After a few days of action we are getting a glimpse into the future of broadcast TV with NBC’s somewhat brave “experiment” in real time. NBC’s challenge was strike a balance between the way people consume information in 2012 with the need to make back their more than $1billion investment in the games. The network has to satisfy all the audience segments and stakeholders at the same time. The audience ranges from super savvy social media savants to grandma and everything in between - the very definition of a mass audience on a nationwide scale. And, they have to balance the needs of their sponsors with their distribution partners (cable/satellite) and reconcile that with the International Olympic Committee. The reality is the only way NBC can make it work financially is with expensive broadcast commercials and lots of them. Perhaps that equation will change in the future, but for now, mass marketing is where the money is for NBC. The Olympics offers one of last remaining programming assets to draw big numbers across all demo groups.
NBC made a correct decision offer all of the coverage live via their many cable channels and the web/mobile app. Nothing else would have made sense given the real time nature of media consumption today. However, given the business realities they need to make a few compromises. The marquee events are shown on tape delay at night though many people already know the outcome. Additionally, to see the live streaming video (and on demand) you need to sign in with your subscription to your cable or satellite provider. According to this Reuters article, about 90% of Americans subscribe to either cable or satellite. The requirement seems reasonable and the iPad App/web streaming worked great for me, though there have been complaints of spotty service. After using my Directv log in I was instantly browsing hours of events that were never broadcast over the air in the past. The videos are no frills, almost raw footage of low profile sports like weightlifting, judo and badminton among others. No announcers or commentary, just a feed.
I could make a few suggestions – perhaps offer a paid version of the App to people without existing cable/satellite subscriptions, or a no ad premium version. The commercials on the App are tedious. The bottom banners are fine, but the video pre-roll is way too long and obtrusive. The commercials are the same 30-second spots from TV. If they were cut down to 10 or 15 seconds it would be easier to digest. Also, the App does not make it clear you can fast forward during the coverage. An arrow in both directions would be helpful.
As you may have seen there was a lot of controversy and internet/twitter outrage over some elements of this plan – particularly around the use of tape delay. Many were calling for NBC to broadcast the Opening Ceremony live, which would have meant 4pm on Friday afternoon east coast and 1pm west. Perhaps the twitterati are home and in front of their TV mid day or maybe they wanted to spend the afternoon huddled over their laptop or mobile device watching it stream. NBC needs to move product (ad space) and needs the biggest audience possible and that means prime time.
The prime time shows are about storytelling and drama, not just results. So far the ratings confirm the strategy – a record 40 million watched the opening ceremony on Friday and another record was broken on Sat. night to see events that were long over. Many people already know the outcome; often from NBC’s own Twitter account, as they can’t pretend the event didn’t happen. It is seems like a strange contradiction, but NBC needs to maintain authenticity, while promoting the evening’s programming.
The Sunday night ratings were also up over 2008. In an era of media fragmentation, more people are watching the Olympics than ever before. I would surmise that all of the social media and streaming activity has increased overall interest. The raw results of who won/lost are becoming secondary. The story and the personalities are what draw in viewers. Social media enhances the storytelling and lets people interact with the athletes who all have twitter handles.
As for the twitter outrage and use of hashtags (#NBCFail and the equally charming #NBCsucks) they may not be reflective of a very large group of people. The incident is a good lesson for brands on social media in particular, Twitter. Some of the culture of Twitter seems to encourage complaining about old media and lavishing praise on the new and obscure. Kind of like your friend in college who only listened to bands no one had heard of except him. There is also a pack mentality that can grow over time and snowball. No one wants to be left out so they start retweeting and soon it a “movement”.
Heavy users of Twitter may not accurately represent mainstream TV viewers and they are often heavily invested in social media. While it is critical to listen to all customers and respond to their needs, it is also wise to remember the context. Having spent the past several years observing this group of early adaptors, I don’t think NBC could have done anything to truly make them all happy. For the first time in history, every minute of hundreds of events across thousands of hours is available to almost everyone across multiple platforms – live and on demand. An impressive achievement by any measure, but apparently not good enough or fast enough for some. Reminds me of this great bit by Louis CK – enjoy.
As content marketers we spend a lot of time thinking about storytelling techniques to enhance sales results for clients. Stories are critical to making content-based programs work by engaging customers at a primal and sensory level. We are wired to learn from stories – it is how we learn as children and how we process information. When reading and watching fiction we put ourselves in the role of the protagonist and imagine about how we would resolve conflict. Think of it as game planning for real life. When complex facts and concepts are turned into a story, it makes them easier to understand. Listeners (or customers) are active participants in the story and internalize the learning when they make themselves part of the narrative. A well-done case study is more effective than a dry recitation of features or death by PowerPoint.
