Tag Archives: Apple

Engagement the Steve Jobs Way

Carmine Gallo recently summarized 10 key takeaways from his book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs:  How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.  As I read them, I was struck by how well these guidelines apply to the development of engaging marketing messages.

  1. Plan in Analog
  2. For marketers, this is an endorsement of the simple tissue session.  Nothing separates big ideas from tactical one-offs faster than a stack of paper and a supply of Sharpies.

  3. Create a Twitter-Friendly Description
  4. Challenge yourself to clearly communicate your message in 140 characters.  The MacBook Air undoubtedly has numerous attributes, but Steve Jobs simply promised, “The world’s thinnest notebook.”

  5. Introduce the Antagonist
  6. Every good story needs a hero and a villain.  While your marketing campaign may never feature your villain as boldly as Mac does, a clear understanding of your antagonist is a powerful way to ensure your brand is positioned as the hero.

  7. Focus on Benefits
  8. Most brands use laundry lists of features to promote their product or service.  However, people are more likely to be motivated by benefits that address their problems.

  9. Stick to the Rule of Three
  10. Three is simply easier to remember than four, six, or eleven.  Plus, three has inherent drama; just ask any playwright or comedian.

  11. Sell Dreams, Not Products
  12. Most products are swiftly becoming commoditized.  Even truly revolutionary products are not likely to stay that way for long.  What can a marketer do?  Build emotional connections.  They last longer and even can transcend a misstep or two

  13. Create Visual Slides
  14. For marketers, this means looking beyond product photography.  Macs are beautifully designed, yet they don’t appear in the Mac vs. PC television campaign.  Instead, the personification of each brand establishes visual imagery far more powerful than what even the most beautiful product shots could have created.

  15. Make Numbers Meaningful
  16. Numbers often need context if you want people to truly understand them.  Communicating that it only takes one dollar a day to feed a starving child certainly puts a different perspective on the plea for a $365 annual donation.

  17. Use Zippy Words
  18. Adopt powerful language.  Ban the buzzwords.  Even create your own terminology.  Thanks to marketing, terms like scrubbing bubbles, ring around the collar and wassup are universally understood (and strongly associated with the brands that created them).

  19. Reveal a “Holy Smokes” Moment
  20. The creative brief might call it the net takeaway, the single most important idea, or the insight.  Call it whatever you want, just make sure that it is dramatic, motivating, and powerfully represented in your final creative product.

Steve Jobs’s final presentation tip is to practice – practice a lot.  For marketers this means to continually test, measure, evaluate, and optimize.  If not, our fate will be Einstein’s definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

— Pamela J. Alvord, EVP Chief Brand Strategist

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Once an iPhone Junkie- always an iPhone junkie

The new Apple iPhone
Image by Victor Svensson via Flickr

Last time I posted a blog entry to our site, I shared a dark secret: I’m an iPhone junkie. Nothing has changed that fact since then (if anything, my obsession has grown), but the news and PR nightmare over the release of the new iPhone 4 certainly gave reason to examine my loyalty to this product and the Apple brand.

As the new products began to hit the doorsteps of millions across the nation, I eagerly awaited the Facebook updates, news articles, e-mails, commercials, etc., that would surely have me boiling over with excitement at the thought of my future upgrade. “Apple has done it again,” I thought, “they’ve actually outdone themselves.” But less than a week after the release, complaints with the new version hit the streets like wildfire. Poor signal strength, discoloration on the screen, the glass scratches much easier than before, defects with the rear camera, and more. It seemed Apple had released a faulty product and disappointed the masses.

Or had they? At the same time the news focused on the higher profile errors of the iPhone 4 and the damage likely to be done to the Apple brand, I also began to see efforts to rally against the bad media and defend the brand and its product. Status updates spoke of pure obsession over the new iPhone 4 and having little or no problems at all. Tweets near and far called for a reality check– these issues could happen with any cell phone! Steve Jobs gave that same check to the nation when he commented, “We’re not perfect…phones aren’t perfect.” As a brand supporter and product enthusiast, I agree with Mr. Jobs. The iPhone is not perfect, but for me, the hundreds of things this device can do right get it pretty close. Opinions like these have slowly started to pop up in articles addressing the issue, as more and more iPhone junkies like me work to have our voices heard and remain devout loyalists to Apple.

Though the issues remain, and more are certain to develop with each new product, I foresee the strength of the brand to continue growing. Apple is loved, admired, and defended endlessly by so many junkies, myself included. Though I won’t deny a dropped call every so often is frustrating, or that having an application close out on me unexpectedly is annoying, at the least, I know I’ll eventually get over it. In the end, it’s worth it to me. It says something great of a brand’s reputation when a customer can take the good with the not so good and remain more than happy with the product. And that those customers go beyond contentment to actually rise up and profess their loyalties to the brand when the going gets tough says even more.

Keep it up, Apple. Now when can I expect the iPhone 5?

— Beth Madigan, Account Executive


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