Apple Shows The Way

by Holland-Mark | October 25, 2010

Our approach to making brands imperative starts with “Relevance of Offering,” which is all about getting the product right. It’s never been more important to do so. A single unhappy customer with a Twitter account might dissuade hundreds from buying your product, just as a happy one on Facebook can have the reverse effect.

We see this re-focusing on product excellence at the core of more great brands these days, including the brand that most often emerges in the “Brand Envy” questionnaire we use to kick off our One Simple Thing™ workshops: Apple.

Here’s a recent video they produced for the latest MacBook Air. As you watch it, try to imagine something like this coming out of Dell, or any of the PC brands:

In our methodology, “Relevance of Offering” sets the stage for “Clarity of Message,” our One Simple Thing™ (or OST) process. Here’s the language we use to explain the need for OST to clients:

We live in a complex world.  Each of us is confronted daily with a fire hose of facts, claims, opinions and noise, by choice or not, at work and at home. The onslaught is relentless. Some of it is relevant, much of it is not, and a vast majority is beyond our ability to grasp or remember.

In our attempt to manage this complexity we subconsciously look for ways to distill each of the things (brands, products, people) we interact with down to a single, defining attribute. Not as the whole story but as a sort of “meta-tag” for our own mental search engine — a way to easily manage and categorize our association with that thing, whatever it is, over time.

Holland-Mark calls the result of that distillation a brand’s One Simple Thing™ or “OST.” It is the attribute of any entity that is most relevant and motivating to the target market, distinct from the competition, and true to the capability of the entity.

Here’s what The Maestro, Steve Jobs himself, had to say about the secret to Apple’s marketing success:

“For me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And, we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us, no company is. And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.”

If you’re a brand that envies what Apple is doing these days, shoot me a note.  We might be able to help you do more of what they seem to be doing exactly right.

Enhanced by Zemanta