What Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Branding

Posted by Nolan Wilson

on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 @ 08:48 AM

What Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About BrandingA strong and identifiable brand has a lot to do with the success or failure of a company, product or service. It is often the brand that sells, and it is what your customers commonly identify with most.

As outlined in How important is your brand to your business website?, great companies lead with great brands that inspire loyalty and trust. A strong brand is so much more than a cool logo and engaging website.

When you break it down and dissect what it is at its core, a brand is a promise. It is a measure of trust and a way for people to differentiate when comparing their options in a market that is saturated with options. With so many similar products and services, it is a company brand that often makes the difference and solidifies a consumer’s decision to choose one option over another.

Jobs Changed the Rules of Branding

One of the most influential brands ever created is Apple. How did they become such a huge juggernaut? Not by following traditional branding rules, that’s for sure. The truth is that Apple has become what it is today because Steve Jobs changed the rules of branding.

When Jobs took over the helm, he simply did not follow traditional branding rules. Rather than focus on trying to imitate what was currently working, Jobs took a different approach. He didn’t do what was outlined in marketing manuals or follow the pre-established blueprint for success.

So, how did Jobs change the rules of branding?

  • Apple had a clear vision and stuck to it

  • The company took a unique approach to how it marketed its products and communicated with its customers

  • The company didn’t try to duplicate the success of other companies

  • The products and services that went to market were aligned with the company’s vision and its purpose

Jobs’ key insight into branding was that in order to have a great brand, you need to deliver great business. Your brand is the words and phrases that are used by your customers to narrate it. Jobs believed that you cannot connect with your customers in a meaningful way on an emotional level using marketing tactics alone. It is the conversations and experiences that your customers have that will shape your brand image.

Apple_What will your verse be?

You Can’t Duplicate Apple’s Success, But You Can Learn From It

While we would all love to duplicate the success of a brand like Apple, there is a lot we can learn from Steve Jobs and the Apple model of branding.

  1. Do things better than your competitors

  2. Don’t be afraid to be unique and stand out from the crowd

  3. Focus on the details

  4. Communicate with your customers in new ways. Be creative

  5. Always look for ways that you can improve your business, operations, products, and your brand – there is always room for improvement

Qualities of Great Brands

Naturally, there are a number of common qualities that most great brands collectively share. There is no doubt that these characteristics have changed over the years, as has branding in the age of inbound marketing.

They have great ideas: Behind every great brand is a great idea or concept that will capture the attention of customers and meet an untapped need in the marketplace.

They stay relevant: Great brands are dynamic and have a keen ability to remain relevant over long periods of time. They build trust and loyalty with customers, and this helps to keep them relevant as the market changes.

They have a clear purpose: All great brands are clear in their purpose and stick to their core values at all times. Their purpose and values are reflected in their marketing strategies and the products and services they offer to their customers. 

Great brands are real: They tend to be created organically and have a unique appeal. They are what they claim to be, they back up their claims with the actions they take, and they don’t try to duplicate what has already been done before.

Want to improve your brands presence through inbound marketing? Give us a call! We would be happy to discuss how we can help you improve your brand and increase its presence online.

Photo credit: Sigalakos via photopin cc

The Ultimate Guide To Managing A Brand In The Inbound Age

Written by Nolan Wilson

Nolan is an avid writer, go figure! But more specifically, writing inbound online is his passion, and he's really, really good at it. You can follow Nolan on Twitter.

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