Last week we had the pleasure of hearing Rob Walker talk about storytelling at the Ad Club Edge Conference here in Boston. You may know Rob from his work writing the Consumed column for the New York Times for many years. He and a partner, Joshua Glenn set out to prove that compelling stories could lift the perceived value of an item for sale. Specifically they wanted to test the theory that stories are such a powerful driver of emotional value that their effect on any given object’s subjective value can actually be measured objectively.
Here is how it worked:
A talented, creative writer invents a story about an object. Invested with new significance by this fiction, the object should — according to our hypothesis — acquire not merely subjective but objective value. How to test our theory? Via eBay!
More details here…
The results: They sold $128.74 worth of thrift-store junk for $3,612.51, all of which went to the contributing writers. Not a bad margin. They did two more phases and they produced similar results.
The bottom line should not surprise marketers, but it surprising how many don’t think about storytelling in their marketing messages. This is especially true for B2B companies – they forget their buyers are real people not an amalgam of title and company size.
If you want your customers to like and trust you, tell them a story and the perceived value of your product or service will increase. It has been proven by the Significant Objects Project.
Check out this video to hear more from Rob Walker at the Edge Conference.
After years of hype and build up, the Facebook IPO is off to a lackluster start. The initial price was bumped up to $38 (because of demand) and it hit $45 at during that first trading period and is now settled in the mid-20 (26 as of 6/6). In an odd way this is good for marketers and consumers (other than the ones who bought the stock over $40, of course.) To explain my point let’s take a step back to the late 90’s ebusiness/e-everything boom and the inflated stock market that came along as a companion. It was a crazy time to be in marketing and media and those of us that were in the middle of it should always be skeptical of the next big thing. For a review I will recommend a good book - Dot.con by John Cassidy.
Briefly, what happened is that web businesses were started with flimsy business plans that had no real way of making profits in the long run. The long run didn’t matter anyway as the game was to cash in quickly with an IPO or acquisition. Venture money was being thrown at web business that had some small sliver of business plan. In some ways it similar to the house flipping/risky mortgage fiasco we saw just a few years after the dot com crash. In both cases the masters of Wall Street did not come out as heroes. During the dot com crash they famously pumped the stocks and prospects of companies that were often no more than a couple of developers sitting around drinking Mountain Dew and dreaming of riches.
Ironically, these aspiring millionaires chose to promote their companies with good old fashion print and TV advertising. Long forgotten magazine like Business 2.0 and The Industry Standard were the size of phone books with ads placed to do nothing more than promote a name to better a chance at an IPO or to lift the soon to be worthless stock. It all came crashing down because there was no real value being created for consumers or businesses.
This brings us to Facebook and others such as Groupon and LinkedIn who have recently gone public. There is healthy and widespread skepticism to the business model for Facebook (and Groupon too). In contrast, LinkedIn grew incrementally, provides a unique value to businesses (recruitment) and has done well. When investors take a hard look at Facebook they see a couple of troubling issues effecting perceived value.
Virtually all of their revenue is based on traditional interruptive advertising. Yes, it is cost per click and behaviorally targeted, but the central fact remains it appears on your page when you are there to communicate with your friends. Many people are not in shopping mode when on Facebook but rather being social. The jury remains out if Facebook will be a significant marketing tool for B2B marketers or how users will feel about ads cluttering their mobile app or news feed.
For Facebook to have long term revenue growth they need to generate revenue from companies in ways other than advertising. They are starting down this road to charging to promote posts, but they may need to charge companies to maintain their pages and timelines. Why would a company with millions of fans (Disney has 36 million likes, Coke has 42 million) they can reach for free spend money to advertise on Facebook? And, Facebook needs to foster social commerce through the site and take a piece of the action for companies to set up storefronts.
All this being said, there is a real danger that any of these moves will alienate users, which could be a death knell. Without hundreds of millions sharing, posting and chatting on the site, they have nothing to monetize. I have seen usage and interaction drop off significantly among my 450+ friends over the past year. That is not a scientific projectable sample, but I think there is something there – the cool factor is long gone, beware the backlash. MySpace was once cool, so was BlackBerry and American Idol.
