Vantage Blog


Apple’s core- what it tells us about success

Apple has launched a new advertising campaign with what could be best described as a company manifesto at its core.  (click here to download and read in full)

Quite internally focussed on the face of it, so no doubt there will be debate on its effectiveness from all sorts of advertising guru’s.

However, what I would like to explore is what is says more broadly – not just about the culture and ethos of Apple – but about focus and strategy in successful businesses.

There are three lines from the copy that are illuminating
1) “This is what matters.  The experience of a product. How it makes someone feel.”
Exactly.  It is the balance between what the product does and how it makes you feel.  It should in fact be a virtuous circle between the two building and feeding off each other.  So many products and services focus solely on the product experience, not being concerned with how it makes a customer feel.  In fact, if you start with the goal of impacting how customers feel you will have a more powerful product or service than one, that starts from a technical or product design perspective.

2) “If you are busy making everything, how can you perfect anything?”
Focus.  Focus. Focus.  I think it's probably more about excellence rather than perfection but you get the message.  First be really good at one thing (that impacts how your customers experience and feel about you and your products) and build from there.  You can’t win by trying to be all things to all people.

3) “There are a thousand ‘no’s’ for every ‘yes’”
This is the really hard bit.  Being ruthless about what you are not going to do enables you to have the space to focus on 1 and 2 above.  It is a key discipline that is critical in strategic planning as much as in product development.

I know many people get sick of Apple being used as an example of success but I think this insight to their corporate ethos is pretty illuminating.  

If you were to write such a manifesto what would it say?

by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing

This article is linked to James' Google+ profile

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