Apple has an amazing line of products, but for entrerpeneurs what might be even more interesting is how they go about advertising their products and selling it
Sue me, I’m an Apple fan. I’ve been one since I was gifted a tiny silver iPod mini – the one Borat famously dissed as being ‘for girls’. The iThings in my life since then have changed and so has their purpose. Its been a trusted music player – one that arranges all my music for me, my audio recorder for when I meet someone I have to get ‘on the record’, my stash of magazines and books when traveling, and my ‘office’ when I switch gears to work mode.
Technology is and has always meant to be about adding value to people’s lives; to help them do things in easier and efficient ways. Plugging into my first Walkman was exciting too but no company has quite brought lifestyle and technology together like the innovative American Apple Co. How? Just ask the millions of people who use their products for doing anything from checking on the weather to making HD movies. Apple’s software and hardware come together in a way that is so intuitive it puts a smile on users’ faces. As a result, the Apple team is laughing all the way to the bank, year after year.
For an entrepreneur, there is a lot to learn from Apple. Its not a fluke that the company, its products and its services are doing so well. There is method to this madness. Apple is not succesful just because their devices look cool. Serious techies would have dismissed it if it were only that as easily as they did the Windows 8’s missing menu tab. The key to Apple’s success is not just their understanding of how to bring together software and hardware, but their understanding of the people who use their various products. This audience varies from young children to the elderly. By observing human behaviour keenly and making their technology intuitive, Apple works very hard to make their products very easy to use. This understanding is key and a lesson in itself.
Each new product and servive Apple launches is preceded by a popular Keynote Speech from Apple HQ in Cupertino, California. The event is not your run of the mill tech product launch. Just last month, when Apple released its long awaited iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, an elated looking Al Gore was in the audience too. The enthusiasm on CEO Tim Cook and gang’s faces resembled that of a giddy startup on the brink of success. Superlatives rolled of their tongues like fanboys.
The way the show progressed is important to note. Mr Cook started by reminding the audience and the world how successful their last launch, the iPhone 5 had been. Even the facts and figures were presented in a way that made the audience laugh. Wrap your heads around that for a second. Talk then turned to a newly constructed, beautifully designed Apple store nearby, with Mr Cook describing how amazing their retail team was. He then described the iTunes music festival, a month-long festival that had exclusive performances by some of the world’s biggest artists – he then revealed that the shows were free and that it was broadcast live to more than a 100 countries. For Apple fans and the audience, it was apparent that all this was leading to something bigger. Build up like this is important if you want to draw considerable attention to your product and service and there’s no one better to learn from.
There was a reason they did not have Hollywood actors or leggy models holding up the products on stage. Instead it was the team that had worked its butts off who spoke about their work. As a result, the presentation was passionate, engaging and fun. By having everyday people – as everyday as engineer and managers who head Apple can be – talk about their work, the show helped connect an eager audience to its products. In a day and age where increasing number of things are impersonal and computer-aided, the personal touch counts.
When the Apple team talks about their work, they have a singular voice.
They choose their words carefully. Their sentences are punctuated by frequent mention of the most important aspect of their work–their loyal users. The latter were more than ubiquituous in Apple’s slides, images and video clips. It showed them engaging with the technology in everyday instances – in a dance class, on the bus, at work and with friends. This careful choice of words, images and videos in everything you put out there for your clients is important – it helps potential clients relate to you. Not just to the products, but to a company that seems to understand and care about them. By putting their clients first and making a sincere effort to understand their habits, Apple answers the whys of their existence. And this is why they win.
Jobs, The movie
To watch the iconic, late Steve Jobs come to life, watch the better-thanexpected Ashton Kutcher starring biopic ‘Jobs’.