When you look at all these risks and uncertainly it appears that investors are being rightly skeptical to the company’s long -term prospects. After all the hype and anticipation the investing public put on the breaks and drove down the value that was being pitched to them by Wall Street and Facebook. After two bouts of wrenching economic turmoil driven by people’s desire to get rich quick for doing little this is a welcome development. Maybe we have finally learned the most basic of all lessons – there is no short cut to success or riches.
I just spent an exhilarating day at the Northeast Regionals of the Reebok CrossFit Games. The Regionals are a step in the process of naming the “Fittest Man and Woman on Earth”. They’re also part of a smart marketing initiative by Reebok to position themselves as a leader in “The Sport of Fitness”—a phrase they are now using as a tag line in their marketing. This new initiative seems an obvious return to Reebok’s fitness roots—not to mention, a good way to carve out a unique identity in the competitive world of sports shoes and apparel.
Reebok’s partnership with CrossFit (which now has 4,000 affiliates worldwide and is growing quickly) has jump started this new marketing program. They have clearly gone “all-in” by sponsoring the CrossFit games, as well as opening their own line of Reebok-branded gyms, and coming out with a line of sneakers, clothes and accessories for the CrossFit athlete. So far, it looks like a win/win for both sides—especially for CrossFit, considering the amount of exposure (and money) they get from Reebok, and the marketing benefits that come from partnering with a global company like Reebok.
All of that said, the associated marketing messaging from Reebok still feels as though it’s missing that key element. I have been a part of the CrossFit community since 2008 and to many of us the campaign doesn’t feel authentic. The partnership, which has all the makings of a dream relationship, comes off feeling more like a marriage of convenience. And the messaging component follows a very traditional sports marketing recipe, which is a disservice considering the clear heavy lifting that went into this great concept development. The overall concept, or “big idea” behind the “sport of fitness” campaign is amazingly spot-on, but the execution falls a little flat, and I think I know why.
Below is a quote from Reebok CMO Matt O’Toole:
“What is so great about CrossFit’s brand of fitness, among other things, is that what makes it a sport is what makes it sustainable. You are part of a community, bound to a group of people who share your experiences—the same way you are part of team in traditional sports. It’s a big part of what keeps people coming back.”
He also adds, “This campaign taps into this trend. It shows that fitness can be experienced in a supportive, engaging and dynamic way.”
As anyone who participates in CrossFit can tell you, the community is the key component of the whole system. In contrast, Reebok’s campaign has focused on the top few CrossFit athletes. For most sports this type of aspirational marketing works (i.e. Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter), but that’s because they are bottom-down sports. They’re also competitive in nature. The pros set the tone and everyone wants to be like them because they have excelled and risen to the top CrossFit, on the other hand, is a way of life and community for the vast majority of members, rather than a competitive sport. It’s also the epitome of a grassroots movement, operating from the bottom up. Even though the event in question was a competition, the camaraderie and shared experience that O’Toole refers to is the CrossFit norm. It’s something that’s not present in other types of fitness training—and something that’s absent from their marketing campaign.
In addition to amending their ad copy, Reebok should be telling stories that build emotional connections with their customers. These connections are presumably what they are trying to tap into, after all. Storytelling is an immersive form of communication, engaging our minds at the intuitive and sensory levels. It’s compatible with the way our brains are wired to learn, think and engage. Storytelling-based content creates a narrative that allows customers to become part of the brand, as opposed to more traditional advertising methods.
Considering the group nature of CrossFit and evolving advertising practices, a better approach for Reebok would be to tell stories from within the movement, rather than highlighting the two best CrossFitters in the world. There are plenty of great stories to tell. In fact,here are some examples:
- “Amazing transformations of heath and fitness”
- “The fallen soldiers behind the ‘hero’ workouts”
- “High school athletes who use CrossFit to improve and then get scholarships”
- Police officers, firefighters and nurses who get better at their jobs as a result of CrossFit”
- ”The gym owners who come from all walks of life…
There are great-untold stories among the tens of thousands of CrossFit members. Athletes who qualify for the games represent a tiny fraction of the community and are not the norm. Because a majority of CrossFit members relish their connection to other everyday members—even though they do appreciate the few elite CrossFitters among them—isolating select members and heralding them as different somehow seems antithetical to the overall sense of community. Focusing on everyday members who are achieving great things, however, would serve them well.
