Steve Jobs – The Iconic Marketer

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Can You Copy The Iconic Marketing of Steve Jobs?

Most will agree that Steve Jobs was one of the best marketers ever.  He took electronic products that are often made into commodities after their introduction and commanded premium prices for them.  He introduced innovation after innovation.   He had a large percentage of his customer base believing that his products were superior because of their ease of operation, or simply because they were way “cooler” than anything else on the  market.

What most overlook though, is how iconic the marketing of Steve Jobs was.  He followed some simple principles that you can copy if you have the patience and desire to so.

First though, let me define iconic marketing.  An icon can mean many things, but in its broadest definition it is an enduring symbol or representation of something.  Many in marketing would call this branding which is partially true.  But in its truest form an icon really helps differentiate itself from everyone else in the market.  Iconic marketing is the use of marketing strategies and tactics to build the icon of the business within the minds of the marketplace.

How Steve Jobs used Iconic Marketing

1)      Looks are everything.  Steve took the packaging and presentation of his products to the Nth degree.  The Apple products needed to look cool, trendy, and futuristic.  We are talking beyond just functionality, but to the point where the end user would feel cutting edge as others looked on.

2)      His looks were everything.  When Steve made the platform introductions of the new products he always seemed to be wearing his hip black mock-turtleneck shirt and faded blue jeans.  His audience could immediately relate to him.  If he would have made the same presentation in a suit it wouldn’t have had the same effect.

3)      It is all about the pre-sell.  The Apple product launch strategy was set in place months before you could actually get product and Jobs was incredibly effective in engineering the pre-release “leaks” that further built anticipation to the point were many faithful customers wanted to buy before the product was even seen.

4)      The public introduction.  When it was time to release the product it was almost always done through a public speaking venue.  Jobs captivating the crowd with a personal introduction of the product.  No commercials, ads, or really any media preceded that announcement.  It was the pinnacle of the release.

How you can copy the use of Iconic Marketing

You may not be able to be a Steve Jobs clone, or even have the budget to do the kind of campaigns Apple does.  However, if you strip away the principles here you can definitely improve your marketing efforts.  Here is how:

1)      Differentiate yourself from your market with not only unique attributes, but a unique look as well.  Focus on developing a highly effective unique selling proposition.  Then visualize it.

2)      Keep your spokesman looking consistent.  In most cases, the small business owner, real estate agent, even construction contractor are going to be the mouthpiece for the organization.  If it is someone else on your team make sure they have a consistent look each time they communicate with their audience.

3)      You must pre-sell your products and services.  This is where the power of word-of-mouth comes in, but there are many other strategies you can use to control your sales message to build market demand and interest.  Just running tons of ads to generate leads no longer cuts it.  (Our Customer Pipeline program can give you more training on how to do this)

4)      Learn how to speak in public.  Whether it is to an audience of one, a local chamber group, or a large platform opportunity – you must understand and implement the basics of public speaking.

Steve Jobs was a great marketer – and you can be one too if you follow the simple principles laid out above.

How do you currently use Iconic Marketing or what ways do you think you could use it for your business?  Please comment below. 


    1 Comment

  1. I think Steve realized that he was not selling himself but his product. That sounds simple but think about it, how many salespersons are more concerned about their own looks and acceptance by the audience than by their product’s acceptance? Steve was like a “ghost marketer” he adopted a back end position to HIS product. Maybe because it really was HIS product and not that of his boss, his client or his company. In other words he “gave life to the product being sold”. That my friend is only accomplished by true entrepreneurs and by people that have actually developed a product and are capable of “living the product”.

    Carlos M Baez

    October 18, 2011

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