Apple offers a "state of mind" that embodies "stylish performance and a few moments of enjoyment," claims branding consultants Kline & Company.

"The Apple state of mind is a mental image of the brand that consumers have based on experiences with the company and its products. Apple connects with consumers on an emotional level, much like Nike and Starbucks do. These brands aren't just sneakers and coffee; they are the experience of stylish performance and a few moments of enjoyment," the report says.

Kline & Co see Apple's success in establishing its brand as a living example of how strong branding can drive growth: "Strong brands turn need into desire," the report says, adding, "with strong brands, customers don't just want to buy from you – they want to have a relationship with you.

Looking at iPod sales, the branding consultants state: "Apple's sales of its iPod were up 140 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2003, giving it a 50 per cent share of the digital music player market. How did the company do it? With a typical Apple design that couples cool style with high technology, and with terrific marketing, featuring an ad campaign that Marian Salzman of ad agency Euro RSCG said: "is about an Apple state of mind," Kline & Co said.