When to ignore conventional wisdom in business

Posted: April 8, 2010 in Apple, Customer loyalty, customers/buyers, marketing, PR, sales
Tags: , , , , ,

Eschew the glam on Product Launch Day. (Opt for Levi’s and a black mock-turtle?)

You have to hand it to Apple.  Again and again.  I can’t think of another company whose product intros can consistently wow far more people than they disappoint, especially when the company in question is such an uber-profile vendor with an iconic, rock-star CEO.  And when the intros are built up for weeks, even months, like over-hyped movies.  Remember, though: Apple has a built-in advantage here.

OK, so how do they do it?  More important, can you replicate it?  Yes, but only if you’re comfortable doing business the Apple way. For starters, Apple doesn’t stress over conventional wisdom.  Its users don’t give a flying mousepad about “open systems”.  They like closed ones. The point here is that Apple markets and sells to its tribe, first and foremost, that legion of cult followers built and cultivated over many years, the way Jerry Garcia played piper (pun not intended) to Deadheads .  Apple has a rabid cheering section that would fill Jerry Jones’ new stadium in Texas to overflowing and that makes fans you see at an NFL or NHL game seem casual by comparison.   Next, don’t bet the ranch the day you launch. Don’t be deluded that a big spike in hits will convert into sales and instant market leadership. Please your hardcore fan base first and foremost.

Your true north is to stay mindful of the things a company, brand, or product does that impress you.  Go out there and do those kinds of things yourself.  You always know when a company is talking to you, not at you. How? It’s whenever you listen and pay attention as a result.  Nearly 30 years ago, Steve Jobs was obsessed by the things Sony and Mercedes did with their products and marketing to create their cult-like followings.  Take a close look at Apple.  You’ll see the resemblance today.

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