While there’s no doubt that some people will respond to the ads featuring the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth—because, hey, they are amazing athletes— many people walking into CrossFit gyms today just want to get fit in a new and fun way, and maybe make some new friends along the way. These potential Reebok customers will want to hear how people just like them turned around their health and fitness to improve their lives; or hear from the ex-athlete who has gotten back in shape. Unlike basketball players and other sports professionals who get paid to stay in shape, very few people actually have external forces driving them to want to workout. But they all want the benefits that come with it. One of these benefits for CrossFitters, just happens to be the community they become a part of along the way.
Bottom line: slick television and Web ads with fitness models may look good, but are they authentic in world of Spartan gyms and a grassroots community? Probably not.
Post by Cam Brown, President, King Fish Media
Gilad de Vries of Outbrain.com wrote a great piece for Forbes.com last week. He states, "there is only one true branding mechanism online and that's content marketing." And he's right. Everyone wants to talk about their content marketing strategy and for good reason: the conversation has changed from interruptive to permission based, and savvy marketers understand the change. You can't woo customers based exclusively on price and features - they are as savvy as marketers. The game of cat-and-mouse now gives advantage to the mouse.
Customers need to believe in you as an expert in your field or market. As my mom used to say, you can't simply tell them - you have to show them with your actions. Education is the new dating, where you seduce customers not with Peggy Olson one-liners on benefits, but with steady relationship building through streams of content: Webcasts and video, eBooks, Web content and direct marketing...the platform reflects where your target spends their time, and at some point, marketers should ask prospects where and how they prefer to receive their content.
Gilad's piece closes with examples of marketers who rely heavily on content marketing, and is also worth a look. And as it should, that list gets longer every day.
The trend of people consuming content and interacting on mobile platforms (smartphones and tablets) is undeniable and some have called it the beginning of the post-PC era. Content producers and marketers are faced with integrating a mobile strategy into their customer engagement plans – and quickly. The question many companies are wrestling with is do we develop a native app for iOS and Android or do we create a mobile website or both. The answer is not cut and dried and like most things in life – the answer depends on who you are, whom you are talking to and about what.
Both approaches have pros and cons. Here is a quick review from EConsultancy.com:
Native apps are programmed using Objective C on the iPhone or using Java on Android devices.
• Native apps make use of all the phone’s features, such as the mobile phone camera, geolocation, and the user’s address book.
• Native apps do not need to be connected to the Internet to be used.
• A native app is specific to the mobile handset it is run on, since it uses the features of that specific handset.
• Native apps can be distributed on the phone’s marketplace (e.g. Apple Store for iPhone or Ovi store for Nokia handsets).
Web apps run in the phone’s browser.
• This means the app works across all devices, and ensures cross-platform compatibility.
• The same base code can be used to support all devices, including iPhone and Android.
• However, web apps do not make use of the phone’s other features, such as the camera or geolocation.
• Web apps cannot be deployed to the phone’s marketplace.
Hybrid mobile apps are a mix between these two types of mobile applications.
• A hybrid app is a native app with embedded HTML.
• Selected portions of the app are written using web technologies.
• The web portions can be downloaded from the web, or packaged within the app.
• This option allows companies to reap all the benefits of native apps while ensuring longevity associated with well-established web technologies.
• The Facebook app is an example of a hybrid app; it is downloaded from the app store and has all the features of a native app, but requires updates from the web to function.
Questions for a marketer to answer while deciding which mobile road to take.
1. Who is your primary audience/customer? What is their preference and how do they like to interact with brands/companies?
2. What type of content are you distributing – do you have video/audio?
3. Do you sell your products online?
4. How much are you willing to invest? Marketing decisions often come down to a question of budget.
This research from eMarketer shows how and why consumers use mobile sites vs. native apps.
If you are selling online and need a tie in to back end systems you may be better off with a mobile optimized site. Or, if you are distributing content in ordinary forms such as a blog, a mobile site may also be more than adequate.
The main advantage to apps is two fold – it takes advantage of the phone properties (phone, camera, geo-location) and works well with social media/text/email ties in for sharing. The other advantage is marketing – you are promoted in the App Store, you appear on the face of the customer’s phone and there is something cool and sexy about having an App. Having a mobile enabled site may be all you need, but it won’t get anyone excited.
There is value to being on the face of a customer’s phone, a device that is with them all day and in all places. It is not an overstatement to say that people develop an emotional connection with their phone so being on the phone face helps build a relationship. With a mobile site, you can hope to be bookmarked or perhaps the user knows how to place an icon shortcut to your site on their phone from their browser. It is easy to do, but many people don’t know about it or don’t bother to do it.
