Apple Will Be The Next BlackBerry!

Maybe not today; maybe not tomorrow; but one day and for the rest of it’s life…

Apple is another BlackBerry just waiting to happen.

Before you say it, yes, I know that the iPhone 5 sold in record numbers. I know that Apple’s stock price recently hit record highs and is currently anywhere between $650 and $700 a share. My view is also not based on high profile problem with Apple maps, or the fact that the iPhone 5 sales fell short of expectations. I’m saying it because a company that, under Steve Jobs, knew how to market – under Tim Cook seems to have forgotten everything it knew.

It started with the marketing of the iPhone 4, didn’t improve with the 4S and with the 5 – well, let’s not talk about the marketing for the iPhone 5!  If you don’t believe me, here are just a few examples:

  • Apple posted a 6 minute video making the point that the iPhone 5 has been ‘completely redesigned’, even though it looks exactly like the iPhone 4/4S – just a bit longer and thinner.
  • The Apple “design” video seems more like a parody than many of the parody videos out there!
  • Apple is now using phrases like “cross-collaborative effort”, “seamless integration between hardware and software”, “manufacturing processes that are our most complex and ambitious” and “the variances between products we now measure in microns” that justify the process rather than explain why consumers should buy its products.
  • The iPhone 5 TV adverts are awful!
  • “Our all new maps application is fantastic.” Really?! Are you sure about that?! – Actually, they were not… Tim Cook now suggests you download another maps app until they sort theirs out!
  • Apple’s response to the maps disaster was a shambles. Tim Cook’s apology was too little, too late, and the message – see point above – was pitiful.
  • Steve Jobs would never have apologized for the Apple maps disaster. Steve Jobs would have never shipped Apple Maps until it was ready.
  • Apple claims Siri can do more… that is, I assume, if it can understand you!
  • The iPhone 5 was, if we believe the rumours, two years in the making. Two years, and the best they could come up with as reasons to buy were changes measured in microns?!
  • What happened to the legendary Apple secrecy around new products.  Anybody would think that the marketing team had been spending too much time in bars these days.
  • Apple is using the same excuses in response to complaints about purple flares that it did about the antenna problems on the 4. Telling consumers “you’re holding it wrong” every time there’s a problem just won’t wash.

Apple can, and I suspect, will continue to develop products that people want to buy for the foreseeable future. How much longer they’ll be able to persuade consumers that their products are superior to those of their competitors is another thing entirely. While this won’t matter in the short term – hundreds of millions of consumers are paid up members of the Apple ecosystem and will find it incredibly difficult to leave any time soon. But, unless the company rediscovers its marketing magic – and quickly – many will do so, albeit grudgingly. Just ask my wife. Disquiet and dis-satisfaction with the brand will grow, moving it slowly towards a tipping point that will result in a sudden and very dramatic collapse.

For a company that used marketing so effectively to create a “Reality Distortion Field” that could persuade people they needed products they didn’t realize they needed, this is serious. When people start to see behind the distortion field – think about the Wizard of Oz – the magic evaporates very quickly. For a business like Apple, that sells on magic, it’s a precarious position to be in. When consumers stop ‘buying’ the magic, they stop purchasing the products. If, or more likely, when that happens, Apple is toast!

Other posts you might enjoy:

Apple iPhone Design Videos, Side-by-Side

Apple HAS lost it’s competitive advantage

RIM: It was ALWAYS going to come to this

How To Build A Small Business PR & Marketing Plan

If you’re planning a big year for your business in 2013 then now is the time to start planning. As part of my second post for the Small Business Community Network [SBCN] I outline a few things that small and medium-sized businesses need to think about as they build their marketing plan:

  • Get to know your audience. Intimately.
  • Know your competition.
  • Develop a compelling proposition
  • Define your Message
  • Know what will your call to action will be
  • Identify the influencers
  • Develop both strategic and tactical plans
  • Execute

To read the article in full, including tips and tricks for each part of the process visit the SBCN website here.

Need help building a plan for your business?  Contact lyndon@thinkdifferently.ca or call +1 647.773.2677

Apple iPhone Design Videos [side-by-side]

I’ve been thinking recently about Apple’s marketing and, specifically, how its iPhone “design” videos are changing.  Take a look at the videos for the iPhone 4 and 5 and see if you see what I see. [Hint: it’s not good!]

iPhone 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJYoj3HVTd4

iPhone 5

A brand advert that is Made Of More

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URxLYupra5s

If you haven’t already seen the new Guinness advert ‘Made of More’ you should, because it’s a great example of a brand ad.  It engages the viewer by telling a story and only reveals the product/brand at the very end of the 90 second advert.  There’s no sales pitch, just a beautifully crafted vehicle for engaging with the audience on an emotional level.

Next time you want to encourage people to buy your product or service why not follow Guinness’s lead and connect with them on an emotional level – make them want to buy, rather than selling to them.  If you have any other examples of adverts that are made of more than just a sales pitch share them in the comments section below.

SMALL, TALL, GRANDE OR VENTI? ONE SHOT OR TWO? A NEW MODEL FOR THE PR INDUSTRY.

SMALL, TALL, GRANDE OR VENTI? ONE SHOT OR TWO?  A NEW MODEL FOR THE PR INDUSTRY.

Toronto, ON – October 1, 2012:  Today, the way small and medium-sized companies buy PR and marketing services changes… forever.  THINK DIFFERENT[LY], a new communications agency based in Toronto, ON, is offering PR, Marketing and Social Media services an hour at a time – starting with just a single hour.

“Traditional retainer-based contracts for PR and marketing services are a huge barrier to entry for most small and medium-sized businesses,” says the agency’s Principal, Lyndon Johnson. “Imagine if you bought coffee in the same way most companies buy PR and marketing – you’d end up paying for a month’s worth and might end up only drinking a couple of cups. Nobody does that – it’s not necessary. You buy the size and type of coffee you want, when you want it.

“We’re offering businesses the chance to buy PR and marketing in the same way they buy coffee – the right size, the right blend, at the right time – starting with a minimum of one hour.  This will allow businesses to manage both budgets and resources, focus activity on making the most important campaigns a success, and dramatically improve the return on their PR and marketing investment.”

One hour of strategic advice costs CAD 175 plus HST and includes a one-hour consultation as well as a short summary report detailing next steps and recommendations.  One hour of implementation costs CAD 100.  Discounts are available for multiple hour purchases.

For more information visit www.thinkdifferently.ca

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Press contact:

Lyndon Johnson, Founder and CEO of THINK DIFFERENT[LY]

+1.647.773.2677

e: lyndon@thinkdifferently.ca

t: @THINK_Lyndon

About us:

THINK DIFFERENT[LY] offers small and medium-sized businesses the chance to buy PR and marketing services the way they buy coffee – one cup at a time. We help them work out who to talk with, what to say, and how best to start a conversation in order to achieve their commercial goals.