28 Nov 2016

3 Lessons By Steve Jobs That Every Marketer Must Know

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Almost 20 years ago (on September 23, 1997 to be exact), Steve Jobs, wearing shorts, conducted an internal meeting with Apple executives and managers to give one of the greatest marketing speeches of all time. He revealed a marketing strategy that is still very relevant today, echoed by thought leaders like Simon Sinek. The event took place just a few weeks after Jobs’ return to Apple as CEO to revive the company which was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Perhaps you’re a new business owner and you want to learn how to position your brand effectively in the market place? Perhaps you’re already a few years into your business and you’re still finding it quite challenging to connect with your ideal target audience?Or maybe you’re just curious about how you can apply the marketing strategies of the biggest brands in the world?

If so, read on…

The purpose of Jobs’ 1997 speech was to inform his audience about where Apple is headed and what their first brand marketing campaign, after several years, will look like.

Jobs once again collaborated with TBWA/Chiat/Day, the advertising agency behind the massive success of the 1984 Superbowl commercial that introduced the Macintosh to the world (which took place a year before Jobs was forced out of Apple).

Before Jobs revealed the new marketing campaign, he mentioned the success of the biggest brands in the world at the time (including Apple of course) like Disney, Coke, Sony and notably, Nike. Jobs expressed a deep respect for Nike and the way they approached their marketing strategy. Jobs was so inspired that he applied those principles into the “Think Different” marketing campaign which he revealed in his 1997 speech.

Let’s break down the 3 key principles behind the “Think Different” campaign so you can learn how you can implement them into your own marketing strategies:

1. Get Back To The Core Value

Jobs mentioned that although Apple’s products, distribution strategy and manufacturing are completely different than they were a few years back, what remained firmly intact was the company’s core values. Apple is not about making computers and devices to help people get their jobs done well – although they do that almost better than anybody else. At the core of Apple, Jobs believed that Apple is more than those things. He believes that people with passion can change the world for the better.

In business, your customers and staff will resonate most with your core values; it’s the driving force behind WHY you do what you do. As Simon Sinek points out, “people buy from your why”. It’s really important to know what you stand for and where you fit in in the world.

Think about what your core message is to your audience and what the essence of your company is really about then find a way to communicate it.

2. Talk Less About Your Product & More About Your Target Audience

Jobs highlighted the obvious fact that Nike sells a commodity – they sell shoes. Yet if you notice in their commercials, although they have images of shoes, they rarely (if at all) talk about their shoes and products. And that is the reason why Nike makes us feel that they are something more than just a shoe company.

One of the biggest mistakes most new entrepreneurs make is that they focus too much on their product. They desperately look for ways to entice their audience to buy in to their amazing products and services. Rather than trying to convince your audience about how great your products are, focus on their greatest wants and needs – then tailor your products and services around those things.

People are more assured to become your customer as soon as they realize that you have given them something that is relevant to them. Your website, video and landing page should be less about you and more about your customers – address their point of pain, their biggest challenges, their greatest desires and the benefits they will receive by working with you.

3. Use Stories To Inspire Your Target Audience

As mentioned earlier, Nike doesn’t talk about their shoes, instead they share inspiring stories of athletes, iconic people and the everyday person.

Jobs wanted to create a marketing campaign that moved his audience and the way he would do this is by honouring the people who have changed the world, those who think differently and move the world forward. During his speech, Jobs said:

“They (Nike) honour great athletes and they honour great athletics. That’s who they are and that’s what they’re about.”

The “Think Different” commercial inspired us with images of Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King Jr, Richard Branson, John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. and gave us the famous last line:

“The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Every business has a unique story. You can tell it through the eyes of your staff and your company, through the eyes of your audience or through the stories of those who inspire your audience. Video is a great marketing tool for story-telling. Check out our previous blog HERE to learn about how you can do this effectively.

Photo by Marcin Nowak via Unsplash

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