On the flip side, creating a native app can be expensive, time consuming and needs updating. Before creating a native app you need to ask yourself if it is going to bring real value and utility to your audience or are you just going for the cool factor. For many companies, a well-done mobile site using HTML5 and/or responsive web design may be the ticket to mobile success. The bottom line is if the utility is there and you have the budget, creating both could cover all your bases. Overall, the most important factor to remember is that need to be everywhere your customers go to consume and interact with information.
Professional sports teams have been an enthusiastic user of new media and social channels, but the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins have just taken that up a notch by integrating all of their media channels and content into an integrated program with an analytics package behind it.
From the Boston Globe:“The Boston Bruins are launching an ambitious effort Monday to bundle all of their digital, mobile, and social online assets under one umbrella brand, so the team and its fans will more easily tweet, friend, and pin each other.The new Bruins Digital Entertainment Network will include more than a dozen properties, including the team’s Facebook and Pinterest pages, Twitter accounts, a mobile app, and a YouTube video channel. The team is also planning to use the network to better understand the digital habits of its younger fans, who are heavy users of the Internet and mobile devices, and to develop new marketing and sponsorship initiatives.”
This strategy accomplishes two goals in the search for revenue growth. It allows the Bruins to build a tighter relationship with customers a.k.a. ticket buyers, especially those in younger generations. Building long term customer relationships are critical when you are selling season ticket packages that can run as high as $5-6K per seat. Expensive seats can be easier to sell when you are winning, but more of challenge when not riding high. By building a stronger community, the Bruins are going to recognize a higher lifetime value from their fans.
The media channel strategy allows the Bruins to offer integrated packages to sponsors for a true multi channel, integrated program that delivers real ROI. In the past most non-ticket revenue was raised from merchandise sales and arena signage. There is a cap of how much signage they can sell due to space limitation and it does not provide real return for the buyer. It was always more of an ego/buddy buy than a savvy marketing purchase. Now, the Bruins can offer sponsors a true marketing channel to engage with fans.“This is a recognition that the Bruins are really a media company,’’ said Amy Latimer, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We generate so much original content, on so many channels, that it makes sense to pull it all together.’’Latimer said the goal of the network, in planning for nearly a year, will be “to get our content to our fans, in whatever way they want to get it.’’
It is a matter of time before all pro teams across move in this direction and become media brands. They have valuable content and a built-in audience, now all they need to add are the channels and the integration. It is also important to point out; the Bruins are also monitoring the analytics of their media channel, as this is critical to monitoring the success of the content. Over time the Bruins will lessen their need to depend on paid advertising as they develop their own media channels. And, hopefully insulate ticket sales from losing seasons. The Bruins deserve a lot of credit for innovation and investment at a time when they are selling out every game and their brand is riding high.
Mad Men returns this week for a fifth season after a 17-month hiatus. Like many marketers I love watching Don Draper in action on the job. On the surface the type of broad based advertising he produces seems very old school – the kind of stuff that filled magazines and TV shows. If you look a little deeper, you see Don instinctively understands what makes content marketing successful. His work always contains elements of storytelling to build an emotional connection with the customer. He tells stories through the one-dimensional ads to get into the hearts and minds of the prospect. Don puts himself in the customer’s shoes and thinks about their desires, motivation and even fears. What drives them, what do they want? What makes Don so successful is that he realizes the client also wants to be told a story about their brand. They want to feel the love, not be pitched.
This all comes together in the quintessential scene when the clients from Kodak ask him to help them sell a seeming mundane piece of equipment – a wheel to show your slides. Don turns a feature – the wheel – into a benefit and renames it the Carousel and ties it to memories and emotion. His dramatic pitch to the client (click here to see, YouTube disabled embedding) is the stuff of advertising and television legend.
Watching this scene you can imagine how easily Don would have seen the future and embraced content marketing and storytelling. For Don, the ads were just the vehicle to get inside the soul of the customer. He would have found great success creating bonds over the interactive platforms we have today. Don sees the same storytelling ability in Peggy, which is why he has taken her under his wing. She has the same innate ability to understand that people don’t really buy products; they buy what it says about them or how it makes them feel. I like to think that somewhere the 70-something Peggy is on Facebook and Twitter and pinning like mad on Pinterest – on her iPad, of course.
Everyone is talking about social sharing site Pinterest – The New New Thing. It is a very fast growing site with over 11 million visits in December, a 40X increase in six months. You get the feeling it’s starting to hit critical mass and will go mainstream and big time in 2012. The demos of the site skew heavily to women 25-54 and have a higher concentration in the Midwest, where the site has roots. Pinterest is a layer on top of the existing web and social graph as it links easily with Facebook and Twitter in addition to any website.
