Although we can only speculate the rationale behind Apple’s strategy, there are several likely explanations for it:

Apple is huge

Apple is a market leader. It speaks and the world listens. It knows that it doesn’t have to encourage journalists, tech bloggers and the general public to talk and write about it – they will anyway. The hype around this brand over the last few years is simply off the scale, and it is exactly for this reason that they don’t need content.

Of course this could all change over the next few years. But for now, Apple can get away without content marketing as it already has the attention it needs.

Sadly for pretty much every other brand in the world though, this is not the case. Content can give your brand and business visibility and credibility, and build your reputation as a thought-leader and authority in whatever industry you operate.

Apple is so visual

Apple’s promotional images and videos are of amazing quality. And of course, the sleek, intuitive, design of the products themselves, and the brand’s simplistically modern style goes without saying.

For Apple, such design speaks for itself. It’s a very visual brand. So not a lot of copy is required when it comes to promoting it, and gaining customer attention and loyalty.

Again, this cannot be said for most businesses though. You are unlikely to have products and design that are as innovative and stylish and streamlined as Apple’s. Which is why in most cases you need words to tell your story.

Hence the need for content marketing arises.

Apple has its fan club

Many of Apple’s customers aren’t just loyal to the brand – they’re devotees. At the most recent Apple launch of the iPhone 5S/5C, fans queued for days around the globe to get their hands on the products first.

This kind of brand loyalty is unique, and incredibly hard to match. These people effectively act as brand ambassadors – spreading the words and promoting the Apple brand and products amongst friends (and strangers) on and offline. And because of this, Apple doesn’t need to do the talking. Its consumers create and share the content for them.

Of course, the danger of any kind of consumer-generated publicity is that you can’t control what people say. For now this is fine for Apple, but it may not be forever. Content marketing gives you the chance to express your own voice and develop your brand’s identity if you don’t have people waving your flag like Apple do.

Apple is arrogant and conceited

I don’t mean this is a bad way. The fact of the matter is, Apple knows it has a huge following and is a market leader. It knows its brand and its products are great.

As such, it doesn’t want or need to talk about its customers and their pain points. Or developments in the tech industry. As far as Apple is concerned, it is the tech industry.

Having this kind of identity when it comes to branding and marketing means that creating content doesn’t add to the brand you are building. In fact, it almost goes against it. Providing articles, podcasts, inforgraphics etc which are helpful, informative and non-promotional in nature just doesn’t fit. These are not qualities that the Apple brand wants to emanate.

Content marketing is about humanizing your brand – but Apple doesn’t want to be humanized. It wants to be the gargantuan, impressive tech giant which fills people will awe and wonder.

Aside from Apple, how many brands do you know that aim for this kind of brand identity, and fulfil it? Probably not many. Even most large corporate brands are taking action to try and humanize and personalize their consumer experience. And it’s likely your brand doesn’t want this kind of identity either.

Apple doesn’t aim to be useful. It aims to be desirable.

The role of content marketing is to provide useful, relevant and interesting information in whatever form to help engage customers and address their needs. It’s not advertising, and it’s not a sales pitch. It’s not going “WE’RE SO GREAT” and leaving it at that. But that is kind of how Apple’s marketing makes you feel.

Apple’s overlying message isn’t about playing a helpful and useful role in customer’s lives – although of course their products do that. It is about creating a sense of desirability. People choose Apple out of a want, not a need.

There is so much potential content that Apple could create on the life-changing effect its products have on people around the globe. But it doesn’t.

It is of course possible for a brand to be useful and desirable. And aiming for both these qualities can be effective. But for most businesses, being seen as useful, helpful, trustworthy, and honest is the more important factor. All the things content marketing can help achieve.

But are they missing a trick?

Perhaps so. Many organisations are embracing content, along with a new way of engaging with customers that is a lot more personal and genuinely communicative. And this, it seems, is the future.

There may come a time when Apple may need content as part of its marketing strategy. When its golden era is over – or possibly before – they might have to have a rethink in terms of positioning and identity. In the future I am certain Apple could find a way to make content marketing a part of its branding and ideals. But for now, it seems they are successful without. And given their current position as tech giant supreme, I don’t think it’s time to change tack just yet.