Steve Jobs and Apple in general, never cease to amaze me. This week, Apple announced their latest product, the iPhone 4 and received, as always, millions of dollars worth of free publicity. I watched a live video of the iPhone launch event at the World Wide Developer’s Conference, and saw journalists (literally) cheering and shouting as Steve Jobs listed features of the phone.
Within minutes of Steve Jobs’ presentation, there were thousands of iPhone 4 news reports and blog posts. People were guessing how many millions would sell in the first year and how the new features would change the way people use phones. The coverage Apple received was something that other businesses and brands can only dream of.
Steve Jobs and Apple – It’s more than a brand
People who buy and use Apple products tend to be more than users – They tend to be advocates or ambassadors. If you DARE to mention something negative about Apple or any Apple product, in a blog post, article or on Twitter, for example, you will quickly get chastised by Apple users, who will quickly tell you that whatever you said was wrong. This kind of brand loyalty is gold dust. It’s not born from smoke and mirrors either, Apple make some amazing products, but they fuse their great products with equally good marketing and PR.
What Apple can teach small & medium sized businesses
Apple offer great quality: Your services or products need to be excellent quality, if you want people to rave about them. It’s hard work and really low leverage, to market average quality products or services. In fact, if all you have to offer the marketplace is a similar sounding service to your competitors, stop reading this and start looking for ways to massively improve the unique value of your offering.
Apple have a network of advocates: The Apple team has crafted a network of people, who proactively cover and recommend their products. I suggest you do the same! Start getting to know the bloggers, newsletter providers and networkers, who have access to your prospective clients and customers. When you have something interesting or newsworthy, share it with them. (This is a subject I will cover in future posts.) This is a great way to generate word of mouth publicity.
Apple remain relevant: Just as Apple have continued to evolve their design and product lines over the years, you should too. If your service has remained largely unchanged for a year or more, it’s time to check that it’s still relevant to the marketplace. We live in a time of great change. The most successful businesses know this and adapt their offering accordingly. If your competitors are still offering a stale set of services and you adapt your services to be more relevant, you give yourself a powerful advantage!
Steve Jobs speaks with passion: When I saw Steve Jobs take the stage, a year or so after a liver transplant, and then speak with such passion about the new iPhone, I was left with a feeling of awe. I hear from businesspeople all day, who are in great health and have 1% of Jobs’ drive and passion. Have something worth saying and say it like you mean it. If you are not clearly passionate about your business, products and services, no one else will be!
I would be interested to know what your thoughts are on the coverage Apple get. Equally, what are your thoughts on how small and medium sized businesses can learn from what much larger companies do? Let us know!
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