Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Acting like Apple.

I contend that you can't be in an agency for half an hour in 2010 without hearing the name Apple being mentioned. They do so much right I suppose studying them is like studying Michelangeo or Davinci or Durer if you're an artist.

From design to marketing to advertising, time and again Apple sets the standard. But here's the rub. Apple remains an oxymoron--they are mainstream iconoclasts. So clients, when presented with thinking that is "Apple-like," shoo it away like you would a fart in a phone booth. "Yeah, that's Apple," they seem to say, "but we live in the real world."

In other words, they've found a way to dismiss Apple-ness. Apple can do what they do, they seem to say (as if it were magic to be respectful of consumer needs) but we're _________ and we can't do things that way.

I often think about companies that work right. How is it that every supermarket in New York sucks but Trader Joe's can make waiting online an experience.

Here's the scoop. People don't emulate Apple because it demands commitment. What Apple does isn't really so hard. What's hard is actually doing it because it involves being honest with yourself.


Anonymous said...

What's a phone booth?

Kelly said...


Well, Apple-ness is also easier for Apple because it's who they ARE.

For anyone else it's like putting on your way-older, way-cooler brother's tux to go to the prom. He was oh, so hip in 1974 and he still is because he's grown up in his skin, but you're gonna look fake, confused, and like you're trying too hard.

True, folks don't want to commit to change that goes to the core... but I'm not sure if commitment is enough when you're slapping that gold ruffled shirt on in 1988. Better to find your own ideals and commit to them, yes?

Better to have had your own ideals from the beginning...



Shanty Mathew said...

Focus groups, research and other tools misused to shirk accountability are conspicuously absent in Apple. The buck stops at the doorstep of one man, Steve Jobs.

That's probably another reason why others can't aspire to be like Apple...