Pinterest provides a visual medium to display items of interest and more importantly for purchase. This new data is going to open a lot of eyes: Pinterest now drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. That is staggering for a relatively new site.
From a commerce standpoint, Pinterest falls in line with the idea that every platform can be a storefront for a retailer. The advent of social media and tablets has opened up new avenues to engage customers and sell products. Several retailers (Nordstrom, Lands End, Etsy) have taken notice and begun to open up shops on the site
In some respects, Pinterest could be more powerful than Facebook for commerce for the following reasons:
Facebook is built around personal profiles while Pinterest is built around common interests. The true utility of Facebook is social networking; and while many people follow brands it is estimated that only 1% of people interacts with brands on FB. On the other hand, Pinterest boards are built around common interest i.e. home décor, fashion, gardening, parenting, etc.
When potential customers are looking at boards they are in the mode of being interested in that category of product vs. scanning Facebook for a variety of social reasons. Pinterest may build more of a permission based relationship with brands than Facebook or Twitter (which is not visual) or Google Plus. And, sharing is easier and more encouraged on Pinterest. For any retailer targeting women it makes sense to begin to build boards of product images and begin to encourage sharing. This can fit in nicely with an integrated campaign that incorporates the web, mobile and social platforms. As always, you need to be where you customers are spending time to immerse them in your brand. Based on the new referral numbers, the interest and sharing on Pinterest is translating into action.
http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social-networks/pinterest-demographic-data/ Demographic Information
http://mashable.com/2012/01/29/pinterest-retail-infographic/ How retailers are using it
http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/293314/how-do-people-use-pinterest/1 How people are using it
I recently finished the Steve Jobs biography and have had some time to reflect on what marketers can learn from his time at Apple. He took over a company on the verge of irrelevance and built it into the most valuable brand in the world according to a recent study. Here are some key lessons from his time as CEO:
1. Don’t set up artificial divisions and multiple P&Ls because it creates walls and competing agendas. Apple smoked Sony in the music business because Sony could not get their entertainment business to work with their consumer electronics division. Internal walls stifle creativity and synergy while generating conflict.
2. Keep decision making groups small and nimble and never manage by committee. There is a reason no one ever built a monument to a committee. Empower people to make decisions swiftly and keep debate and consensus building to a minimum. Key product feature decision for the iPod and iPhone were made by a small group who trusted their instincts.
3. Encourage smart risk taking, nothing great ever came from putting off a decision. It is ok to fail on occasion. Failure builds character and you’ll learn something valuable in the process. Unless you work in public safety or healthcare a mistake will not be fatal, so go for it.
4. View everything from your customer’s point of view. It’s about them, not you. At the same time, don’t over rely on market research; it is only a data point. Research tells you more about the past than the future.
5. Keep it simple, and once you have, simplify some more. This is especially true for designing a user experience. Work towards the least amount of screens, menu items, buttons, switches etc. If something is overly complex it usually means it was not well thought out.
6. You don’t have to be first, just be the best. Apple did not invent the PC, portable music player, Smartphone or tablet. They made each one better by making them easy to use and accessible
7. Challenge the status quo by pushing for new solutions. There is a great anecdote in the book about how Jobs pushed Corning to compress the production schedule for “Gorilla Glass” for the iPhone. He never took no for an answer and if a solution didn’t exist, he’d make one happen by sheer force of personality.
8. Build a team of A players, and work with best partners possible. This seems obvious, but how many companies and/or marketing departments are stocked with B and C players? If you want to accomplish great things, you need great people. While Steve Jobs get much of the glory, he surrounded himself with brilliant people from every discipline – design, software development, marketing, manufacturing, sourcing etc. Good thing happen when talented people work together as a team.
9. Keep PowerPoint use at a minimum. Jobs hated when people brought out a slide deck in a meeting, he felt it was a sign that they didn’t have mastery of the topic. The format makes people think in bullet points and headlines and stifles creativity. Powerpoint can be a great tool for presenting to a large group, but is a snoozer in an internal meeting.
10. Design matters to consumers and can be a powerful differentiator. Even the packaging from Apple feels cool and sexy. How many other companies put that kind of effort into a box? Every detail of the consumer experience is an opportunity to impress and build a relationship. Consumers don’t stand outside a retail store all night for the latest Motorola or Samsung phone, but they do for the iPhone.
In the spirit of keeping it simple I can describe the secret of his success to one thing – Think Different.