Apr 1, 2010

And What an Outlier It is

Forbes.com wrote on its website about a contemporary phenomenon that many new generation Marketers recognize as the dawn of a new age. Eyes are opening to the reality that sustainable (and profitable!) growth strategy is first and foremost rooted in tangible, meaningful, and demonstrable differenitation - as determined by the end customer.

Here's an excerpt of the Forbes.com piece (authored by Rich Karlgaard):

"Apple is now 33 years old, but it seems like a perpetually new company. Jim Cramer so loves Apple, he said Tuesday night Apple's stock was headed to $300. I have no clue where Apple's stock is headed, but I do think its blowout performance since the iPod launch in 2001 has everything do to with Apple's keen sense of cultural shifts, which keeps the company at the edge of new. The genius of Steve Jobs has always been to marry his good-enough layman's understanding of technology with his world-class design eye and his preternatural understanding of cultural moods.
Apple always seems one step ahead even when it comes from behind. Apple didn't invent the personal computer, but it made the computer personal. It didn't invent the MP3 player, but the iPod put it all together. Smart phones existed before the iPhone. The forthcoming Apple iPad (or whatever it is called) will stand on the shoulders of the Amazon Kindle and maybe crush the Kindle. That's my speculation as a rabid Kindle lover.
The lesson of Apple is to think deeply (or differently) about what touches customers in an enduring way. Apple proves that great design and product coherence--stuff that looks cool, works well, and thus justifies higher prices--can work even in a recession.

Apple is a secular company with a religious following. It understands that people want transcendence and hope, especially during a difficult period. Apple's products, to those who like them--myself, I love my MacBook Pro but still prefer a BlackBerry to the iPhone--have a quality that reaches beyond today's drudgery and reminds us of what is possible. Movies did that in the 1930s. Apple is doing that now. Which is why Apple is an outlier."
Legacy brand leaders: is your company stepping up?

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