"A Disconnected Jumble of Hollow Words Bouncing Along the Canyon Walls"

Talk about a disconnected jumble of hollow words, this article - filed under "Branding" - is genuinely careless in its writing and editing. A surprise coming from HBR.

First, this:

But the earnings report makes clear that intense loyalty to the iPhone– 87% loyalty, to be precise – is what really drives its success.

I'm not sure if the earnings report makes that clear, especially given Tim Cook's quote in Barrons (me):

I would point out that only a small fraction of the installed base has upgraded. I would also point out we had the highest number of customers new to iPhone last quarter than in any prior launch. The highest rate of Android switcher rates of any of the last three years. We see we are appealing to new customers, and people switching.

Then, there's this doozy:

Indeed, aside from a few television spots and billboards here and there, Apple pretty much ignores marketing and advertising.

A quick scan in Apple's most recent 10-K finds this:

The Company believes continual investment in research and development (“R&D”), marketing and advertising is critical to the development and sale of innovative products and technologies.

And this:

The growth in SG&A expense during 2014 compared to 2013 was primarily due to increased headcount and related expenses, including share-based compensation costs; higher spending on marketing, advertising and professional services;

Seems to me that Apple believes ongoing (and increasing) investment in marketing and advertising is critical to its success.

If that's considered ignoring, I'm not sure what to think when Apple starts paying attention!