It doesn’t take more than a brief conversation with an Apple user to realise the relationship they have with the brand holds an emotional value. Because of how passionate Apple users can be, it is hard for one to picture a time when things weren’t such a bed of roses, but Apple did go through a rough patch during the so-called “Wilderness Years”, when Steve Jobs left the company (in 1985) and only returned to it over a decade later (in 1997).

His triumphant return was, for sure, what made Apple into the empire it is today, but he couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for how he applied Design Thinking to change how the company was operating, and how they created products and services.

At the beginning of this month, the use of design and its incorporation in Apple’s brand has shown its biggest success to date: Apple has become the first company to reach USD$1 trillion in market value, becoming the first company ever to do so.

Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, doesn’t think that the financial side of this is what matters most, in a recent interview to Fast Company he pondered: “Stock price is a result, not an achievement by itself. For me, it’s about products and people. Did we make the best product, and did we enrich people’s lives? If you’re doing both of those things–and obviously those things are incredibly connected because one leads to the other—then you have a good year.”

American design site Designorate has published Design Thinking case study called Innovation At Apple, that comprehensively breaks down all the design thinking steps Apple took to turn their failing company into the biggest company the world has ever known.

If you’d like to start an innovation journey in your company, you can check out our in-house course offering as well as download for free our Design Thinking toolkit by clicking here.

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