To me marketing is all about values, this is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world and we’re not going to get a chance to make people remember much about us, no company does, so we have to be clear on what we want them to know about us. Now Apple fortunately is one of the half a dozen best brands in the whole wide world, it’s up there with Nike, Disney, Coke, Sony, it is one of the greats of the greats, not just in this country but all around the globe.
But even a great brand needs investment and caring, if it’s gonna retain it’s relevance and vitality and the Apple brand has clearly suffered from neglect in this area in the last few years and we need to bring it back. The way to do that is not to talk about speeds and fees…it’s not to talk about why we’re better than Windows. The dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you that milk was good for you which was a lie but they tried anyway. But the sales were going down and then they tried GOTMILK and the sales went up. GOTMILK wasn’t even talking about the product, in fact it focuses on the absence of the product.
But the best example of all and one of the greatest jobs of marketing that the universe has ever seen is Nike. Nike sells a commodity, they sell shoes and yet when you think of Nike you feel something different than a shoe company. In their ads as you know they don’t ever talk about the product. They don’t ever tell you about the air soles and why they’re better than reeboks air soles. What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes and they honor great athletics. That’s who they are, that’s what they are about….
Our customers want to know who is Apple and what it is we stand for. Where do we fit in this world? What we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. We do that better than almost anybody in some cases. But Apple is about something more than that. Apple at the core, it’s core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we believe and we’ve had the opportunity to work with people like that and that those people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do. Values and core values, those things shouldn’t change.
Speech by Steve Jobs | 1997