As much as digital marketers will tell you that reaching consumers, business or otherwise these days, is all about the “conversation” and the “engagement”, there are number of companies and brands out there there that simply transcend this notion. And the engine that powers this transcendence is Ideas, mostly thunk up by real advertising people, who understand the new world, but have also mastered the old world.
At the forefront of the transcendence, for literally the last three decades is a company called Apple. Unless you have been living in a bat cave in Borneo for the past 30 years, I don’t have to explain to you what Apple is. But I will explain to you, and very clearly so you can really appreciate it, what I believe makes them the transcendent company they are and have been since virtually day one.
1. Apple has never been afraid to tell people that what makes them different is what makes them better. Anyone who has migrated from a PC to a Mac is astonished at the elegant simplicity of how they work, how fast they are and how easy they are to learn to work with.
2. Apple has always been led by vision, not pragmatism. Apple created their market based on offering people something that looked, felt and performed like a more creative tool. And this was all the vision of Apple founder Steve Jobs, who is widely thought of as the man who got people to actually love technology.
3. Apple is s not afraid to sell the soft benefit (love), over the hard benefit (function). They are contrarians in the tech world, believing that if you got the form right and combined it with simple functionality, a good part of the world would beat a path to your door. In other words, they were zigging when everyone else was zagging.
4. Apple has never been the ‘flavour of the month’. Apple never really focused on creating an expansive product line. Instead they concentrated on making a few very good products that people would adopt and adapt to their purposes.
5 Apple has never been afraid to go head to head with the big bad PC world. This was powered again by their belief that they were simply better in relevant feature for feature comparisons. And frankly they were.
6. Apple has changed the way people thought about both computers and computing. The technology they built into their computers and later their tablets and smart phones, made their products so easy to use that they became, for the people in their market, genuine objects of desire. Now that’s an achievement.
7. Apple has always believed that even a single stunning innovation could trump any number of added extras. When they released products and systems, they were good to go, and this gave them the highly desirable reputation or reliability. The PC the PC world, which was constantly releasing glitchy systems, really had no answer for this.
8. Apple pioneered the concept of the smartphone, despite the fact that the Blackberry was already out there. This is an amazing feat of marketing in and of itself. And they did this, simply by being true to their own brand, genuinely understanding what their users were looking for and giving it to them.
9. Apple has always worked hard at creating the highest level of industrial art to house their technology. If you go to a big store like Staples and look at all the PCs, laptops and tablets on display there, and take a look at an MacBook Air or Pro or Imac or iPad you’ll see exactly what I mean. PC technology looks very ugly by comparison.
10. Apple’s advertising and promotion was always, and I repeat, always right for the product, the market situation and the times. A lot of advertising critics argue that Apple’s advertising and promotion has had its ups and downs, but these people, I’m sad to say, were too busy judging execution and not strategy. Apple’s advertising does different things at different times. When the iPad came out, the advertising was designed more to educate and demonstrate. When they noticed a slump in PC sales and the difficulties people were having with Windows (I think it was Vista) they did the brilliant side by side comparison campaign, which completely repositioned the competition and dragged thousands of fence sitters over into the Apple yard. Today, they are leveraging the the governing principle of social media,,,,which is building relationships, by promoting just how much people love their Macs. Brilliant again.
This link will take you to the latest MacBook commercial to hit the market…again, its simply designed to get across one thing, how much people love their MacBook.
Hearts and minds, people. One invariably leads to the other and nobody has soldered that connection like Apple. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzQh6wDb2oE
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