Experiencing marketing woes? Marketing for a small company can be a headache, so can you imagine the marketing that goes into a company as big as Apple? It’s a Herculean task and it’s not a job for everyone. The founder of Apple, the late Steve Jobs, was known for his direct and unconventional approaches to making products and selling them. He had picked Tim Cook as his successor. As Apple’s new top honcho, Cook had been expected to live up to a lot of Jobs’s legacy, but he’s always insisted that he’s not Jobs. So how does he grow and harvest Apple? Here are 5 insights on how he does it.
Best You Have
Prior to Jobs’ historic return in 1997, Apple had several products which were not doing well in the market, including a personal digital assistant, a games console, and even a camera among others. The company has since trimmed its product lines to focus on Macs, iPods, iPhones, and iPads. It’s not much, but these helped the company to grow into one of the most valuable in the world. What’s the secret? Cook told Bloomberg they “can only do a few things great.” It’s a basic truth: You can’t cover everything. So if you have several product offerings, see what works and focus your development and marketing on those.
Over the last decade, Apple pulled off several surprises with their innovative products. The iPod was introduced in 2001 followed by iTunes in 2003. Then came the iPhone in 2007 followed by the iPad at its heels in 2010. Before the release of these products, the rumor mills turned and fueled speculations, leading to news reports, blogs, and word-of-mouth social exchanges. Whether it’s intentional or not, hype built up until practically everyone got curious and wanted to get their hands on or just get a glimpse of these new products and not even the negative comments on Apple and its loyal users could turn the tide.
So, to stir curiosity and demand, keep the consumers and competitors guessing on the product. It’s like a wrapped gift under the Christmas tree that a kid just can’t wait to open. Always remember that wanting is more pleasing than having (that’s actually from Star Trek). That is the essence of desire and your marketing should ooze it.
Whenever you hire key marketing personnel for your company, get people with diverse backgrounds. By doing so, they may come up with innovative ideas by allowing them to take part in the creative process. Conflicting ideas may surface, but these are what fuel innovation. Jobs used to be very particular about what’s used in the marketing material for Apple and often looked down on others’ take on the matter. But it’s actually the discussions that result from the differing opinions that churn out the best ideas. Jobs liked the iPhone to come only in white, but someone else suggested that Apple also offer it in black. Now we definitely know that some people the black while some choose the white. Keep this saying in mind: Two heads (even three, or four, or more) are better than one.
Oops is Okay
Unexpected things may happen in your business, it’s a given. You’ve probably read about or even tried the new maps program of Apple which replaced Google’s. It’s a flop. So Cook, the man that he is, owed up to this mistake and publicly apologized.
You can’t claim to be perfect, because you aren’t. Mistakes can happen to everyone, even to a business like Apple that’s expected to deliver. It’s almost always unforeseen, but when it comes, be ready to say, “Oops, I made a mistake. I’m sorry. But I’m offering you something else that I’m sure will make you feel a lot better.” Now, doesn’t that make you want to stay? Own up to your error. That makes you more worthy of trust. Just don’t say, “Oops, I did it again!” That may make them run.