I contend that you can't be in an agency for half an hour in 2010 without hearing the name Apple being mentioned. They do so much right I suppose studying them is like studying Michelangeo or Davinci or Durer if you're an artist.
From design to marketing to advertising, time and again Apple sets the standard. But here's the rub. Apple remains an oxymoron--they are mainstream iconoclasts. So clients, when presented with thinking that is "Apple-like," shoo it away like you would a fart in a phone booth. "Yeah, that's Apple," they seem to say, "but we live in the real world."
In other words, they've found a way to dismiss Apple-ness. Apple can do what they do, they seem to say (as if it were magic to be respectful of consumer needs) but we're _________ and we can't do things that way.
I often think about companies that work right. How is it that every supermarket in New York sucks but Trader Joe's can make waiting online an experience.
Here's the scoop. People don't emulate Apple because it demands commitment. What Apple does isn't really so hard. What's hard is actually doing it because it involves being honest with yourself.