When it comes to marketing, there is very little which is actually invented. Just as Mick Jagger of the Stones so poignantly summarized, “There is no future in rock ‘n roll music, it is all only recycled past. Jobs, in seeing the brilliance of Nike, in showcasing star athletes of the 80s such as Michael Jordan, John McEnroe, and Lester Hayes, and slapping their logo next to them. Nike knew the psychology would take over, and take over it did.
Jobs’ did the same, but instead of star athletes, he created sexy products and used psychology to build an “elite brand.” He knew with just 5% of the market share Apple would be wildly successful.
He was right.
Where companies go wrong is trying to convince their audience that they are the right product for them. Jobs’ points to the Dairy industry as an example. How they tried for 20 years to convince the country that milk was good for them. “It’s a lie, but they tried,” quipped Jobs. But then they came out with the “Got Milk?” campaign, and it wasn’t about the product, it was about the absence of the product, but they used stars, just like Nike with milk mustaches and sales skyrocketed.
Back to Nike, have you ever seen a Nike commercial where they discussed why their product was better than Reebok? Ever seen a detailed analysis of their shoe technology and how it will help you run faster or play better? Of course not. Instead, Nike’s ad honor great athletes and great athletic accomplishments.
When Jobs came back to Apple, and the company was in disarray, even with a large advertising budget. Jobs stripped the “core value” of the company which was to help people do their jobs better with the box that Apple made, to one of, people who use Apple products, have the passion to make the world better.
The core of it, and what Jobs completely believes, are the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are often the ones that do.
But never forget to look beyond the marketing, because Apple and Nike, while their public “core values” may be very different, internally, they are the same: Make Lots of Money with Cheap Overseas Labor.
Before going live with the “Think Differently” campaign, Jobs was torn which version to use. One with Jobs doing the voiceover, or one with Richard Dreyfus. Both were sent to the network, and the decision was made in the final hour. The Dreyfus version, which was obviously the correct choice. Jobs’ vision is genius, the power of his voice is not. It takes a real leader to recognize that you don’t always possess that which is best.